Short-stay or day-care surgery is a concept that is fast catching up in India and Nova Medical Centers has been quick to understand this latent need and expanding its offering. Leading the team in its endeavor is Suresh Soni, CEO and Chairman of Nova Medical Centers. In conversation with Tuhina Anand of Paul Writer, Suresh talks about their plans and how Nova Medical Centers is revolutionizing healthcare in India.
The day care/ short stay surgical centre has seen a boom in big cities, what is the need and gap that Nova has identified?
While traditional hospitals have provided surgical care across the spectrum, their business model is based partly on the ‘hospitality’ industry model – where number of beds and thus bed utilization become important. As a consequence, the focus many a time is on increasing bed utilization of the hospital and not necessarily on the patient. Nova was created to address this challenge where the focus is solely on the patient. Nova model is built around this concept of leased properties to reduce cost to the patient, four operating theatres (same number as a typical 100 bedded hospital), smaller setup for a hassle free experience, only experienced surgeons for the best surgical outcomes, minimally invasive techniques to reduce the length of stay and reduce infections and high end technology as an enabler. Thus we are able to cater to the consumer needs of world class surgical care, with the best of doctors and technology, while minimizing hospital induced infections and unnecessary hospitalization.
Can you share Nova’s expansion plans?
Nova has currently 12 short stay surgical centers across 7 cities in India and has completed over 30,000 surgeries till date. By 2017 Nova shall expand to 25 short-stay surgery centers performing over 75,000 surgeries per year.
Can you shed some light on how Nova has been marketing the short stay/ day care facilities?
A key medium for communication to patients has been the doctor themselves. With 12 centres, Nova is well established with the doctor community and is associated with over 600 top surgeons in India, and with experienced surgeons joining each day. Nova has also been active in the print and outdoor media to increase awareness of the short-stay surgery concept. Going forward, we are implementing a comprehensive marketing and media strategy involving multiple media including digital. Patient experience and word of mouth has been important as well in establishing the Nova brand.
What are the few musts in communication when one is talking about the facility?
The key highlights of a Nova facility would be:
· Multi specialty, state of the art facilities and technology
· Experienced and leading doctors for best outcomes
· Hassle free personalized care, no unnecessary hospitalization or hospital induced infections
· Fixed surgical packages, economy, insurance approved for same day discharge
How strong is the digital platform in your marketing mix?
Digital is increasingly becoming an important part of the marketing mix for almost all categories including healthcare. We are focusing on this channel to increase awareness and build the our brand. It helps us focus on specific TG’s and is an important part of our marketing strategy going forward. We believe that it shall help us achieve a more cost effective reach, while increasing the engagement with the consumer, both of which are challenging using traditional mass media.
Going ahead, can you share insights on how this category will be marketed and can you define your typical TG.
Given that the category is still evolving, Nova is adopting a multi-pronged approach to marketing and media. We plan to use multiple media and are working on implementing a comprehensive marketing and media strategy. On the TG, simply put – it is anybody who needs a short-stay surgery across multiple specialties (excluding cardiac, neuro, transplants and poly trauma) . Nova provides best in class surgical care across multiple specialties, while still being affordable and accessible.
This interview first appeared in Marketing Booster magazine