How to Open a Pathology Lab? [Investment, Steps & more]

. 7 min read
How to Open a Pathology Lab? [Investment, Steps & more]

Path labs are currently one of India's most lucrative businesses because of rising awareness of healthcare, more disposable income, global exposure, increased lifestyle-based diseases like diabetes, and more. It is experiencing massive growth in recent years, making several medical professionals and business persons pursue Pathology labs as a business in India.

With rising national and global episodes of viral attack, pandemics, etc., medical practitioners prefer evidence-based treatment more than ever. This led to huge growth in the Path lab business in India. As per a recently published paper by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Indian diagnostics market’s compound annual growth rate is 20.4 percent throughout the decade from 2012-2022. The industry is projected to reach 32 billion dollars in revenue by 2022.

If you are planning a business of your own and have a basic understanding of medical treatments, pathology labs are the best option in contemporary times in India.

Starting a business needs strategy, investments, calculated steps, and more. Let's discuss major aspects to consider before and during path lab business.

Steps for opening a path lab business in India

1. Location

The first thing to consider is a proper and well-connected location. Take a tour of the city and shortlist a couple of probable locations. Take the information about the location from locals, web, and other resources. Information such as accessibility from different parts of the city, transport facility, nearby hospitals, category of people living nearby, etc.

The place should have ample space for keeping instruments, patient seating arrangements, future developments, or infrastructure changes. You must consider a location with ventilation and a less crowd.

There should be good clean surroundings to protect samples from contamination and patients safe from infection. Always look for a lab on the ground floor for the convenience of the aged, pregnant, people with disabilities, etc.

The right location affects your business prospects greatly. If you avoid any of the conditions mentioned above, patients might consider another path lab over yours. There is massive competition in the market, and you need to stand unique & comprehensive to excel.

2. Investment

Investment is one of the prominent factors to consider for your pathology lab in India. You need investment at different phases and for different purposes. Let's understand expenses through the following pointers.

  1. Rent or buying the cost of the space for the path lab.
  2. There will be requirements for machinery, maintenance, and repair. It will take a major capital infusion.
  3. The lab requires software for diagnosis results, functioning, etc. It needs money for buying or subscription.
  4. Utility bills such as electricity, water, cooking gas, broadband connection, etc.
  5. You will need staff for maintaining the lab, patients and your schedule, etc. Their payments are another category of expenses. For better staff management, you can try specialised apps such as OkStaff.

Importance of adequate investment

There should be an adequate financial backup for the business. It helps in getting modern and updated machinery with better test results and patient satisfaction. One satisfied patient brings ten more with mouth publicity. So, consider this initial investment as the ground for a profitable business in the future.

3. Licenses and qualifications

This is crucial because, unlike other businesses, pathology business is about people's lives, and it needs proper authentication from hospitals and the government. Please follow the list below of all the required documents and qualifications to be eligible for opening a pathology lab.

List of licenses & certificates

  1. Accreditation from Good Clinical Practices
  2. License of National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories
  3. Registration with Shops and Establishments Act
  4. Registration with Clinical Establishment Act
  5. Registration with biomedical waste disposal body
  6. Approval from the pollution control board
  7. NOC from the municipal corporation and fire department.
woman in a laboratory microscope with microscope slide in hand

4. Qualification for the path lab business in India

  1. You need to be a certified pathologist.
  2. The owner needs a license for practice from the Medical Council of India.
  3. You also require an assistant pathologist, microbiologist, and biochemist. It depends on the scale and services of the business.
  4. Your lab technician must have a bachelor's degree or diploma in medical lab technology.

5. Equipment and tools

Equipment and tools are the lifeblood of the pathology business. You need them for diagnosis, report, scheduling, and almost all the major operational requirements. All the equipment should be from certified and trustworthy suppliers. Make sure machines are ready with the latest technology and easy to operate.

For maintaining bahi khata related to payments to the suppliers, you can use bahi khata apps such as OkCredit and never miss any payment date of the suppliers.

You should keep all the latest machinery and software to get more patients for diverse diagnosis needs. You can also contact hospitals and doctors with the list of services and ask them to refer your lab to their patients.

6. Employees

You will need several people to run a successful path lab business in India, including receptionists, lab technicians, pathologists, assistants, cleaners, etc.

Lab technicians need technical knowledge related to diagnosis and treatment. Interview them through rigorous checks and practical tests. They should understand the machines in the lab, and previous experience should be preferred.

There should be proper training for cleaning staff. It is vital because hygiene and cleanliness are very important for path lab. Train them and keep observant always.

For employee management, use automated apps such as OkStaff and track their salary, bonus, advances, etc., smartly.

Also read: Syringe Manufacturers in India

7. Marketing and branding

Marketing is as essential as any steps mentioned above. A not visible business would not survive for long, which is the business world’s reality. And especially for path lab business in India, where you can find dozens of path labs in any given city, you need to do innovative marketing to stay ahead of the competition.

Perfect marketing in the current situation is a mixture of traditional marketing and digital marketing. Traditional marketing is roadshows, store branding, promotions at malls, shopping complexes, residential societies, etc. Digital marketing is promotion at online platforms through social media channels, search engines, etc.

Plan your marketing campaign efficiently to come at the top whenever anybody searches the path lab near me in the browser. Read medical journals, understand target customers, and their requirements for making a relevant marketing campaign.

Your promotional activities should encourage target customers to use your services for their diagnostic purposes and stay loyal to your business.

laboratory work table with tools of a lab technician to perform a blood test

8. Billing and accounting

It is advisable to keep accounts and bills transparent. Keep track of all receivables and payables through advanced modern-day bahi khata apps such as OkCredit and maintain a ledger from one dashboard hassle-free.


Pathology labs in India are one of the most lucrative and profitable ventures. It is going to give you great returns given the demands for diagnostic services in the country. Before starting, go down to basics, prepare a to-do list as per the steps mentioned above and make a proper strategy. Your business must have a strong financial backup, efficient workforce, upgraded machinery, software, and smart accounting system to be successful.

Also Read:

1) How to Start Game Parlour Business in India?
2) How to Start a Gardening Startup? Investments, Plan, Steps & More
3) How to Start a Furniture Export Business?
4) How To Start A Food Export Business?

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Q. Who can run a pathology business in India?

Ans. Anybody can open and run a pathology business in India. The owner must have an MD degree in Pathology or an equivalent degree from a MCI recognised institute in India. MCI is the Medical Council of India.

Q. Can we say pathologists are doctors?

Ans. Not exactly, Pathologists deal with diagnostics and causes of disease. Whereas doctors are involved in every aspect of patient care, including diagnosis, treatment, surgery using the latest medical equipment and software, etc.

Q. What types of tests are done at path labs in India?

Ans. There are more than a thousand types of tests that happen at path labs. Common tests are blood glucose tests, liver function tests, thyroid tests, urine tests, iron tests, and blood tests conducted at almost all path labs across India.

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