While India is importing over 70 per cent of its specialized medical devices, the Bangalore based BlueNeem Medical Devices stands out as a major exporter of medical devices from India with specialization in surgical equipments. Started in 2009 and focused on areas like nephrology, gastroenterology, and radiology, the company now imports more than 55 per cent of its production to over 70 countries, said Vishnu Bhat, founder and chairman.
"We currently make about 40 products developed through incremental innovation and are focused on customizing the product to suit the requirements of the medical professionals," said Bhat. He said Blue Neem's founding partners Rajendra, Satish B, Vittal Rao and Pankaj Hans are professionals in the healthcare and have helped in developing products suitable for doctors. "Since 2013, we have been growing at an average 25-40 per cent year on year, while the industry growth rate is 17-18 per cent in the country.
The medical devices industry in India is at present valued at $5.2 billion and contributes 4-5 per cent to the $96.7 billion Indian healthcare industry. Of this, around half of the equipment is commoditized products like needles, gloves, syringes etc. Rest of the business is mainly controlled by multinational companies like GE, Siemens, Philips etc.
"From the beginning, we have been focusing on creating an ecosystem of disruptive innovation of medical technologies, suiting the needs of practicing physicians and products are developed either with innovator partners or by licensing technologies," said Vishnu Bhat. The company has three manufacturing units in Bangalore with 9000 plus square feet production area and all the units are currently running at over 100 per cent capacity.
The company has several patents and it takes 6-12 months for developing a new product, based on the level of sophistication. Many new products are in research and development phase. The next target will be to start large scale exports to developed markets. BlueNeem broke-even five years ago and since then most of the funding for expansions have been from internal accruals. Plans are to make the company a globally established medical devices manufacturer from India, said Vishnu Bhat.