LifeSpring Hospitals' low-cost and high-quality maternity services in India have captured 48% of the baby delivery market

LifeSpring Hospitals Pvt. Ltd tries to bridge the yawning gap between the substandard maternity services offered by underfunded public hospitals on the one hand and the expensive services available in private hospitals on the other.

Anant Kumar, chief executive officer of the Hyderabad-headquartered company, was working at Hindustan Latex Family Planning and Promotion Trust, selling condoms and pills to stop unplanned pregnancies, when he came face to face with “the crumbling government infrastructure” where the supposedly free maternity services could be accessed only after paying “bribes to security guards and nurses”.

Kumar had the business model of low-cost airlines in mind when he sought help from audit and consulting firm KPMG, to offer low-cost and high-quality maternity services. The nine LifeSpring Hospitals in Andhra Pradesh charge Rs4,000 for a normal delivery, compared to Rs6,000 charged by small nursing homes and Rs30,000 by large corporate hospital chains, he says.

Acumen Fund, which invest in businesses that focus on their social impact, has invested $1.9 million (around Rs8 crore today) for a 50% stake in LifeSpring Hospitals. Funding from Acumen and 50% ownership by HLL Lifecare Ltd (formerly Hindustan Latex) has helped the firm grow from its opening in 2005 to nine hospitals today.

In the meantime, LifeSpring’s first hospital at Moula-ali in the Malkajgiri locality of Hyderabad has captured 48% of the baby delivery market in FY10 or 1,300 deliveries, according to Kumar.

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Asia: India

Global issues

HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, health and medical

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Medical and health