You could have followed the operation and management model to expand your chain?
I don't want to be an operational person. I don't want that life anymore, it is a personal choice. I could work with KKR to support us to expand the business, but that would take 10 years of my life and I don't want to do that. I don't want to restart my life for the next hump of growth of the healthcare business. I don't want to do what Sunil Mittal has done in Bharti, I don't want the risks or the accountability to investors. Also, my other businesses will require capital as well as my time.
Does this mean that you will also exit the insurance business?
The insurance business is very different from healthcare. Insurance business is well template, it has attracted and retained professional management at a much higher level than in healthcare. Insurance fit in my kind of life where you do not have to be too involved requires to put in some capital, and KKR has helped us in that already.
You also were pretty close to selling off your insurance business. Has that changed?
I am not selling the business at large. I have 40 per cent in insurance and can still sell 5 per cent and get as much money as I have from selling most of the healthcare stake. My rights don’t change till I have 10 per cent in the business.
What do you think is the key to sustain the healthcare business?
Any business for social good needs scale. And that is what we will have with the deal the merged entity has plans to move from 3,400 rooms to 5,000 rooms, which will also reduce overhead costs.
So what are the businesses do you plan to concentrate on now?
Our focus will be life insurance, real estate, senior living, investing business, and hospitality overseas. In hospitality, the reason for concentrating overseas is that it diversifies the portfolio and I also spend personal time there. There could be synergies between healthcare and hospitality, and healthcare and senior living later on.