“We make a million pieces of nebulizers in India annually”

Rajnikant Shah, Chairman, Medtech Life takes us through his company’s journey so far and the plans to strengthen its position within the medical devices sector

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With over 50 years of experience, Rajnikant Shah, Chairman, Medtech Life has been instrumental in solidifying long term relations with many stakeholders for the sales and distribution of Medtech products.  Currently the Chairman of Medtech Life, he joined the company in the year, 1974 and led it to becoming a pan India player and one of the leading home healthcare devices manufacturers in the country.
In an exclusive interview, Rajnikant Shah takes us through his company’s journey so far and the plans to strengthen its position within the medical devices sector. Read the excerpts.

BV LogoWhat inspired you to establish Medtech Life? Key milestones achieved by the company since its foundation in 1996? 
Medtech Life was started on the basic principle of giving more consumers access to high quality medical devices that were made in India. The company started over 20 years ago, with their first product being an innovative single hole needle burner which completed both operations of disposing a needle in a single hole. The first product being a resounding success gave us the confidence to venture into more products. Over the years we have developed and introduced over 40 products in the market and have become one of the largest manufacturers of medical devices in India. We are proud to know that our products have given people better access to medical care than before.
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Company is known for its leadership within the nebulizers segment. Your strength areas that help you deliver strong performance in the segment? 
Our strength lies in extensive product research and development. Being the largest manufacturer of Nebulizers in India and making over a million pieces a year, we always ensure that our products deliver the promise of quality. Hence our investments in research and development since day one has paid off well. Our capabilities of backward integration has also helped us be competitive in the Indian market and overseas.
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What are the key product offerings of the company? How is the company focusing on product innovation to meet the changing trends including AI and ML?
We manufacture many types of medical devices for home care. Our product portfolio consists of BP Monitors, Nebulizers, Heating Pads, Thermometers, Weighing Scales, Massagers, etc. Our continuous investment in research and development has enabled us to bring better and differentiated products in the market. Our extreme focus on accuracy and safety ensures that our products are safer and more reliable. That’s the reason why our BP Monitors are also clinically validated for accuracy.
The recent trends of AI and ML are fascinating and we are exploring many possibilities of merging them with the newer products that are scheduled to launch. However, India is still a nascent market for such products and it needs access to high quality basic healthcare first.
“By introducing our nebulizers in the market, we helped consumers get better international quality at a comparatively lesser cost.”
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In what ways has the medical devices market evolved in India? How can the industry unlock huge untapped potential? 
Before our inception, almost all the medical devices were imported from majorly China and Germany. The prices of these devices were so high that it would become difficult for consumers to afford them. Our introduction of nebulizers in the market helped consumers get better international quality nebulizers at a cost of 1000 rupees where as others were being sold for over 3000.
Our strategy of focusing on manufacturing in India has helped us keep the costs down. Over the years there has been many entrants in the market which is helping in increasing the awareness of these products. We believe that there is still a lot of potential to unlock in this industry as many products are imported and which can be manufactured in India to reduce the prices. On the other hand, the organization of retail will also benefit consumers to get access of these products.
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How has the company performed financially in the last fiscal year? What are the expectations from FY 2023-24? 
The company has performed better than the expectations. Definitely there has been a downturn due to the post pandemic period last year but we see the demand picking up strongly. This year we expect to grow our business by 100% due to increased focus on our Indian market.
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Why did the company refuse a lucrative acquisition offer from a foreign giant in 2018? What is your long-term outlook? 
We believe strongly in the concept of Make In India and Made by Indians. We wanted to bring out good made in India medical devices to consumers that were of world class quality. We had many projects in the pipeline and a clear path to growth. Our company also being on the growth trajectory also added to the confidence that we could grow by ourselves and hence we decided to refuse the offer. Our long-term vision is to bring out the best in products from India for the world and to become a global name in healthcare.
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Your views on the regulatory set up and the steps taken by the Indian government to ramp up the medtech infrastructure in India?
Indian regulations are definitely getting more stringent for selling and manufacturing medical devices. In a way it’s a good measure to filter out the good manufacturers that comply with the manufacturing standards. The government schemes for manufacturing in India are also something that everyone can make use of.

*This interview was first published in the September 2023 edition of BioVoice News eMagazine.