market is consolidating”
—Anurag Gupta, MD,
GE Healthcare Lifesciences, Chennai
GE Healthcare Life
Sciences provides cutting-edge technology products and processes to
pharma, biopharma and biotechnology companies and major academic and
research institutions globally. Over the years the company has
increased its focus on its life sciences business in India, driven
largely by the growth in the domestic biotechnology sector.
BioSpectrum Top 20
BioSuppliers Survey 2009 ranked GE Healthcare Life Sciences as seventh
with the company churning out a total life sciences business revenue of
Rs 120 crore in the last fiscal. Anurag Gupta, MD, GE Healthcare
Lifesciences, India, tells us more about the company’s
business initiatives in India and its growth strategies. Excerpts from
What are the major
initiatives that steered the growth of GE Healthcare Life Sciences?
We were able to grow our sales in India successfully in 2008. It is a
result of our crucial investments in the market and the bright
prospects of biotech sector in India. The growth was through
acquisition, such as Whatman, and infrastructure development as well.
Throughout the year, we made significant investments to increase our
commercial footprint. By staying very close to customers, we have
maintained a good growth rate despite the market slowdown. Of course,
the global economic situation has affected the Indian biotech industry,
but we are confident that we’ll emerge stronger with the help
of all the investments we have made in India in the past 18 months.
What are the major
steps taken to boost the biopharmaceutical offering of the company?
We have established ourselves firmly as a start-to-finish bioprocess
supplier for the customers in India and a strong partner in drug
discovery and development. Our research portfolio includes a complete
range of leading-edge protein analysis tools and consumables and our
bioprocess offering includes state-of-the-art chromatography portfolio,
backed by a solid footprint in after-sales service. We have also opened
our Fast Trak customer education and training center at GE’s
Global Research Center in Bangalore. During the last few years, we have
expanded our offering significantly through acquisitions like Wave,
Biacore, Whatman and MicroCal. These additions provide an extremely
compelling solution to customers whether they are pure research and
academic customers or industrial customers engaged in cutting-edge
biotech research and manufacturing.
How is the company
withstanding adverse economic situation?
India is a definite growth market for GE Healthcare’s Life
Sciences business and we are here for a long time. Throughout this
adverse economic and business environment that is prevailing for the
last 18 months, we have continued to make investments in expanding
commercial footprint, strengthening dealer channel, focusing on
training and development, extending our service strength, technical
capabilities and marketing. We believe these investments will position
us uniquely in the market in India.
To what extent will
the new alliance with Fujifilm benefit GE Healthcare Life Sciences?
Fujifilm will develop, manufacture and supply advanced biomolecular
imaging systems to GE Healthcare. The products will be sold worldwide
under the GE brand in the life science research and drug discovery
markets. GE Healthcare’s global presence as a supplier of
reagents and instruments, and our competence in biological applications
within the life science market coupled with Fujifilm’s
leading imaging technologies, R&D and manufacturing
capabilities will provide complete system solutions for research, drug
discovery and bioanalytical applications.
How encouraging is
the state of global biosuppliers market?
For global biopharma the issues of cost, quality and access to
technology are important. The market is consolidating, key drugs will
soon be coming off patent, everyone is working hard to drive cost out
of their businesses, but R&D departments still have to deliver
results. We are seeing an increase in productivity demands, more
outsourcing of routine services and an increase in regulatory scrutiny.
The advantages India holds over other markets is what is generating so
much interest in the BRIC countries. India is one of the few
markets which offers a very strong double digit growth in the