August 2008

Bench-marking Clinical Diagnostics

TRANSASIA is recognised as a leading player in the Diagnostic world, providing world-class quality and technology with unmatched standards of customer satisfaction. Suresh Vazirani, CMD, TRANSASIA Bio-Medicals Ltd., set up the company almost single-handedly in 1985, and now speaks to eHEALTH about the growth opportunities for the Medical Diagnostics
industry in India today.

“Our success is fully based on total commitment to the customers to provide them with quality products and services. Service support for TRANSASIA equipment and the infrastructure that we have built to support this has helped to set benchmarks for the industry in terms of service expectations.”

Q. TRANSASIA Bio-medicals has been the leading Indian manufacturer, exporter and marketer of Clinical Diagnostic equipment for more than a couple of decades. What has been the winning philosophy of the company in the face of stiff competition from foreign brands?

A. TRANSASIA Bio-Medicals is the largest Indian manufacturer and exporter of diagnostic products and has an enviable 29-year track record in the industry. The company has successfully developed and manufactured hi-tech In-Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) instruments and reagents and has become a name to reckon with, in India and 55 other countries across the world. TRANSASIA is one of the few manufacture’s to have a world-class quality system certified under ISO 13485.

Our success is fully based on total commitment to the customers for providing them with quality products and services. Our strengths have been customer focus and service focus. We believe that customer is the king. Service support
for TRANSASIA equipment and the infrastructure that we have built to support this has helped to set benchmarks for the industry in terms of service expectations. Our service network, which is spread across 54 centres with 102 service engineers, ensures that we offer impeccable service that meets international standards. We also continuously work towards improving our service and support resulting in a better response time.

We have the largest sales and installation base with over 15000 installations all over the country supported by a network
of 14 zonal offices in metros and major cities backed by a strong work force of 850 personnel across India.

Thus, our 360 degrees approach to business from manufacturing and marketing to service and research and our commitment to excellence is our winning policy.

Q. What is your range of products at present across various diagnostic segments and which segment is showing the strongest growth?

A. TRANSASIA Bio-Medicals offers ‘Total Solutions for Clinical Diagnosis’ whether it is Biochemistry, Haematology, Immunology, Critical Care, Coagulation, Urine Analysis, Liquid Handling systems or Blood Transfusion medicine. We have a complete suit of semi auto to fully automated instruments, which are indigenously manufactured at our state of the art manufacturing units.

TRANSASIA also aims at serving hospitals, blood banks and laboratories around the globe by providing an exhaustive range of diagnostic reagents. We indigenously manufacture clinical diagnostic reagents that are cost competitive and of high quality. The strongest growth for TRANSASIA has been in Biochemistry, Haematology and Coagulation segments.

Q. What share of the Indian diagnostic equipment market are you currently holding? Keeping in mind your overseas success and export network in more than 55 countries, what is the share of your annual turnover from foreign business?

A. Our total market share in India is around 20%. We are also proud of the fact that TRANSASIA has been rated as India’s largest In-vitro Diagnostics Company (2006) by McEvoy & Farmer, U.S.A. (International Experts on IVD Markets). “Clearstate”, a niche healthcare consultancy, developed to provide accurate, reliable and comprehensive information on medical device usage and demand across Asia Pacific in their survey (2007) have revealed TRANSASIA’s market leadership over international players specifically in Clinical Chemistry and Hematology.

It also mentions TRANSASIA’s Erba Chem Series as the most placed Clinical Chemistry (CC) analysers in all types of facilities. Our exports contribute approx 20% to our overall sales.

Q. What is your long-term strategy in terms of boosting research and development and manufacturing capacity in India? How do you plan to expand your product range and market base?

A. TRANSASIA has always recognised research and development as the prime driver of innovation and leadership. To achieve this, the foray into indigenous research has resulted in development of state of the art products and technologies, enabling TRANSASIA to establish itself as a brand of Interna-tional repute thereby making Indian products synonymous with “the best in the world.

TRANSASIA’s young and enthusiastic team of experts in software, mechanical engineering, electronics and embedded software has built an impressive track record of successful projects. The research and development department, a team of 90+ engineers, are constantly working to bring out products with appropriate technology and features to meet the changing customer needs.

In addition to our existing manufacturing facilities at Germany, Seepz and Daman, we now have a new manufacturing facility at Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, which has recently started operations. 2008-09 will see us expanding in the existing product range and venturing into Microbiology and Veterinary science. We also wish to embark on a progressive endeavour of contributing to the analytical research field in India.

“The industry is expected to grow at 15% p.a. to US$ 60 billion by 2010 and the medical equipment market is the direct beneficiary of the boom in healthcare industry. The key driving forces are new investments in super-specialty hospitals and diagnostic centres, competition, existing setup upgrading their equipment, favourable government policies such as a reduction in import duties on medical equipment, expanding market boundaries etc.”

Q. What is your take on the booming healthcare industry in India, particularly the emergence of private and managed care services? What role and opportunities do you see for your company?

A. India produces the largest number of doctors, nurses and technicians in the world. This puts us in an ideal position to be the ideal healthcare providers to the whole world. Medical Tourism is the next big success story out of India.

From less than 10,000 patients visiting India for Medical treatment five years ago, the medical tourism market in India is worth US$ 333 million, with about 100,000 foreign patients coming in every year. In the next 5 years, this should reach over US$ 3 billion.

The other interesting development, which is taking place in our country, is the opening of health insurance to the private sector. On one hand, the Indian middle class, with its increasing purchasing power, is more willing than ever before to pay more for quality healthcare. On the other, the supply of healthcare services has grown steadily, as the private sector becomes more involved in owning and running hospitals.

The future outlook says that the industry is expected to grow at 15% p.a. to US$ 60 billion by 2010 and the medical equipment market is the direct beneficiary of the boom in healthcare industry. The key driving forces are new investments in super-specialty hospitals and diagnostic centres, competition, existing setup upgrading their equipment, favourable government policies such as a reduction in import duties on medical equipment, expanding market boundaries etc. I feel this is certainly the industry of the future and India has tremendous potential in this field. Also with this kind of growth, I can very strongly say that the “Next BPO boom for India is Medical Diagnostics”.

Q. What do you expect of the Government in terms of policy interventions and taxation incentives for encouraging sustained growth of equipment manufacturing industry in India?

A. Per capita healthcare spending by Indian government needs to be increased substantially. Most governments spend over 1% of their GDP on healthcare. Indian government spends less than 1%. As a result, the governments health systems are not able to provide even basic healthcare to the poor people. Government should declare “Healthcare of India” by 2020 and make all healthcare products totally free of taxes. Apart from the fact that the government is not providing even the minimum required funds for healthcare, what is unacceptable is, the fact that the government is profiting from private health systems by charging all types of taxes and some taxes at very high rates.

You would be amazed to know that the rates of taxes on basic medical products are much more than those on luxury items such as planes, mobile phones, electronic products and so on.

How does a government committed to socialist values justify such unjust deprivation of healthcare to its people?

Public-private partnership should also be encouraged in running Government Hospital/Healthcare centres. This will immensely help the common man in getting access to the latest technologies in healthcare system at an affordable cost.



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