WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
Vijay Govindarajan Distinguished professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College
The cost of R&D can probably be recovered in India, at which point it may be possible to reduce the price for even poorer markets. Stasis may also be able to reduce the price further in some markets by delivering data every 20 or 30 minutes instead of five. That’s still an improvement in countries where they don’t monitor at all.
I would recommend that before trying the U.S., Stasis go to other developing economies. Some hospitals in India have opened branches in Africa. Once you sell the product in India, that would be a natural way to migrate. Coming to the U.S. is going to be tough. There are going to be a lot of regulatory approvals. Another option is to partner with GE and Philips and use their distribution channels to get products into the U.S.
Laura Sampath Vice president of programs at VentureWell, a nonprofit that supports innovators creating socially conscious businesses
If you are not willing to relocate to the target market, then your likelihood of failure is much higher. Anytime I see an innovator who says, “I am just going to stay at home and do it from a distance,” I get really worried about the person’s commitment and ability to be successful. Dinesh understands that there are too many pieces of company building that he cannot manage overseas.
One reason Stasis has been successful is it’s working through the private hospital systems in India, which are much more open to innovations and new technologies. What does that strategy look like as the company moves into markets like Africa and the Middle East? In some countries, you have to work with the public sector, because there is not a developed private sector.
Jane Chen Co-founder of Embrace Innovations, a San Francisco– based business that makes blanket-like incubators for developing markets
If Stasis brought down the price by offering its monitor for a yearly fee as opposed to customers’ paying a lot more up front, then that is a really smart model for the Indian market. One of the most effective strategies in India is selling products like shampoo or soap in small packages. It is actually more expensive per ounce. But people consume less of it, so they feel like they are paying less. That makes it more palatable, and people are willing to try it.
The sales process is more challenging than you might think. And if Stasis hasn’t hired someone to oversee its regulatory affairs, it should do so soon. We did it fairly early, but we could have done it even earlier. It is something you should build into the organization from the beginning.