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