In conversation with Satish Khanna,Chairman of Fullife Healthcare Pvt Ltd.
Globally, the average age of human beings currently is 73 years. In addition, the average healthy age of humanity today is 63 years, which means on an average; 10 years are sick years or not so healthy years of an average human being.
What does Fullife healthcare do and how big is the company?
Let me start with Fullife. In the true sense, it is a healthcare company. I deliberately use healthcare because there are two kinds of companies: healthcare and sick care companies. Sick care companies are those, which are predominantly, focus on taking care of sickness or diseases. Majority of the Indian pharmaceutical industry are actually sick care companies. 95% of their portfolio or above would be addressing some kind of disease. Their names might be health companies but they are actually sick care companies. A healthcare company is the one that takes care of health of healthy people and Fulllife has chosen by design to be a healthcare company. Globally, the average age of human beings currently is 73 years. In addition, the average healthy age of humanity today is 63 years, which means on an average; 10 years are sick years or not so healthy years of an average human being. This is currently improving and 73 will become 75, 77, and 79 years and so forth. During 63 years of health, people would like to stay healthy and would like to enjoy life fully. They would like their immunity to be stronger; they would like their digestion systems to be working fine. They would like a strong digestion system; they would like their joints and muscles to be strong so they can do their daily physical activity without any problems. They would like their lungs and hearts to be intrinsically strong. They would like to have a good stamina so they can do their physical activities. They can play sports; they can do whatever they want to do on the physical exertion side. They would like get good sleep at night and feel relaxed. After the health part is taken care of, they would like to look good. Therefore, they would like to have a fair, good skin. By fair, I mean without problems. In addition, they would like have good quality and bouncy hair. They would like to look younger. They would like less wrinkles, less aging signs on their body. Because of technology, there is a lot of screen time now and people would like to see their eyes relaxed. These are not diseases. This is the lifestyle they want by being intrinsically stronger, having good immunity, good digestion, bone health, strong lungs, capacity, stamina, and good sleep. Fulllife has chosen to bring out new solutions, new products, with a unique kind of technology to address these needs health span of humanity. In addition, by doing so, not only the health span becomes a better, their health span becomes longer, life span increases and people live beyond their health span. This is truly a healthcare company model of Fullife.
· Which are the brands managed by Fullife and who are the investors?
Under Fulllife, there are two the flagship brands: Fast&Up and Chicnutrix. Which addresses all the needs related to health. Right from immunity to digestion, joints and muscle, stamina and good sleep and everything related to health, will be under the umbrella of Fast&Up. Then there are range of products related to beauty, related to looking good, products for skin, hair and anti-aging and also for women's needs, lifestyle related issues. So under the Fullife umbrella, there is Chicnutrix, the second flagship brand that addresses these needs of women, both in beauty and wellness. Recently, Fullife came up with the Terra range. This range is natural, on the greens in a powder format.
Each of these brands have multiple products because there are so many aspects of the human body that need to be addressed. Fullife is a young company, upcoming company, fast growing company, globalizing company, technology driven company, innovation driven company by young people who are very passionate. They bring solutions, which nobody else has and that is credible and ethical. They have started putting the organizational and business structure in place to address the needs, which are going to be quite diverse. If today we have something like 30 products today, five years down the line we may do 100 products. And with so many options such as ecommerce, online, offline, retail, it's very important that all the structures, be it organizational, business, financial, infrastructure, all are put in place with a solid foundation at an early stage and Fullife is doing that.
· How is digital transformation reshaping the pharmaceutical industry in India?
I think this phenomenon started a few years back, covid just accelerated it recently. If you will see the ecommerce sites of pharma, whether it is 1 mg, Practo, or Pharmeasy, they did not come into existence after Covid. They were there before that. Therefore, they could foresee that the future is going to be a digital. Today diagnostics slots are booked digitally. The reports are shared between the diagnostic companies and between patients, doctors, and hospitals digitally. In the future, some of the surgical interventions will be done through robotics. So digital will play a big role in the transformation of health. I foresee the medical rep, which used to be a physical phenomenon in the pharmaceutical world and the pharmaceutical companies will become extinct at some stage. And we are seeing the jhalak of that during COVID months, when most of the doctors and patient relations went online. The prescriptions were online, everything was online and even pharmaceutical companies started attracting doctors were detailing their products online. So covid just accelerated digital transformation, it just happened faster.
· What are the trends you have observed in nutraceuticals products and it becoming transformed lifestyle consumer products?
I feel that one more trend which is coming is that people have learned the lesson the hard way during covid. In the last few months, they have seen the necessity of being physically stronger.
But rather than leaving it to attacks from viruses and then getting into the issues which are unmanageable sometimes, and we have seen the effect of covid on that, people have started understanding the value of discipline and a good balanced diet. Even a layman today would know what the meaning of immunity is, what the meaning of protein and carbohydrates and vitamins is. He or she knows what are the supplements that need to be taken because of aging effect, what kind of things do slowdown in the body naturally, what kind of vitamins they need to take to improve immunity standards, whether for women or for old people or for children. Therefore, a lot of awareness has come.
In addition, I think people have understood the need of being stronger physically intrinsically and they have Google and social media at their command and a variety of other channels to update them. Even if a patient goes to a doctor today, there is a lot of education knowledge he or she gets it beforehand. Moreover, as we go, the new generation, the millennials, as well as the younger generation from the children of today would grow up to be people that are even more informed. In addition, they will be taking care of their health through a balanced diet, regular exercise and a happy state of mind.
· How has COVID 19 impacted the pharmaceutical supply chain?
I think everybody moved online. Things that were earlier happening physically, where they were used to queues of patients outside doctors clinics, there are no more queues. Not that the queues have vanished temporarily, it will have a long-term impact. Doctors will keep their patients close to them through digital and social media and they will be more in touch with them.
· What is the investment opportunity in the healthcare and pharma sector?
I would say there is a strong opportunity coming up in diagnostics. We have seen during covid how diagnostics played a big role. Even today, we do not have proper kits. So diagnostics surely would be an area where the investment opportunities will emerge, as people can know the problem well in advance so the treatment can start early. E-Commerce is another platform. We have discussed about the digitalization of the completely healthcare system. Therefore, e-commerce will have another set of opportunities for the Western point of view. The API is an intermediary. Therefore, India is a very strong powerhouse of the pharmaceutical industry globally and the backbone for any pharmaceutical industry is API. India is strong in the pharmaceuticals, but not so strong in APIs and intermediates because of over dependence and China during the last two decades. India used to be strong, but I think India gave up that opportunity to China because they came out as a cheaper, better source and India concentrated on the formulation side and ignored a bit on API intermediaries. I think that is another area, which is now putting out, and there is a lot of investment likely to flow in that. With hospitals, Covid proved that how under equipped we are to manage calamities, health related calamities. Therefore, you would see a lot of investment. Though it is a capital investment industry, the hospital industry, but there would have been investments, coming here and lot of day-care centres will emerge, whether it is for dialysis or other treatments where you do not need hospitalization for days. It is not just a consultation to a doctor. It is a process and that process needs a day-care. So then, we will see day-care centres coming. Like if somebody has a cancer, cancer is another disease is increasing unfortunately and radio therapy needs day-care just like kidney does.
With other health related issues like blood sugar, diabetes, doctors will want to observe patients for a day before giving prescription so day cares will emerge. In addition, there is a huge element of investment coming through preventive health. What I mean by preventive health is in terms of supplements, people doing exercises, yoga, going to gyms and all kinds of physical activities with a focus on health for women, children, supplements for old people and sports people and there will be focus lung health. There is so much of pollution, smoking and so much off chemical handling with various companies. Therefore, there are a lot of lung related issue. Not just covid induced but otherwise also. India as a country is still building its infrastructure. So there is a lot of dust around, We know how the polluted the air we breathe is whether in big cities and even in rural areas. Therefore, there will be a lot of investment coming in with a focus on improving lung, liver, and heart health to avoid the problems for humanity in the future. So these are areas I feel where many investments will come in India.