Post-Paras sale, health care focus keeps Girish Patel busy

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Mumbai, Feb 22 (PTI) For Girish Patel, promoter of theAhmedabad-based Paras Pharma, which was recently acquired byReckitt Benckiser, a medium-sized British consumer-goods firmwith a strong portfolio of products like Dettol and Harpic,life has become busier than before.

Patel now shuttles between Paras Phrama�s head officein Ahmedabad and the official headquarters of Sterling AddlifeLimited, a company that Patel started in 2000 with a vision tocreate another �Fortis�.

Fortis is a leading hospital chain run by billionare''Singh Brothers''--Malvinder and Shivinder Singh.

"Paras'' sale is not the end of the journey but abeginning. From now on, the focus will be on my vision ofcreating a chain of Sterling hospitals with world-classinfrastructure and facilities," Patel told PTI here.

When asked, how his life has transformed post-the Parassale, the 52-year-old said, "business is as usual at Paras asit has not been handed over completely to Reckitt. I amlooking after the business at Paras currently and alsofocusing on expanding my health care arm."

Paras will be taken over by Reckitt completely in thenext two weeks, he said.

Patel sold Paras for Rs 3,620-crore, a valuation whichseveral industry analysts said was over-priced for a companywith an annual turnover of little more than Rs 400-crore.

However, the company had strong brands like D''cold, Moov, SetWet, Livon and Zatak.

Patel already runs a 700-bed hospital in Ahmedabad andplans to scale-up the business by adding 300 more beds in thecurrent year.

"My focus will be to expand the health care businessin Gujarat first before going pan-India," Patel said,adding his health-care business Sterling Addlife Limited isbacked by UK-based private equity firm Actis, which was alsothe PE investor in Paras Pharma.

Patel is also looking at different avenues to create morevalue. The company has already announced a 180-bed hospital inBhavnagar, which will come up at an investment of around Rs50-crores. Besides, it has also launched a facility for bonemarrow transplantation and blood diseases in Ahmedabad.

He, however, refused to divulge the financial details andlong-term plans of the company, saying that "it is tooearly to talk about them." PTI PP JJ DK

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