"People tend to think the market as being much bigger, when actually it is not,"
-Dr Chandrashekar SP, MD, Beckman Coulter
What is your observation of the biosuppliers market in India?
The past one year saw a consolidation of all the players in this segment. It is true that the market is actually active, though it is portrayed as being much more active than it actually is. This is a sign, which is both good as well as bad for the companies. Good, because of the attention we get and bad because of the false expectations that are created. People tend to think the market as being much bigger, when actually it is not. Some times they do take into account the production output of biopharma companies as equal to the biosuppliers industry which is not. One has to get down to reality of what the industry is. Otherwise, the government might fund too much or too little. We are talking about a biotech revolution and comparing it to the IT revolution which happened in India but then in IT there was concrete physical work that was executed. That unfortunately is absent in the biotech. The overestimation will put us at a disadvantage.
Against such a background, how had Beckman Coulter coped up with the dynamics of this market in a span of two years?
The Indian life sciences market is a special place because that forms a major chunk of our business vis-à-vis the global market. We as a company have stuck to our fundamentals, identified where our business will come from, where the actual work happens, where we should exactly invest and we have played our part as service supplier according to the demand. At present, the demand is growing at about 25-30 percent annually, which is decent, given the fact that the Indian economy is growing at a rate 8 percent per year. Biopharma and pharmaceuticals has been our major growth area.
What is your opinion on the Indian diagnostics market?
The diagnostic market is a huge market. The market is however highly segmented in India. You can have a path lab, which is not necessarily run by qualified doctors and pathologists. There is no regulation at all. We do not cater to this unregulated market and unfortunately that is the single chunk of market which is huge. That is around 60 percent of the share and we do not believe that we can service that market at the prices they have. However, this segmented market will get regulated over a period of time because the Indian parliament is passing an act where all these small labs will go away. There is an awareness of quality that is required now.