ACUMEN ENTREPRENEURS BUILD SOLUTIONS TO THE TOUGHEST CHALLENGES FACING THE POOR
A chain of small, specialized hospitals transforming maternal and pediatric care for low-income families in India
Despite India’s great developmental strides, maternal mortality and morbidity levels remain among the highest in the world. Only 43 percent of Indian women are cared for by a skilled attendant during birth and more than 100,000 women die every year from pregnancy-related causes. Private hospitals are prohibitively expensive. But the public healthcare system’s provision of maternity services is often inadequate and does not extend to low-income communities.
LifeSpring is a joint venture between Acumen and Hindustan Latex Limited, a public sector company in India. Its model rests on building a chain of small (25-bed) hospitals across India. The company reduces costs by specializing in services required by most customers – normal deliveries, caesarian sections and hysterectomies – and refraining from making investments in infrastructure required by very few customers. This allows for standardized processes and helps LifeSpring avoid the high fixed costs associated with complicated procedures. As a result, LifeSpring offers normal and caesarian deliveries at prices that are 30 to 50 percent less than other hospitals. LifeSpring’s hospitals are ISO-certified with strict clinical guidelines. The company places an emphasis on transparency and customer satisfaction, with extensive training for employees on building strong customer relationships.
LifeSpring has significantly increased hospital-supervised deliveries and reduced maternal and child mortality and morbidity rates. The company has grown from one hospital at the time of Acumen’s investment to nine hospitals. LifeSpring is now the largest chain of maternity hospitals in South India. More than 300,000 patients have been treated and 75,000 healthy babies delivered.