Indian business and retail markets were witnessing a boom in 1993, while the manufacturing sector in China was becoming stronger than ever. “In the mid-90s, the Indian manufacturing sector was threatened by China due to cost-effective imports,” says Shelli Grover, founder of Delhi-based Paramount Sargemed Limited.
Coming from a family engaged in the medical devices business, Shelly joined the family business in the late 1980s. He respected his skills for eight years, after which he founded his own company Paramount under the parent organization Grover Group of Companies. The healthcare company manufactures surgical blades, adult diapers, underpads and masks.
In a conversation with BK, Paramount’s director shared how he moved from business to medical equipment and challenges the Indian medical device manufacturing industry faced.
From Trading to Manufacturing
The current market size of the Indian medical device industry is $ 11 billion. A report by Invest India states that it is poised for significant growth in the next five years, which will reach $ 50 billion by 2025.
“Medical equipment is a huge industry and at the time when I was with my father, I saw an enormous growth opportunity. To start using the experience I gained in my family business at the age of 27, I started the business of making surgical blades for expansion and growth. “
The style says that as people become more health-conscious, the COVID-19 epidemic has largely reinforced sanitation and hygiene methods, with Paramount SargeMed expecting a huge development in the region. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the company diversified and started two production lines in the manufacture of three-ply and N95 masks.
“Adult diapers have a market share of around Rs 500–700 crore in India, and now Facemask has generated over Rs 500 crore. So in almost every segment we are touching a market size of over Rs 500 crore. ‘
With twenty years in business, Paramount exported to over 80 countries. In India, it supplies to major hospitals with a nationwide network of 40 distributors and 400 dealers.
It has a state-of-the-art production facility in New Delhi, accredited with ISO: 13485: 2016, CE Mark and US FDA device listings. The company trades at an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore.
In fact, Paramount SargeMed was awarded the ‘Best Franchise Award – 2006-07-08’ by OSIM International for its outstanding performance among its global franchise partners.
Maintaining quality with price
Styles says that while talking about how India differentiates itself from imported medical devices, Indians want medical devices with quality that are close to European standards and priced close to Chinese products. Therefore, balancing the two is a bit challenging.
“We import steel from Korea, New Zealand and some China for surgical blades and other raw materials, thereby maintaining the quality of the products and facilitating them to be sold at affordable prices to consumers. Medical equipment is not something where we can play with quality and hence pricing is done on the same basis. ”
Paramount SargeMed also works as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for various companies abroad. The company exports its products to the American and Korean markets, where these countries sell it to consumers giving their branding.
On not being able to sell his brand overseas, Shaili says
“Products are made in a company, but are made keeping in mind the brand. Due to various limitations in government policies and lack of infrastructure we are unable to build a brand identity as it involves its own costs and other resources. The medical device industry needs handholding from the government and only then other countries will buy us as a brand. ”
Challenges and the way forward
By style, if a person is ready to start a business in India, he gets stuck on many issues such as lack of world-class infrastructure by the government, outdated laws and lack of pro-capitalism approach.
In fact, on the market front, while issues like COVID-19 reduce the purchasing power of consumers and ultimately reduce demand, labour shortages also add to the problems.
He says that the government should provide a complete exemption from export norms as there are plenty of opportunities for the medical industry in such difficult times.
Paramount SargeMed is expanding to expand. Talking about future plans, Shelli says the company is growing threefold in five years and then plans to go ahead with an initial public offering (IPO). Despite the COVID-19, the company aims to grow 15 per cent in the current fiscal year compared to the previous year.