Article posted for Biospectrum, July 14th 2012

When Dr. Velu started Trivitron in 1997, what was the scenario of Indian medical technology market? How do you see the market now?
Market has always been import dependent, though now the percentage has dropped from almost 100% in 90's to close to 80% in 2010. With annual growth of around 15% and estimated medtech industry revenue of about USD 6 billion in 2011. India ranks in the top three emerging nations for direct investment by large MNC medtech companies.

What were factors that helped the growth of Trivitron in the last 15 years?
TVT growth has largely attributed by our focus on key Med Tech segments including Cardiology/interventional devices, Imaging, Diagnostics, Critical Care and ophthalmology, introducing newer technologies and ensuring we offer both value as well as premium segment products across markets. We have kept our pace higher than the market growth pace. With rapid growth of the middle class, healthcare infrastructure improvement, regulatory reform, and greater awareness and access across a broader set of customers.

With many global players having direct presence in Asian region, how do you see the opportunities and growth of medical technologies in Asia now?
China and India are the two major countries / markets for healthcare/Med Tech in Asia. With 23 of the largest by revenue global med Tech companies have established sales and marketing presence in India, and slowing down of economic conditions in rest of the world including China, India is highly favorable destination for healthcare. At this point of time, most of the MNCs and Domestic players have pursued a conservative business strategy and operating model in India, focused on delivering their existing offerings to the premium segments of the market. But with playing field becoming more competitive, there is a need for change in business strategy with clear focus on premium as well as value (tier 2 and 3) markets. Moving beyond importing current mature market products to customized offerings, shift from technology product innovation to value based innovation and establish new business models are few of the requirements.

According to you what major challenges the medical technology companies are facing in Asia?
As stated in point 3, challenges are lack of "self -reliant, value segment, product for all" kind of an approach to cater to all segments of emerging markets. Success will depend on establishing local and regional operational capabilities to deliver the new innovations, including a low-cost manufacturing network, local research and development (R&D), and market-specific commercial operations and capabilities.

Since Trivitron has operations in different regions of the developing world such as South east Asia, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, where do you see the potential for growth of Trivitron and why?
Potential is across all emerging markets of the world, more so in these region as they require access to healthcare through cost effective medical technologies and the same can not be offered by MNCs based out developed markets. Trivitron will be offering indigenous manufactured / JV manufactured cost effective products to these markets.

Why Trivitron is yet looked at China, high growth market, as a market for investment and expansion?
We are not looking at china as market for investment but for sourcing MNC technologies. Most of the developed market players have manufacturing / R&D set up in China.

When it comes to quality of the products, people have a notion that big multinationals offer high quality products with better solutions. What is your views on this?
Most of the MNCs manufacture their products in China, hence its again a notion which needs to be changed. In the absence of clear direction, fiscal incentives for import substitution, MNCs as of now has shown little or no interest in bringing substantial investments to India as they want to sell China Made products here wherein they have already made substantial investments in China due to compulsion and fiscal incentives. Med tech market as such has evolved more through import dependent and is moving toward localization. Brand is of utmost importance thus this notion because of MNCs brand building capability. Trivitron has been investing heavily on brand building and successfully established itself as the largest medical technology and is one of the top 3 or 4 player in almost all focused segments.

Of the range of products on offer from Trivitron, which are having the large market potential and growing very fast?
Cardiology, Imaging diagnostics, Laboratory diagnostics (IVD), ophthalmology, Critical care & OR and Dental are major markets which contributes almost 65% of total Indian Med tech market size. Trivitron is present as one of the top /major player in all these segments.

What are your future plans
Trivitron is scaling up its Innovation and Manufacturing operations through Organic and Inorganic means. Trivitron has opened up an Innovation Center in IIT madras with strategic partnership from Sree Chithra Tirunal Institute Trivandrum to look at innovative product concepts in the areas on Cardiology, Imaging Sciences, Critical Care and Ophthalmology. Trivitron is in the process of acquiring majority stake in some Indian/ European Medical Technology companies with strong innovation and manufacturing skills. Trivitron has already forged five Manufacturing JVs ( Hitachi Aloka Japan Ultrasound/ Color Dopplers, Biosystems Spain Diagnostics Reagents and also own manufacturing facilities for Cardiac Diagnostic instruments and the factories are being constructed in Trivitron Medical Technology Park and we are in talk with few Top MNCs for manufacturing JVs to scale up manufacturing operations. Trivitron is also looking at taking substantial stake in a company which has capability to become the most coveted Contract Manufacturing Facility in India for US/ Europe MNCs. We have also made a strategic investment in Kiran Medical System, A Mumbai based Radiation Protection Apparels and Image Enhancement product facility with innovative products rolling out of 70000 sq.ft space, exporting to over 160 countries. We also have another manufacturing facility at Pune, manufacturing X-ray and C arm with CE certifications, exporting . Moving forward, we will be manufacturing Digital Radiography and Computing Radiography as well as value end Digital mammography in this facility.

Trivitron wants to be the torch bearer of the Indigenization and Local Innovation/ Manufacturing initiatives in the MT space as we as the largest MT company of Indian Orgin feels this will do world of good to Indian Citizen in terms of cost, access, local validation & clinical trials and suitability to our race & surroundings. In the next 10 years most of the products in the MT space should be manufactured in China/ India or any other emerging market and hence we feel we can be the Emerging Market leading Brand promoting Affordable Healthcare in the region with Ear to the Ground approach and faster decision making compared to top MNCs with pre dominat revenues and focus for the developed/ matured markets which can afford high costs.

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