According to The Economic Times, India’s fertility treatment industry is thriving as the country is currently carrying out more than 2.5 lakh treatment cycles annually.
What factors are contributing to this trend? The research attributes the increase in infertility cases to increased private equity (PE) investment, the Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) and Surrogacy Act that was signed into law the previous year, and the rising number of infertility cases.
Private equity investors typically own sizable holdings in the nation’s preeminent fertility clinic franchises. The private equity firm Verlinvest recently acquired a majority share in Ferty9, while the venture capital firm TA Associates holds a 47% stake in Indira IVF, which operates 114 clinics across the nation. In spite of this, Goldman Sachs was the first company to make an investment in the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) market in India when, in 2011, they committed thirty million dollars into Nova Medical Centre.
In addition, the ART law is luring an increasing number of corporate investors. According to Dr. Nitiz Murdia, co-founder of Indira IVF and expert member of the National ART and Surrogacy Board, the law ensures the protection of patients by accrediting clinics and establishing minimum criteria for the equipment used in those clinics. In addition, it ensures accountability and openness, as he points out further, providing legal clarity in the process.
According to the findings of a study conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), infertility affects one in six persons worldwide at some point in their lives. According to a study that was conducted in 2019 by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, around 12-18 million couples in India are given an infertility diagnosis each year.
Having said that, the industry is nevertheless faced with a number of obstacles. Plum, an employee health insurance platform, found that only one percent of firms in India provide coverage for infertility as part of their health insurance packages. This is despite the fact that a regular cycle of infertility treatment might cost anywhere between one and two lakh rupees.
Vinesh Gadhia, Executive Director and CEO of Ferty9, believes that while it costs between 3 crore and 4 crore to establish up an IVF clinic, those that are launched with fewer investments are also contributing to lower success rates of this procedure. [C]onsideration should be given to the fact that it takes between 3 crore and 4 crore to set up an IVF clinic.
Despite this, the market for in vitro fertilisation in India is forecast to reach $3.722 billion by the year 2030, according to the report. According to Gadhia, egg freezing will soon be a driving force behind expansion across the business.