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New Delhi: Healthcaremedical devices and pharmaceutical firms continue to take office space despite reduce impact of pandemic in 2022.

According to a CBRE report, total leasing activity in 2022 by science of life firms stood at 2.4 million sq ft, similar to 2021 and pre-pandemic average of 2.5 million sq ft in 2019. The sector also stood among the top 6 sectors in India that led office leasing activity during 2022. The annual life sciences sector leasing crossed the pre-COVID levels in 2021 and 2022, specifically led by the healthcare sub-sector.

Leasing activity by medical devices firms peaked in 2020 due to increased demands for safety and diagnostic kits during the outbreak of the pandemic.

“LS is one of the top alternate real estate choices for investors across the globe – a trend we have recorded over the past few years. In our latest APAC Investor Intentions Survey 2022, healthcare-related properties, including LS assets, were named the most popular alternative segment overtaking data centers (DCs) for the first time since the survey began,” said Anshuman Magazine, Chairman & CEO – India, South-East Asia, Middle East & Africa, CBRE India.

The total cumulative office space take-up by LS firms stood at 8.6 million sq ft between 2019-22 and companies largely preferred Bangalore, followed by Delhi-NCR and Hyderabad for office space take-up in India during the same period. This was led by the presence of large LS clusters, grade A office spaces, quality R&D labs, incubation centers and research institutions in these cities. About 57 per cent of the space take-up by LS firms during 2019-22 was led by business expansions with Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi as preferred cities.

According to the report, healthcare firms contributed to more than half of the LS sector expansions during 2019-22, followed by pharmaceutical companies with a share of almost one-third of expansions. More than three-fourths of the new entrants during 2019-22 were also from the healthcare sub-sector.

Healthcare and medical devices were the prominent sub-sectors in Bangalore and Delhi-NCR during 2019-22, while pharmaceutical companies preferred Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai for office space take-up.

The report also said that during 2019-22, American LS firms led the leasing activity with a share of about 56 per cent followed by Europe, Middle East & African (EMEA) companies (24 per cent), domestic players (19 per cent) and APAC firms (1 percent). Expansions constituted more than half of the space take-up by American LS corporates during 2019-22, followed by new entrants (30 per cent). Space take-up by EMEA LS firms was also largely led by expansions (83 per cent) followed by new entrants (13 per cent).

As of 2019, Gujarat housed the highest number of WHO-GMP certified pharma manufacturing plants followed by Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Telangana. Further, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are also major manufacturing hubs.

Telangana leads with the highest number of US-FDA certified plants, followed by Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Other states with a sizeable presence include Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, A further analysis of the type of operations revealed that while Gujarat is the topmost state for general manufacturing, Telangana is the leading state for analysis and API manufacturing.

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