|Mr Hari Kumar
CEO, JH Bio Innovations, Bangalore
JH Bio Innovations, a company that supplies laboratory instruments for
life sciences, biotechnology, molecular diagnostics and environmental
sciences in India, has been representing many leading companies such as
DAIHAN Scientific, Thermo Fisher and Evogen. The company has
significant market share in imaging systems and micro volume
spectrometers and it took many initiatives to emerge as a key player in
the entire range of UV-VIS spectrometer market. Recently, JH Bio
introduced ‘EVOS’ branded digital microscopes from Advanced Microscopy,
US. In an interview with BioSpectrum, Mr Hari Kumar, CEO, JH Bio
Innovations, shares details about company's product pipeline and future
Q What are the new
products introduced by JH Bio in India and how was the industry
response for those products?
We have recently introduced ‘EVOS’ branded digital microscopes from
Advanced Microscopy, US. This product is so elegantly designed that it
attracts the attention of people when it is placed in the middle of
other instruments. The product is designed keeping in view parameters
such as ergonomics, ease-of-use, multi-view and
flexibility. We are getting very good feedback from the customers. For
the first time in the history of our company, we are able to close over
eight units of orders from prominent institutions such as CDFD, IISER,
ANGRUE, and IGIB within two months of the product launch. We are very
excited about this product.
Q Looking at the growth of the
biotechnology industry, how do you see the growth of JH Bio in the
We were growing at an average of over 50 percent from the year 2000 to
2008. Due to several external factors, including recession, our growth
has stagnated in the last three years. However, now the economy has
picked-up and in addition, the new product lines are going to bring us
a growth of more than 30 percent over the next few years.
Q Between public and private R&D
activities, where do you see more growth?
Due to the growth of India’s GDP at over 8.5 percent, there is a lot
happening in the public sector. An exponential growth has taken place
in the higher education space and several new initiatives that are
taken through the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and
Department of Biotechnology (DBT) are paving the way for a very good
growth in the public sector. As the life sciences R&D sector as
well as the industry have reached a critical mass, this is also going
to enhance the growth. I expect it to grow at over 20-25 percent. The
only reservation is about the effect that it will have due to
earthquake and related problems and the political unrest in the north
African countries and the Gulf region.
Q What are your strategies for enhancing
the growth of JH Bio?
We have a range of good products catering to the needs of
molecular biology. With the introduction of EVOS microscopes, we are
just starting to have a good range of products for the cell biology
field. Imaging is going to be our focus area for the next level of
Q How do you view the global and local
mergers and acquisitions happening in the biosuppliers space?
India, as a business destination, is gaining more attention due to its
technical capabilities, very good infrastructure facilities, and
associated growth rates. The market consolidation in India, mainly
through multinationals, is getting very rapid. All the multinational
companies in India, will engage more local companies, and the small and
medium-sized companies for establishing distribution network all across
Q What is the threshold level the
distributor firms should have to get the attention of multinational
Any distributor company with pan-India operations, would require a
matrix of operations from 10-12 locations, 50-60 people and a business
of $5.5-6.6 million (
25-30 crore). Based on the size of the company
and product lines, the multinationals will get attracted towards the
local companies of the size mentioned above.
Q On an average, how many distributors
are there in India?
As a close follower of the supplier activity reported in BioSpectrum as
well as from different other sources in the market, there are five to
six major, 20 to 30 medium and 100 to 120 small distributors in India.
Q Considering the current trends in
supplier space, is there a need for distributors to have an association
or a lobby group?
It is a very good point which I have been thinking for a long time. It
is very much necessary for several reasons: to address the different
issues with the principal companies; to initiate reforms in the
purchase processes in the public sector; to work with the government
for all the general issues that the supplier community have. Probably
BioSpectrum could take an initiative in putting forward this idea to
the biosupplier community and initiate a debate. It is always good to
have an association for biosuppliers like ABLE for the life sciences