GE Healthcare’s affordable range of medical technology products manufactured in India will soon be exported to Africa and Asean countries. The low-cost medical equipments have already garnered sales of $260 million for the company.
India is a key manufacturer of GE’s affordable solutions as part of its newly formed business unit – Sustainable Healthcare Solutions. The three manufacturing facilities in Bangalore produce medical technology products, majority of which is currently consumed by the country. Some are exported to neighbouring south Asian countries.
The scope of the business unit is being expanded to cover Africa and Asean countries. According to Terri Bresenham, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, India, Africa and Asean, $260 million sales from the segment will grow in double-digits in the future. In India, the tier II, III and smaller towns account for 60 per cent sales of affordable equipments, while metros and tier I cities account for the rest.
“India is important in terms of affordable healthcare. The market demands products of high clinical quality, which can stand heavy patient load and work robust in conditions where there are problems like power fluctuations. The tough situation makes it a great place to design and develop products for the developing markets. What works here will work anywhere in the world,” she said.
The company has developed 17 products, including x-rays, monitoring systems, ultrasound scans and magnetic resonance systems. The target is to develop 100 products and the company will be spending $300 million in five years.
Despite the inverted duty structure in the medical technology space, GE finds India to be a key manufacturing hub due to its skill sets.
“In other countries, the government ensures availability of suppliers for medical technology producers. Making components available is a problem due to the inverted duty structure in India, but the country has skills and medical fraternity that can help us in designing products,” said Bresenham.
The company is also evaluating ways to increase production capacity. Currently it has enough room to increase production in the existing facilities. By next year it will take a call on expanding the capacity of existing facilities or setting up new facility.