Generally, most Indians dont consider dental care a necessity and would blissfully ignore a visit to the dentist until and unless they absolutely require to. Even with such an overlooked insight, people would still need a visit to dentist at some point of their life, which is statistically supported by the fact that 90% of the Indian population reportedly suffer from gingival and periodontal diseases. However, with rapid urbanization, advent of enhanced informative channels and increasing awareness on oral care is steadily prompting more people to knock on their dentists doors more frequently.As a result, Indian dental industry is considered to evolve aggressively in the coming years, thereby creating a huge gap in demand supply ratio, which in fact provides a very lucrative opportunity for investors to bet on dental industry.
Current Dental Market in India
The dental market in India is significantly fragmented with a staggering 99% of the market-driven by private practices.Unlike other specialities in healthcare, the dental market has not yet warmed up to the idea of franchise or corporately managed model of business operations. Statistically, India dentistry market is valued at 7,000 Crore and the market size for dental equipment and related material is pegged at US $90 million and is expected to grow at a minimum rate of 10% annually.Considering the humongous population of India, the country has 1 dentist per 8000 people and the people ratio significantly multiplies in rural demographics.Typically, it would cost anywhere between 4 Lakh to 14 Lakh to set up a dental practice with necessary equipment, apart from real estate expenses.
Untapped Market for Investors
Innovative ideas, application of technology and the resurgence of start-up revolution have attracted global investors to shower money on ideas. Though healthcare on the technological platform has received a plausible share of funding, one can hardly see dedicated funding in the dental market. From an investors perspective, the sector provides an exciting opportunity to integrate the fragmented market into a network to explore profitability. Also, dental care in India is comparatively cheaper and emerging specialities like cosmetic dentistry is getting progressively popular in India.
Why should you invest in Dental Business?
- Largely underpenetrated market with exponential potential.
- Provides the advantage of early adapters and enables first movers advantage.
- Expanding the dental market into corporate model or franchise model results in substantially reduced operational cost by centralizing services, which in return increases the profit margin.
- Bulk buying of equipment and materials give you a bargained deal to enhance profitability.
- Gives an opportunity to increase profits by cross sell dental materials, equipment, and oral hygiene products.
- Most dentists are credible and have a significant brand value, which helps investors to replicate the success through franchise or corporate model with minimal investment in marketing.
- Most dentists lose business as individual practices decline most insurances and a network of dentists under a brand can help attract insurance providers, thereby increasing patient footfalls and enhancing earning potential for investors.
- Dental care is way cheaper in India when compared to other countries, which has given rise to dental tourism. Dental tourism contributes to approximately 10% of the total medical tourism industry in India and is growing aggressively. Investors can tap into this potential by integrating technology and marketing the whole process as a package, making it profitable for investors and affordable for clients.
- Cosmetic dentistry procedures such as digital smile design and smile correction, which was largely limited to glamour sector, is increasingly gaining popularity among common people. With more than 50% of the people unhappy with their smiles and more professions demanding a good smile, an investor can reap benefit by integrating cosmetic dentists under a brand or a franchise model to make the procedure more affordable and creating a huge demand in the process.
Why should dentists opt for an investor model?
- An excellent dentist may not necessarily be an expert at marketing his services and has to largely rely on customer satisfaction for repeat business. An investor can take care of the marketing effort, which would benefit both the dentist as well as the investors.
- Helps dentists to focus on their practice, without worrying about marketing activities, which leads to uncompromised patient care.
- The investment gives the opportunity for dentists to adapt to new technologies and practices, which in turn enhances patient care.
- Easy to replicate the success with franchise model, without risking on capital investment.
- Helps dentists to share the burden of increasing real estate cost in urban cities.
To summarize, the union of dentists with investors will make it a win-win situation for all concerned. Apart from the profitability quotient, investors role would also make oral care more accessible and affordable to all, thereby contributing to the healthcare welfare of the country.