Diagnostics firm Metropolis Healthcare said on Thursday that its initial public offering (IPO) will open for subscription on April 3 and close on April 5.
The company said the IPO will consist of 13.7 million equity shares, with a face value of ₹2 per share. The price band for the IPO has been fixed at ₹877-₹880 per share. Metropolis is looking to raise up to ₹1,200 crore with this listing. The stock is likely to list on the bourses on April 15, said the company.
Last September the company had filed the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
Of the total shares on offer, promoter Sushil Shah will be offering up to 6.3 million shares for sale and investor CA Lotus Investments will be offering 7.4 million equity shares for sale. The IPO has reserved 300,000 shares for its employees.
Speaking at a press conference in Mumbai, Shah reminisced about the humble beginnings of the company. “The company’s journey began back in 1981 when I started a small lab in a kitchen. I always felt I was more an entrepreneur than a doctor,” he said.
Ameera Shah, managing director of Metropolis Healthcare and daughter of Sushil Shah, talked about the growth strategy of the company going forward. Ameera Shah, who featured in Fortune India’s Most Powerful Women list last year, said the focus is going to be on the retail or the B2C side.
“In the past two-three years, we have expanded our B2C network substantially. We have gone from a few hundred centres a few years ago to a total 2,400 centres now—of which 1,600 are retail,” Ameera Shah said, adding that the company also has about 9,000 touch points where it picks up samples from hospitals and laboratories.
She then went on to say that one of the most pivotal growth levers for the company will be fortifying its retail network, that is increasing pick up points and centres and therefore, increasing the company’s reach to the customer. “We have seen a 408% growth in network expansion in the past two-three years. This network is very young and has not been fully productive yet. So the opportunity for the company is to get maximum revenue from the network that has already been built,” she said, adding that most of this network is asset-light that helps keep Metropolis’ balance sheet robust.
Currently, around 43% of the company’s revenue comes from the B2C business. The company is looking to take the figure up to 60% in the next few years, she said.
Going forward, she said, the area of focus for the company is going to be the top 13 cities. She said 63% of the company’s revenue comes from five cities—Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Surat. “This is where the opportunity lies. We believe we can double our network and continue to grow and improve profitability,” she said, adding that the second category of cities, which she called “seeding cities”, will be the next growth engine of the company.
Speaking about the diagnostics industry at large, the Metropolis MD said some steps need to be taken to ensure standards are maintained. “The industry here is very fragmented. There are about 100,000 labs in India. Of which around 90,000 are run by technicians. Only 10,000 are run by pathologists. And less than 1,000 labs are accredited. Lack of minimum standards and regulation has caused the mushrooming of labs. The quality of testing is unpredictable and inconsistent,” she said, adding that as insurance starts to cover more and more tests and regulations come in, minimum standards will be put in place for the industry.