What was the rationale behind your career move towards being one of the influential leader in MedTech?
I did my bachelor’s in Engineering (Electronics & Communication) and worked with Philips Communication Industry in Germany for 7 months. I decided to come and join my family business of manufacturing Plastic products. After 3 years, in 1995 , decided to start a new company with my brothers to make consumable medical devices in India as saw great opportunity in this sector with almost 95% of the products were imported. Our core values are defined by Learning, Integrity, Inclusivity, Care and Ownership. We started our manufacturing activities in April 1997 and since then the high-quality standards of our products continue to make us the preferred choice of Healthcare professionals in over 110 countries.
When it comes to manufacturing, Polymed deals with the plethora of medical devices. How has the pandemic affected the manufacturing sector and your organization?
The COVID 19 pandemic has presented us with unique opportunities. The Indian government’s proactive approach to invite participation of entrepreneurs, Indian and
Managing Director Poly Medicure Ltd.(Polymed )
Technological advancements in the Medical Devices sector plays a significant role in reducing costs which is critical to make healthcare services more affordable and accessible globally.
global medical devices companies in innovation and collaborations, has resulted in a host of new innovative solutions to help overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic situation was especially challenging for India which has a highly import dependence on medical devices sector. Through its flagship “Make in India” initiative, the Government of India has taken a many steps in the right direction by relying on local Indian manufacturers to meet the increased demand of essential medical equipment and consumables. To further promote local manufacturing, Govt. introduced PLI scheme. The PLI scheme for medical devices will help meet the objective of product diversification and innovation. Under this scheme, the Govt. has witnessed a very positive response from the industry and aims to achieve self-reliance in MedTech Sector. Boosting local manufacturing will help in expanding the domestic production and national self-sufficiency. 'Atmanirbhar' drive will also make India a nerve center of global supply chain.
During the second wave of COVID, the need for respiratory care products greatly increased and Polymed’s team responded with great agility to ramp up production capacity from 3-4 times in less than 3 weeks. Medical oxygen in India was in severe shortage as the country grappled with a deadly second wave of the pandemic. Giving a new definition to “Sharing is Caring, Polymed engineers swiftly developed Y connector to enable oxygen supply to two patients at the same time from one Oxygen cylinder. Polymed also continued to supply VTM kits, N95 masks & other essential products to contribute in the fight against COVID. Inspite of all the challenges, our people across functions were committed to ensure the continuity of production and uninterrupted supplies of our products. I can proudly say that Polymed’s team has actively and successfully contributed towards India’s fight against COVID-19 and will continue to support the Healthcare fraternity to fight off this challenge.
What were the change of trends for healthcare industry in past decade with the advancement in the medical technology sector and how did Polymed adapt to the changes?
Health care in India faces several challenges including inadequate access, low insurance penetration and a growing chronic disease burden. At the same time, traditional business models have found it hard to show attractive returns on investment, except for a few large providers. Despite its shortcomings, India’s health care sector has a lot going for it on several fronts. The Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative is encouraging domestic manufacturers of medical devices to increase their capacity which in turn in making products more affordable and accessible.
Healthcare innovation in India could serve as a global model for a shift from treating chronic sick patients to preventive care and wellness, given the size of its underserved populations. As market recognizes the need for more indigenous products, Polymed has launched many new products in the last 5 years. Our priority now is to collaborate and work closely with all stakeholders such as the government, private sector as well as the medical research fraternity to develop new products. To make the most of the opportunities, we are focusing on the growth prospects in the fast-growing segments like Critical care, Renal care and Diagnostics.
What is the role of upskilling and skilling of healthcare workers in the growth of Indian healthcare sector?
Healthcare is one of the largest & fastest growing industries today both in terms of revenue and employment, hence there is an immense need of trained and skilled professionals to offer quality services. And, in a country like India there is not just shortage of skilled manpower but also lack of infrastructure for healthcare training and skilling. A big economic opportunity for India, lies in developing a competent and trained manpower. Though the private sector has emerged as the highest contributor to health expenditure, there are some major hurdles they face. Shortage of efficient and well-trained technicians & paramedical staff is a wellrecognized hurdle.
One of the positive impacts of the pandemic has been that more people are turning to virtual learning methods, which has the potential to revolutionize the vocational training scenario in rural India. It would considerably enhance access to skill training and development in the remotest rural parts where the need is the greatest. E-learning would also allow for greater access to quality content and expert trainers. India has seen tremendous internet growth in recent years, accelerated by increasing smartphone penetration and easily accessible mobile data in rural areas. But in order to make e-learning successful, we need a broad band revolution in rural India driven by the availability of affordable hardware such as tablets, PC’s and other such devices which are more favorable to e-learning.
What are your key learnings during this unprecedented time?
As the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted nearly every aspect of life, we customized our strategy, structure, processes, people, and technology to leverage the opportunities created by the pandemic. The current situation further accelerated the philosophy behind our strategies of collaboration, agility, and resilience. The flatter decision-making structures we adopted in crisis mode have proved to be faster and more flexible. People
are empowered more to take quick decisions and handle more complex challenges. Moving towards the digital approach has helped us manage rapid supply chain and manufacturing changes. Polymed will further increase its R & D spend to bring rapidly new technologies in this ever changing and demanding environment. Polymed also plans to engage international experts to fast track its new product development cycle.
What will be the key growth drivers for the MedTech industry in the next 5 years & what lies ahead for Polymed?
Traditionally, our society has always placed more emphasis on conformance and reproducibility rather than innovation and novelty. We have been to a great extent a methodical society that adopts proven systems and technologies. This is one of the reasons why technology-led product innovation is quite negligible in Indian healthcare environment. For innovative products to make a positive impact in the healthcare industry, all the stakeholders, including the government, innovators, patients, and healthcare professionals need to come together. India, as an emerging economy and with the third highest start-up pool globally, is ideally very capable to be the leader of MedTech innovation. India has a wide pool of talented and highly qualified Software professionals, Bio Medical engineers , doctors who are essential for building novel products that address existing unmet and new emerging healthcare needs of the country.
To address the need of growing healthcare market and changing dynamics in the Healthcare Industry, Polymed is also investing in new technologies and enhancing its R&D capabilities to deliver high quality Medical Devices. Polymed will also focus on fast tracking its new product offerings and build more manufacturing infrastructure to scale up faster. Polymed produces more than 150 different types of medical devices. Currently, our product offerings are in the areas of Infusion & Vascular Access, Dialysis & Renal Care, Diagnostics, Transfusion System and Oncology. Polymed is focusing on faster growing segments like Renal care and Diagnostics. Renal is going to be a big focus area for us as the dialysis market in India is expected to reach $225 million in 2025. We plan to grow and expand in each vertical to address the pain points of both healthcare professionals & patients. Polymed has achieved a unique position for itself as an Indian manufacturer to have a comprehensive range of products that are efficiently backed by a patient-centric approach.
A brief about your organization.
Polymed is one of the leading Medical Devices company & has served the healthcare community for over 24 years. Technological advancements in the Medical Devices sector plays a significant role in reducing costs which is critical to make healthcare services more affordable and accessible globally. Since inception Polymed is working towards offering innovative and top-notch quality products at affordable costs to the patients and healthcare providers. These products are manufactured with utmost care and safety at our nine ultramodern manufacturing facilities present across four countries India, Italy , China & Egypt. These plants are equipped to manufacture over 3.5 million medical devices per day which includes many patented devices confirming to latest Global norms. Polymed owns more than 300 patents and continues to file more for new technologies and devices. Some of our laurels include Forbes “Asia’s 200 best under a billion” list of 2020 , “Medical Device Company of the Year 2018” by the Department of Pharmaceuticals Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers - Government of India and one of the top “25 Innovative Companies” by CII in 2019. Polymed has also been awarded the coveted "Top Exporter Award” by PLEXCONCIL (Plastic Export Promotion Council) for 8 years in a row.