Wednesday, 5 July 2017

(The Star) Fernandes to reveal plans for Tune Care this weekend

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia group’s Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is expected to reveal plans on his venture into the affordable healthcare business at this weekend’s Asean Sikh Economic and Entrepreneurship Summit (Asees).

The health care venture, to be known as Tune Care, will be part of the privately held Tune group. Dr Palvinderjit Singh, also the organising chairman of Asees, will be the other partner in the venture.

Fernandes and business partner Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, through Tune Group Sdn Bhd, already own a 15.77% stake in Tune Protect Group Bhd, a general insurer.

According to Palvinderjit, the affordable health care services will be launched in the Klang Valley by year end and expand into Asean over the next two years.

The healthcare business could be the final piece of the Tune empire that spans from airline to hotels, travel portals, communications, education, sports and insurance.

“Tune Care will have its own hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, diagnostics centres and wellness programmes. It will be done in three phases, the first is to focus on preventive healthcare, and on to operations and invasive therapy,’’ said Palvinderjit.

Fernandes, when contacted, said: “It is about affordable healthcare....too early to talk.’’

Fernandes will be a guest speaker at Asees and will share his thoughts on the healthcare venture this Saturday, besides sharing his experiences with the AirAsia group as well as digital strategy ahead.

Asees, the brain child of several young Sikh professionals, will be the first summit of its kind to be organised with the aim to drive a single agenda to enable economic upliftment and integration of Sikhs in Asean and to empower Sikh businesses in the region.

Sikh-owned businesses have traditionally shied away from the limelight, even the successful ones such as sporting goods purveyors GS Gill Sdn Bhd, Singapore’s Thakral Corp Ltd, a conglomerate involved in manufacturing, logistics and property development as well as Thailand’s SawasdeeShop Co Ltd, involved in communication services and the privately-held fashion retailer Jaspal group.

The summit, expected to attract around 450 participants, will be held on July 8 and July 9 at the Securities Commission.

Other guest speakers include former Asean secretary-general Tan Sri Ajit Singh, who will share his views on charting a new blueprint for Sikhs in Asean.

Several foreign speakers including India’s economist, Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh and Spotify Asia managing director Sunita Kaur, and Surender Singh Kandhari, the founder of Dubai-based Al-Dobowi group, one of the world’s biggest producer of tyres, will share their business acumen at the event.