ONE-STOP-SOLUTION FOR AFFORDABLE AND ACCESSIBLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENTS
What was the rationale behind your career move towards becoming one of the Medtech influential leader?
I am grateful to Medgate Today, for recognizing me as one ‘Most Influential Leaders in the Medtech among the Industry’.
While as a country, we have come a long way in building our own healthcare infrastructure, there is still a lot left to be done to make us truly Atma Nirbhar. It's my honour and privilege that in the last 41 years, I have been able to contribute on our journey to making India a Healthy and Happy country.
I was all of 19 years, and an idealist, wanting to change the world to make it a better place. I had completed my engineering. The next logical career move for me would have been to move to USA and take up a well paying job and live happily ever after. However, I felt that this was too small a purpose for my life. I had a realization that if God had given me birth in India and India given me the opportunity to become an engineer, there must be some bigger purpose for my life. I wanted to do something that would give me a sense of my contribution to make my country better. That is when I came in close contact with Raj Mohan Gandhi and Jayaprakash Narayan of the Sarvodaya Movement. While on a visit to one of the reputed Mumbai hospitals to visit Jayaprakash Narayan who was admitted, I saw how Doctors were struggling to save the life of Jayaprakash ji, but were finding it impossible to do so, because a lot of critical medical equipment were not in working condition because of a lack of after-sales support. At that time, aftersales service was a major challenge, since most equipment were imported. Fortunately, my engineering skills helped fix the instruments and make them functional in good time. I soon
which kept growing due to its reliable and affordable products. Very soon the word spread to many other countries and we started receiving export orders from Europe and USA. Transasia was the first Indian company to exhibit Make in India medical devices at AACC (USA) and Medica (Germany), the two top global healthcare exhibitions. We combined efficient, low cost manufacturing and unparalleled market expertise to make worldclass European technology accessible for emerging markets.
Today, Transasia is proud to be recognized as the Leading IVD Company in India, with the largest customer base of 30,000+ customers, largest team of 700+ sales and service specialists, covering the entire length and breadth of the country. Globally, it serves over 100 countries through its 15 subsidiaries and it continues to grow to increase the number of lives it touches in its vision of creating ‘a Healthier and Happier World.'
How have the technological advancements in the medtech industry changed the face of Indian healthcare, especially during these unprecedented times?
The focus has shifted to preventive diagnostics as more people continue to become aware of the need for early identification of diseases. As a result, the market for point-of-care testing and rapid tests is bound to see an upward trend. In fact decentralized diagnostics has the potential to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare Mobile testing units spending. is another growing field, which has already found preference, as it takes diagnostics to patients. Especially in rural areas, which lack the laboratory infrastructure, a mobile testing van offers improved accessibility and convenience.
Until two years ago, who would have ever thought that specialized molecular tests like RTPCR would become a household name and over 2,500 labs in India would be doing these tests? The pandemic has accelerated the development, adoption and application of superior diagnostic technologies for faster, high volume testing and accurate reporting. Molecular diagnostics and NexGen Sequencing are witnessing fastpaced growth for detecting infectious diseases. We have already stepped forth in this domain with our RT-PCR kit for COVID-19. Molecular tests for HIV and TB are in the pipeline as well.
Changing landscape leads to newer opportunities
Diagnostic manufacturers like Transasia are keen on developing systems that rely on other body fluids such as saliva-based testing, making sample collection simpler yet robust. Similarly, there is a greater inclination towards switching from semi to fully automated analyzers because of their reliability, ease-of-use and speed. Many labs and hospitals today are considering upgrading their systems to integrate features such as AI, remote access and digitization of the entire reporting process. The integration of healthcare with technology is blurring the divide and improving patient care services, increasing access, affordability, and lowering costs. Apart from telepathology, medical applications related to personal health and electronic health records, healthcare IT companies are betting big on AI platforms that can predict pandemics based on the sero-surveillance.
What according to you have been the key learnings during these unprecedented times?
First and foremost, I do believe that extra-ordinary situations demand extra-ordinary responses. The pandemic has opened up a Pandora's box, exposing the limitations of our current healthcare system which is not only inadequate but is predominantly designed to treat and not prevent diseases.
We need to start by building a strong and robust healthcare ecosystem for our country. Once again our dependency on imports came into the spotlight at the start of the pandemic. But, we soon caught up with manufacturing our own COVID test kits, PPE kits and masks, etc. and once again proved the power of Making in India to truly become self-reliant. This is the right time, for diagnostic manufacturers to scaleup their manufacturing prowess.
On a positive note, the Government is beginning to recognize the importance of diagnostics in preventing and treatment of diseases and hence in the budget for FY 2021-22, it has made an outlay of Rs. 64,000 crores, with a focus on preventive healthcare. This should aid in boosting local manufacturing of diagnostic equipment and test kits in India. Prior to the pandemic, while everyone acknowledged the crucial role played by diagnostics for prevention and early detection of all types of diseases, the per capita spend on diagnosis in India remained one of the lowest in the world. Prevention is not just better, but cheaper than cure as well. Prevention and early diagnosis can help India save billions of rupees spent every year on treatment of chronic diseases. Hence, it is extremely important for every developing country like India to ensure that every adult gets basic diagnostic tests done, at least once a year.
I also think inspite of all odds, India continues to challenge the situation, because of the solidarity amongst its people. Many business entities and individuals have come together to do their bit in this fight against COVID19. Right at the beginning of the pandemic, Transasia's teams based in India, USA and UK collaborated to develop a comprehensive suite of COVID testing solutions including rapid antigen, antibody and RTPCR kit. These have been effectively complemented by a wide range of test kits for monitoring critical lab parameters in disease progression.
As the country came under the grip of the second wave, Transasia swiftly arranged to provide free of charge 200 BiPAP machines and 2000 Oxygen Concentrators along with 40 cell counters and 30 coagulation analyzers, worth more than Rs. 2.25 crores to various COVIDdedicated hospitals all over the country, especially in rural hospitals. Through this, Transasia stepped up its efforts to augment the capacity of various state governments to provide timely oxygen support to their citizens.
A crisis changes customer requirements, or forces them to adopt new ones. This is as true for medtech, as it is for any other industry. COVID-19 has led businesses to recalibrate their messaging and the means to deliver it. Companies have now become flexible with their strategies to approach customers; investments are now routed more for digital campaigns. Although nothing can replace the oneon-one physical interactions, companies are making sure they sustain digital engagement with their customers through webinars, virtual trade shows, etc. Medtech manufacturers have so far relied on marketing a product's features, however, the focus now is also on the benefits it can provide to clinicians particularly during the pandemic.
Research and analytics organizations too, are focusing on developing an extensive repository of right data and evidencebased studies to allow clinicians to harness reliable insights that could be translated to safe and quality outcomes for the patient.
What are your future endeavors as a leading Medtech innovator?
Newer and better technologies remain our goal. Our growth strategy for the next few years is designed to propel us to a new level of technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, etc. Along with bringing in newer technologies, we plan to continue to provide unmatched services to customers with our largest team of sales and service experts in the Indian IVD industry and seamlessly cater to almost every part of the country. We intend to expand our distributor network and further strengthen our regional penetration to ensure easy access to lab solutions. A great customer experience is a result of products that are reliable, affordable and sustainable, a strong supply chain network and robust technical support systems. We will continue to innovate, reinvent and evolve our products and strengthen our supply chain network.
Enhancing our digital capabilities has led us to connect more effectively with customers and we plan to further leverage digitization in our products and marketing strategies.Between now and 2023, Transasia's R&D labs in France, UK, US, Austria and India will launch over 10 exciting, state of-theart instruments in the fields of CLIA, molecular testing, high-end hematology, AI and LIS, etc. Also in the offing is a ‘Total Lab Automation' solution aimed at mid- and large size laboratories. All these will make ErbaTransasia among the topfive companies globally to have ‘Total solutions in Laboratory Diagnostics.
A great tomer experience is a result of products that are reliable, affordable and sustainable, a strong supply chain network and robust technical support system.