(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE's Landmark Group has forayed into the healthcare industry with the opening of the first iCare Clinic that aims to revive personalised healthcare concept in the country.
One of the region's leading retail and hospitality conglomerates plans to open around 20 clinics in the UAE with an initial investment of Dh100 million over the next 2-3 years.. The first iCare Clinic was inaugurated on Tuesday at the Oasis Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road and the second clinic in the network is set to open doors at the Discovery Gardens in Dubai this week.
"You all know us as retail since a long time and then ..... hospitality. So the fitness business, the hotel business and this is for us a new venture into healthcare," Landmark Group vice-chairman Renuka Jagtiani told reporters at a news conference, which was held to announce the new venture of the group.
"We don't consider it very different because healthcare to us is also about a customer. And it is therefore in the same way reaching out to the customer, the same values we bring to the table wether it is retail and hospitality," Jagtiani said.
She said: "iCARE has been conceptualised as a one point family destination for all primary healthcare needs. Our aim is to offer quality medical expertise in a friendly and warm atmosphere, vital for effective wellness in today's lifestyle. Our team of doctors, nurses and technicians at iCare Clinics specialize in providing medical solutions for challenges that arise out of today's hectic lifestyles, such as food habits, long working hours and a multi-cultural environment."
There will be around 30-35 people at each clinic including 10 doctors, she told Khaleej Times. "We plan to grow in the UAE first then other markets in the Middle East and GCC countries," she said without mentioning any target deadline for overseas foray in healthcare sector by the group.
Health and well-being is of paramount importance, she said, adding: "We studied the market and realised that the need of the hour is a primary healthcare provider who understands that healthcare is not just about medication, but the science of understanding patients, almost like a family physician."
The Clinics will focus on providing easy access and 365 days care to patients within communities. iCare Clinics offer a wide range of medical services, including paediatrics; ob/gynaecology; internal medicine; dental; radiology; pathology; family medicine as well as general practitioner (GP) services. An ambitious venture from the Landmark Group, iCare Clinics is poised to offer quality treatments across essential domains of healthcare.
The clinic offers easy access to health services through a streamlined administration process that facilitates insurance coverage and other patient-needs. Landmark Group chief executive officer Vipen Sethi told reporters that the group is investing its own money on this new venture and might go banks for financing after 4-5 clinics. "Its entirely our own investment so far," Sethi said. When asked about projection on returns, he said the most important thing is do it right. He mentioned that it's 4.7 billion group and operate in 15 countries with the help of more than 1,200 stores. He ruled out any initial public offering at this time.
Landmark Group has a strong workforce of 40,000 employees and provides a value-driven product range for the family through its retail concepts: Centrepoint, Babyshop, Splash, Shoe Mart, Lifestyle, Beautybay, Iconic, Emax, Home Centre, Q Home Dcor, Candelite, Max, and Shoexpress.
In addition to the brands developed in-house, the Group also holds the franchise rights for some of the world's leading fashion and footwear brands in the countries where it operates. The Group has also diversified in the leisure, food, hospitality and healthcare segments with Fun City, Spaces, Citymax Hotels, Fitness First, Balance Wellbeing 360mFoodmark, the restaurant division, which operates the group's own and franchise food outlets and iCare Clinics, primary healthcare clinics for the family.