US Firm Stryker Banks on In­dia R&D to Gain Edge in Emerg­ing Mar­kets

The Economic Times - - Companies - Vikas.Dan­dekar@ times­

Mum­bai: Amer­i­can med­i­cal equip­ment maker Stryker is in­creas­ingly re­ly­ing on its Gur­gaon-based re­search cen­tre for new prod­ucts as it puts into mo­tion an ag­gres­sive strat­egy to ac­cel­er­ate sales from emerg­ing mar­kets such as In­dia and China.

The cen­tre, hous­ing 200 en­gi­neers and tech­nol­o­gists, helped con­cep­tu­alise, de­sign and de­velop a no-frills power tool used for cut­ting, drilling and shap­ing bones dur­ing joint re­place­ment and trauma pro­ce­dures.

Stryker said the prod­uct, branded Sys­tem G, is ex­pected to be com­mer­cialised soon and that it will be po­si­tioned in the mid-tier seg­ment of the mar­ket. The com­pany has pi-

lot tested the tool at a Bengaluru ca­daver lab for knee, hip and trauma pro­ce­dures.

Sys­tem G forms one of Stryker’s early line-up of de­vices that it feels can help push sales in emerg­ing mar­kets.“Growth in emerg­ing mar­kets will be of strate­gic pri­or­ity and In­dia of­fers the most ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity among the BRIC na­tions,” Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo told ET on his re­cent visit to In­dia. Lobo said the com­pany will seek to in­crease con­tri­bu­tion of emerg­ing mar­kets to its global sales from 8% at present to 12-14% over the next five years. “We will bring mar­ket ap­pro­pri­ate prod­ucts in mid-tier seg­ment that de­liver re­li­able qual­ity care at af­ford­able price points,” he said.

Stryker, which clocked about $10 bil­lion in sales in the pre­vi­ous fis­cal, is known for its world lead­er­ship in orthopaedics, med­i­cal, sur­gi­cal and neuro-tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts. It is heav­ily de­pend­e­dent on sales in the US and Europe, which ac­count for 70% of its global turnover. But it is now work­ing to in­crease the share of the other mar­kets, in line with the strat­egy adopted by many other US-based multi­na­tional com­pa­nies over the past decade. It aims to give a firm push in In­dia to drive sales of cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy based de­vices such as Mako, a ro­botic surgery de­vice used for knee and hip re­place­ment. Its strat­egy in­cludes plug­ging the gaps be­tween the high-end, high-priced or­thopaedic prod­ucts and the bot­tom end that is fed mostly by lo­cal de­vice mak­ers.

“It is a strate­gic part of mar­ket ap­pro­pri­ate prod­ucts strat­egy for In­dia and we are con­fi­dent that it will bridge the gap be­tween two ends of the spec­trum,” Lobo said.

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