On a big mis­sion to make health­care ac­ces­si­ble to all

Shen­zhenMin­dray tar­gets Belt and Road mar­kets to ex­pand its global foot­print

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By ZHONGNANin Shen­zhen zhong­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Shen­zhen Min­dray BioMed­i­cal Elec­tron­ics Co, which has al­ready built up a solid mar­ket pres­ence in de­vel­oped mar­kets, will de­ploy more re­sources and man­power in coun­tries along the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive to fur­ther com­pete with its for­eign ri­vals.

China’s largest pri­vate med­i­cal equip­ment maker by sales rev­enue cur­rently op­er­ates eight branches in Europe and has built ex­ten­sive mar­ket chan­nels in more than 4,000 hos­pi­tals and top-notch teach­ing hos­pi­tals in Europe, in­clud­ing the United King­dom, France, Ger­many, the Nether­lands and Italy.

“The op­por­tu­ni­ties come from these coun­tries’ in­creas­ing de­mand for pub­lic ser­vices and in­fras­truc­ture projects, as well as build­ing a mod­ern health­care ser­vice sys­tem in fast-grow­ing mar­kets in­clud­ing In­dia, Kenya, Saudi Ara­bia, Egypt and Turkey,” said Yin Lun­tao, the group’s vi­cepres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager of in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing and sales.

The in­fras­truc­ture and trade net­work pro­posed by China in 2013 en­vi­sions a Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and a 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road, cov­er­ing about 4.4 bil­lion peo­ple in more than 60 coun­tries and re­gions in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Take Kenya, for in­stance. Min­dray, which has al­ready launched some projects, is on its way to sup­ply, in­stall and main­tain equip­ment for the na­tional gov­ern­ment’s health­care projects in 98 hos­pi­tals across the coun­try. The hos­pi­tals can of­fer ser­vices to 80 per­cent of the coun­try’s to­tal pop­u­la­tion.

To make bet­ter health­care so­lu­tions more ac­ces­si­ble to hu­man­ity, Min­dray fo­cuses its de­vel­op­ment in three key busi­ness lines, namely patient mon­i­tor­ing and life sup­port equip­ment, in-vitro di­ag­nos­tic de­vices and med­i­cal imag­ing sys­tems for both the do­mes­tic and ex­ports mar­kets.

“Our core strengths lie in in­no­va­tion and qual­ity. In ad­di­tion, strength­en­ing ser­vices for staff train­ing and af­ter­sales ser­vice is an ef­fec­tive­way of build­ing a firm foun­da­tion for us to fur­ther cut fi­nan­cial risk in emerg­ing mar­kets,” said Yin.

“Min­dray’s ‘ac­ces­si­ble in­no­va­tion’ phi­los­o­phy drives us to pro­vide high-qual­ity prod­ucts at af­ford­able prices. This, along with lo­cal­ized and fas­tre­sponse ser­vices, makes Min­dray a com­pet­i­tive player in the mar­ket.”

The com­pany so far has built an ex­ten­sive mar­ket and ser­vice net­work with 42 sub­sidiaries and branch of­fices in 32 coun­tries in North and Latin Amer­ica, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pa­cific, as well as 32 branch of­fices in China. Its prod­ucts are sold to more than 190 coun­tries and re­gions.

The pri­vate med­i­cal de­vice man­u­fac­turer has three plants in Shen­zhen and Nan­jing, as well as more than 2,000 re­searchers. More than 10 per­cent of the com­pany’s sales rev­enue goes into re­search and de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties.

The com­pany has not re­leased the fi­nan­cial re­port for its 2015 fis­cal yet. Its sales rev­enue was 8.1 bil­lion yuan ($1.21 bil­lion) in 2014, thanks Yin Lun­tao, to its fast growth in both de­vel­oped and emerg­ing mar­kets.

Min­dray’s first sub­sidiary in Europe was es­tab­lished in the UK in 2005. “Sim­i­lar to other parts of western Europe, the com­pe­ti­tion in the UK is fe­ro­cious be­cause buy­ers have so many op­tions,” said Yin. “You re­ally do have to grab their at­ten­tion with qual­ity and in­no­va­tive prod­ucts, lo­cal­ized ser­vice and out­stand­ing mar­ket­ing.”

And be­cause many of its med­i­cal prod­ucts are bought by the UK Na­tional Health Ser­vice, the price ad­van­tage thatChi­nese sell­ers can of­fer is not nec­es­sar­ily tempt­ing. “Qual­ity is by far the most im­por­tant thing,” said Yin.

Min­dray bid to be a sup­plier to theNHSthrough a pro­cure­ment pro­ce­dure in 2008. “We were as­sessed as a busi­ness holis­ti­cally, in­clud­ing our prod­uct qual­ity, com­mer­cial qual­i­fi­ca­tion and af­ter-sales ser­vice. We passed the test and have re­mained in their pro­cure­ment sys­tem ever since. By now, our prod­ucts can be seen in many ma­jor Euro­pean teach­ing hos­pi­tals,” said Yin.

Min­dray’s key ad­van­tage in Europe is not its price, but its prod­uct in­no­va­tion, qual­ity and lo­cal­iza­tion, Yin said. Most hos­pi­tals have a pro­cure­ment process whereby prices are not made known at first.

Ea­ger to en­hance its earn­ing abil­ity, it has also es­tab­lished a re­gional lo­gis­tics cen­ter in the Nether­lands to en­sure prompt ship­ments and proper stor­age.

All of Min­dray’s prod­ucts sold abroad have been cer­ti­fied by reg­u­la­tors in the Euro­pean Union, and its prod­ucts sold in North Amer­ica have also re­ceived theUS Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s clear­ance.

One mile­stone for Min­dray’s global ex­pan­sion was its $200 mil­lion ac­qui­si­tion of New Jersey-based Datas­cope’s patient mon­i­tor­ing busi­ness in 2008, which turned the com­pany into the third-largest player in the global patient mon­i­tor­ing de­vice in­dus­try.

The R&D cen­ter in clin­i­cal re­search in Datas­cope’s pre­vi­ous head­quar­ters Mawah, NewJersey, be­came a valu­able as­set toMin­dray. The deal also gave Min­dray a di­rect sales force in Europe and North Amer­ica, which was an im­prove­ment over the pre­vi­ous prac­tice of sell­ing through dis­trib­u­tors.

It also ac­quired Zonare, a Cal­i­for­nia-based maker of high-end ul­tra­sound ma­chines for $105 mil­lion in 2013. The deal was seen as help­ing it be­come a mar­ket leader in pre­mium imag­ing prod­ucts.

“It’s dif­fi­cult for any Chi­nese com­pany, no mat­ter how ex­pe­ri­enced or smart, to break into de­vel­oped mar­kets.”

It’s dif­fi­cult for any Chi­nese com­pany ... to break into de­vel­oped mar­kets.”

vice-pres­i­dent of Min­dray Bio-Med­i­cal Elec­tron­ics Co

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Work­ers at Min­dray’s Nan­jing unit test bulbs for surgery the­aters of hos­pi­tals.

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