Diagnostics chain Metropolis Healthcare plans to invest around Rs 120 crore to add 40 laboratories and around 700 collection centres across India and abroad by the end of next financial year.

It is also expanding its diagnostics profile by adding around 1,000 tests by end of FY17 to 4,500 tests at present.

"We will be adding around 40 labs and will take the number of centres to 1,500 from the current 800. We will be investing around Rs 120 crore for network expansion by the end of next fiscal," Metropolis Healthcare MD & CEO Ameera Shah told PTI.

The chain has over 125 laboratories along with collection centres across seven countries – India, Sri Lanka, the UAE, South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius and Ghana.

The expansion will be mostly in India and also in some Africa and Middle East countries, she added.

The company also plans to expand beyond metros, tier I and II cities in the country.

"We are at present in metros, tier I and tier II cities.

Now we will go to tier III cities," Shah said.

The idea is to increase density in the markets where the company is already strong and to expand in the states where it does not have much of a presence, including North Eastern states, Jammu & Kashmir and Odisha, she added.

The company plans to fund the expansion through internal accruals.

In April this year, Metropolis promoter Shah family had bought 27 per cent stake in the company from Global private equity fund Warburg Pincus for around Rs 600 crore.

On issues faced by the sector, she said: "The major issues are lack of regulation, there are no fixed minimum standards for opening a lab." 

The company delivers over 15 million tests a year, catering to more than 10,000 laboratories, hospitals, nursing homes and 2,00,000 consultants.