As a leading consumer healthcare brand we believe that Dr. Lal PathLabs (DLPL) is thevanguard of transformation in the diagnostics industry. The largely un-organized sector isin the process of transitioning gradually to a more formalized set-up spurred in part bythe advent of last year's GST implementation. We find that our hub-and-spoke model lendsitself well to these dynamics wherein we are charting our growth as per our strategicimperatives in an evolving landscape. FY18 has served as a sterling example of how awell-trusted established chain like DLPL can continue to create scale and brand equity inthe face of multiple headwinds.
As we move forward there are a few trends that we see emerging; the formal sector isexpected to witness healthy competitive intensity from fund-backed players who areseeking to accelerate growth. This trend however is moderating and will instead serve toexpand the ambit of the branded chains overall. The other trend is of greater regulatoryoversight from both a pricing and compliance point of view. We see DLPL traversing theserealities with confidence too stemming from the trust the name inspires.
Looking at a macro perspective the coming decades will see greater public spending onhealthcare through dedicated and broad-based schemes aimed at the most vulnerable sectionsof society. Both Central and State Governments have created programs to formalize thedelivery of services. The National Health Protection Mission (NHPM) a part of AyushmanBharat which intends to provide targeted health coverage to approximately 500 million ofEconomically Weaker Section (EWS) citizens comes under the umbrella of the Government'sstellar health initiative. As an established chain we see a role for ourselves in thisscenario.
A methodical approach to expanding our network has helped to create scale and in-linewith our strategic vision we will stay on this path. We firmly believe that volume growthis the prime driver of the operation and our initiatives are lined-up to make thatpossible.
Over the coming months we seek to increase volumes by way of expansion from the Eastand Central regions given that we have commissioned the Reference Laboratory at Kolkataand the traction building up in the wellness & preventive portfolio through bundledpackages under the umbrella brand name SwasthFit which provide greater value to ourcustomers. This will be in addition to growth that will be realized from higher samplingacross our existing network where we are adding capacity as per plan.
At this opportunity I would also like to place on record my sincere thanks to all ourwell-wishers associates vendors customers employees and members of the Board who overseveral years have contributed to the success of your Company. Lastly I would also liketo thank all the stakeholders for their loyalty and continuous support in helping usachieve our vision of bringing quality health care to India's masses.
(Hony) Brig. Dr. Arvind Lal
Chairman & Managing Director