India's Apollo Hospitals Group won the G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation, a competition launched by the Group of 20 and International Finance Corporation (IFC), at a ceremony hosted in Mexico. Ambassador Rogelio Granguillhome, Executive Secretary of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation and Chair of the G20 Development Working Group, Dr Edmund Duckwitz, Ambassador of Germany to Mexico and Mr Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President of IFC, presented the awards.

Apollo Hospitals
Apollo Hospitals

Apollo Hospitals Group was declared the winner - the world's only healthcare organization to win this honour - for its 'Reach Hospitals' initiative, which takes quality tertiary healthcare to semi-urban and rural areas in India. Apollo Reach Hospitals were created to bridge the healthcare access gap by making specialized healthcare available to the poorest people. The Apollo Reach Hospital in Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh was chosen by Apollo Hospitals Group to represent its model in the G20 Challenge. Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India inaugurated this facility in 2008. This pioneering initiative of the Apollo Hospitals Group aims to reach world-class healthcare to semi urban and rural India. Apollo Reach has a wide array of offerings apart from regular medical facilities, including pharmacies to insurance services.

Ms Preetha Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group said, "We are extremely proud to be recognized by the G20 for our efforts in bringing about a visible change in the lives of people at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP). More than 25 percent of families in India live on the margins, spending less than US$70 a month on goods and services. Many of their basic needs go unmet, and they have little access to clean water, financial services, and education. More than 85 percent of these families live outside major cities. Unfortunately, most tertiary healthcare facilities in India are located in major metropolitan areas - meaning that most Indians have little or no access to specialized healthcare services. We consider it our responsibility to extend the same kind of healthcare services and facilities to smaller towns. This is our way of reinvesting in the ecosystem and contributing to the Indian society at large."

Apollo Reach Hospitals operate in less-developed population centres - termed Tier II cities - and offer medical care at rates up to 30 percent lower than other major hospitals. Within Reach Hospitals, low-income care is subsidized by services sold to high-income patients from the same area.

The online competition was launched to find the best examples worldwide of businesses in developing countries that provide critical goods, services, and livelihood opportunities in financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable ways to those living at the bottom of the pyramid, called 'inclusive businesses'. The G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation recognized businesses with innovative, scalable, and commercially viable ways of working with low-income people in developing countries.

An independent judging panel - including representatives from the G20, the private sector, academia, foundations, and International Finance Institutions - selected 15 Challenge winners based on the following criteria:

- Innovation

- Development results

- Potential for growth, including replication of the business model in other markets

- Financial sustainability

- Environmental and social sustainability

The Group of 20 at the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico announced the winners on 18 June 2012.