Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T)’s Medical Equipment & Systems strategic business unit, better known as ‘L&T Medical’ was established in 1987 as part of the company’s endeavour to expand into emerging areas of technology. Currently positioned as one of the leading suppliers of advanced patient monitoring and medical imaging products, L&T Medical is on a high growth trajectory.
Rohit Mehta, GM & Head, Medical Equipment & Systems, Larsen & Toubro in a candid interview with eHEALTH.
What has been the growth of Indian healthcare sector in recent years?
Currently, India is amongst the fastest emerging healthcare markets in the world. A large population, steady economic growth and increased awareness among people for health and wellness, along with factors like, an ageing population, opportunities in medical tourism, proliferation of health insurance and increased burden of lifestyle and chronic diseases are acting as robust catalysts for growth.
How do you perceive the growth of medical technology industry in India? How do you think technology will transform healthcare?
In India, the medical equipment and devices sector has witnessed a growth of 5.5-6.0% over last two years. However, the need of the hour is to achieve complete control of information from bed-to-bed, with or without central monitoring facility to review vital signs.
Which products and solutions are currently offered by L&T in India?
L&T Medical’s product segments encompass Patient Monitors, Surgical Diathermies, Anaesthesia Delivery Systems & Ventilators, Defibrillators & Cardiac Resuscitation Systems, ECG Machines, Ultrasound & Colour Doppler, Syringe Pumps, Hospital Turnkey Projects, Telemedicine Solutions and Speciality Ambulances.
What is your R&D and manufacturing capacity base in India?
L&T Medical has pioneered indigenous R&D and manufacturing of Critical Care and Imaging equipments in India. Our Mysore Campus is country’s first ISO 9001 certified, state-of-the-art medical equipment facility with ISO 13485:2003, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001 accreditations. Our products are also certified under IEC 60601-1, CE(G-MED, France), CMDCAS (Underwriter Laboratories) for export to Canada. We have also secured US FDA for several products.
What has been the marketing strategy for L&T medical products? Which are your major business drivers?
L&T Medical is among the leaders in terms of market share in Inida. We also export to countries like US, Europe, Latin America, Middle-East, Malaysia to name a few. We plan to a focus on international markets by offering a complete range of critical healthcare products, including, multi-parameter patient monitors with enhanced communication and networking features.
Which areas hold the maximum future potential? What is your strategy to address such need?
Emergency Response (ER) and trauma management have opened up scope for project business in ambulatory care. Funding commitment through NRHM and available sanctions to State governments will fuel growth in this segment. In order to cater to growing market needs and expand the product basket, L&T is augmenting physical capacity of its Mysore Campus. This will enhance our production capacity for recently introduced range of advanced 55 Series multi-parameter monitors, namely – Star 55, Planet 55, Galaxy 55, Comet P, besides, Wireless Central Nursing Stations – Skyline 55 and new Ultrasound Color Doppler – Scintilla.
What are the drawbacks of our current regulatory and economic environment?
Imports account for majority of high-tech equipments and depreciation of Rupee has resulted in severe pressure on margins. Stringent government policy on issuance of PNDT certificates have been affecting sales of ultrasound scanners. There is an urgent need to streamline this processes so that care givers get the ability to provide the best treatments. In the present economic crisis, loans are drying up, resulting in reduced business volume due to delays in order finalisation. Once liquidity improves and market confidence enhances, the business should see a significant upward growth..