Browns Group, like many emerging companies, is establishing a presence in healthcare and leisure, while renewing its historical engineering routes by branching into the motoring business, officials said.
“Browns’ is building a new 50-bed hospital at Ragama with a Rs 1.5 billion investment. It is due to be opened by next year,” Murali Prakash, Group Managing Director / CEO Browns told the Business Times.
Many established firms have entered the healthcare sector for the first time like the Hemas Group (hospitals) while the Richard Pieris Group has said it will invest in this sector.
Softlogic has established itself in the healthcare and leisure business, aving entered it less than 10 years ago.
Mr. Prakash said that Browns will concentrate on secondary healthcare, adding that the company will expand into other provinces with this model.
“We have a 10 acre land in Kandy and we will start work on this by April next year.” He said the Kandy hospital will cost Rs 2 billion.
“The country has a rapidly ageing population and the increase in non- communicable diseases brought about by affluence and changing lifestyle habits has raised the demand for private healthcare,” he noted. The company is also keen to bring in value addition to its healthcare sector expansion with new areas such as stem cell management and medical tourism.
“We also want to combine leisure and healthcare to introduce medical tourism,” Mr. Prakash said.
The company also has plans to assemble three wheelers in Sri Lanka. “We are also looking at the manufacturing sector and we want to assemble three wheelers.
We also want to strike partnerships with international operators to assemble motor cars as well,” Mr. Prakash added.
Another important area of focus for Browns is the leisure industry, Mr. Prakash said. “Our subsidiary Samudra Beach Resorts (Pvt) Ltd has obtained the requisite approvals to commence construction of a star class resort hotel in Kosgoda,” he said, adding that negotiations are underway to have the property managed by an international hotel chain and plans are to start operations in winter 2014.