Healthcare can be India’s next IT sector: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Captains of the top industry are fighting for livelihoods as India is prepared to open its economy. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and managing director, Biocon Ltd, said on Tuesday that India needs to press the accelerator on further policy and regulatory reforms to save jobs.

India also needs to give rapid priority to sectors that can mop up India 's enormous workforce. Healthcare is one of those people, she said. "Health care is at the spotlight. Technology and engineering are now gaining recognition. The healthcare sector can be India’s next IT (information technology) sector, and there is an enormous opportunity for employment, "she said.

"The healthcare sector will also enable India to play in the objective of self-reliance — in pharmaceuticals, bio-pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and hospitals among others. The sector is also highly capital-intensive. In contrast to IT, there is a gestation period in which one has to wait two years to get a payback. Fourth, healthcare is an enormous market for exports. But we need the same sops the IT industry has been getting in the past, "Mazumdar-Shaw said.

On regulatory reforms, Mazumdar-Shaw said digitizing would make business life easier. "Life can not be as normal. We were thrown into a world of digitalisation. One of the opportunities now is to bring about extensive regulatory reforms, “she said.” Today we are able to get much faster regulatory approvals because of the virtual type of audits and evaluations. This is an opportunity to start doing everything online and take out a lot of the transaction costs.
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) must also be taken more earnestly by businesses, going forward.

"To date we used to look at the SDGs as a bunch of statements about motherhood — nice to have in our annual reports. We realize now more than ever that these are serious criteria without which you can not have sustainable economic growth. I want to take a closer look at poverty , hunger, economic inequality, all the comments about motherhood, "Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw concluded. Read More