A little over a week ago, GSK Velu occupied centre stage at an event in New Delhi. Neuberg Diagnostics, Velu’s two-year-old diagnostics venture, was entering into a strategic partnership with the Centre for Cellular And Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), an initiative of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. 

Among other things, the memorandum of agreement signed at the event would give Neuberg access to C-CAMP’s high-end technology, like electron microscopy. And while the C-CAMP partnership is largely for research purposes, it is yet another statement of intent from the young and hungry company.

Neuberg’s genesis in itself is fascinating. In 2015, when Velu exited Metropolis, the diagnostics giant he co-founded, most thought it was the end of his journey in the pathology lab industry. And with good reason. Velu, who sold his stake in Metropolis to PE firm Carlyle for Rs 900 crore ($127 million), has many other irons in the healthcare fire. 

Trivitron Healthcare, Velu’s medical device manufacturing business, for instance, clocked revenues of Rs 650 crore ($92 million) in the year ended March 2018. Trivitron also has a joint venture with the listed Apollo Hospitals—Alliance Medicorp—which operates both Apollo Dialysis and Apollo Dental, which has over 80 clinics. Velu serves as director of both businesses. There’s also Maxivision, a chain of eyecare hospitals, where he is both founder and chairman.

But return he did. And how. Velu’s re-entry into diagnostics in 2017—some two years after he left—has been nothing short of stellar. Neuberg, the veteran entrepreneur’s comeback vehicle, has grown at a pace never seen before in Indian diagnostics. In just two years, the company managed to clock revenues of Rs 450 crore ($64 million) in the year ended March 2019—its first full year of operations.


From out of nowhere, it is now the fourth largest player in terms of revenue in India’s pathology lab ecosystem. “Being rated as possibly the second largest startup in India just after Reliance Jio with Rs 450 crore in revenue in the first [full] year of operation and targeting over Rs 1,000 crore ($141 million) revenue within three to four years of operations… We could not have asked for anything better,” Velu said in an emailed response to The Ken.

Neuberg’s rise surprised many who thought the space was crowded enough as it is. While the opportunity is huge, with the Indian diagnostics space valued at $4 billion by brokerage firm Edelweiss and growing at 27.5% annually, it is dominated by a raft of large competitors. Dr Lal Path Labs, SRL Diagnostics, Metropolis and Thyrocare all have a pan-India presence.

What's in a name?

AUTHOR

Suraksha P

Suraksha writes on Healthcare and Pharma. She has been a journalist for five years, reporting for The New Indian Express in Bengaluru and Chennai, and The Times of India, Delhi. In her previous stints she has written on health, civic issues and education. She investigated cover up of corruption in the state health department’s think tank, narrated harrowing tales of women who underwent unwarranted hysterectomies, and wrote about how loss of biometrics came in the way of Leprosy patients getting an Aadhaar card and thereby pension. She can be reached at suraksha at the-ken dot com.

View Full Profile

Subscribe to read this story

The Ken is the only business subscription you need. Questions?

 

Premium

  • 5 original and reported longform business stories every week
  • Access to ONLY India edition
  • Close to 250 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters
  • 4 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to ONLY Southeast Asia edition
  • Close to 200 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to all paywalled stories since March 2020
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters

Rs. 2,750 /year

$ 120 /year

India Edition
Subscribe Subscribe
Most Asked For

Borderless

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories

Rs. 4,200 /year

Subscribe
 

Echelon

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories
  • Bonus annual gift subscription
  • Priority access to all new products and features

Rs. 8,474 /year

Subscribe
Or

Questions?

What kind of subscription plans do you offer?

We have three types of subscriptions
- Premium which gives you access to either the India or the Southeast Asia edition.
- Borderless which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions
- Echelon which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions along with a bonus gift subscription

What do I get if I subscribe?

The Premium edition gives you access to stories in that edition along with any five subscriber-only newsletters of your choice.

The Borderless and Echelon subscription gives you complete access to The Ken across editions and unlimited access to as many newsletters as you like.

What topics do you usually write about?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics. We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

Our specialised subscriber-only newsletters are written by our expert, award-winning journalists and cover a range of topics across finance, retail, clean energy, cryptocurrency, ed-tech and many more.

How many newsletters do you have?

We are constantly adding specialised subscriber-only newsletters all the time. All of these are written by our team of award-winning journalists on a specialised topic.

You can see the list of newsletters that we publish over here.

Does a Premium subscription to your Indian edition get me access to the Southeast Asia edition? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

We recommend the Borderless or the Echelon Plan which will give you access to stories across both editions.

Do you have a mobile app?

Yes! We have a top-rated mobile app on both iOS and Android which allows you to read on-the-go and has some amazing features like the ability to bookmark stories, save on your device, dark mode, and much more. It’s really the best way to read The Ken.

Is there a free trial?

You can sign up for a free account to experience The Ken and understand our products better. We’ll send you some free stories and newsletters occasionally, and you can access our archive of previously published free stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

The vast majority of our stories, articles and newsletters can be accessed only by a paid subscription.

Do you offer any discounts?

Sorry, no. Our journalism is funded completely by our subscribers. We believe that quality journalism comes at a price, and readers trust and pay us so that we can remain independent.

Do you offer refunds?

No. We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Just write to us at support@the-ken.com with details. We’ll help you out.

I have a few more questions. How can I reach out to you?

Sure. Just email us at info@the-ken.com or follow us on Twitter.