other life science applications are on our radar”
country head, sales, LSCA division, Agilent Technologies
India is on a growth curve with its strengths in chromatography and
mass spectrometry and is committed to serve the growing life sciences
What were the growth
drivers for the company in FY 2008-09?
Life sciences has been one of the key growth areas for Agilent India.
On the backdrop of the growing awareness and requirements of regulatory
standpoint, both pharma and non-pharma segments have been the strong
driving forces behind the company’s rapid growth. India,
which is considered as a major outsourcing hub for pharma
manufacturing, Contract Research and Manufacturing Services (CRAMS) and
clinical research has provided several opportunities for the
Agilent’s strong global presence and reliability as a top
solution provider have encouraged Indian customers to partner with
Agilent in their growth path. Industries such as food quality and
exports, which are seeing growing regulatory control on their quality
and pesticide contents; commercial testing labs, flavors and fragrances
and government research labs are the other key areas where Agilent
solutions made major inroads.
What are the segments
that have contributed to the growth?
Pharma segment was a large contributor to the total revenue of the Life
Sciences and Chemical Analysis (LSCA) business. Agilent Technologies is
an established leader in compliance services, and has time and again
helped customers to keep track of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
and other regulatory agency expectations and needs. CRO/CMO and
generics/formulations are enhanced by foreign investments with generics
market in India continuing to benefit from greater demand for low-cost
generics in both mature and emerging markets.
Non-pharma contributes the next big share, out of which the major
contributors were food testing, flavor and fragrances and commercial
testing segments. Agilent started focusing its operations in the
non-pharma industry segment from 2005 and since then, this segment has
shown high exponential growth and holds tremendous potential for future.
Areas such as genomics, proteomics and metabolomics though relatively
small, contributors have shown high double digit growths. The
company’s after-sales market portfolio for both service
products and consumables also contributed largely as lab productivity,
instrument uptime and analytical instrument qualification (AIQ)
regulation have seen growing awareness among customers.
What are the revenue
grossing products of Agilent?
Agilent’s core strength is its chromatography business
wherein its industry benchmarked 1200 series HPLC and 7890 GC, are big
revenue grossers in both regulated pharma and non-pharma segment.
Addressing the trend of “Fast LCs”,
Agilent’s Rapid Resolution LC (RRLC) is a big success in the
pharma segment, which enables the switching between standard and rapid
resolution Liquid chromatography (LC). It provides the customers with
flexibility and high level of reliability, reproducibility, speed and
accuracy in either mode of operation.
Agilent’s mass spectrometry (LCMS, GCMS and ICPMS) products
also saw a big jump in revenue with the industry moving from impurity
profiling for drug discovery and development to more of a mass based
With the instrumentation needs growing, products such as Lab
Informatics wherein Agilent today has a wide portfolio of solutions
like enterprise content management, Open LAB and Electronic Lab
Notebook, which have also showed a high double digit growth rate.
In line with the high growth seen in instrument hardware sales,
consumables have also seen a strong growth and hold a big opportunity
for Agilent. Last year Agilent introduced its new 1120 Compact LC
looking at the vast potential that is available in the mid range market
segment wherein the need was for reliable instruments at a lower cost.
The product since its launch in November 2007 has received a positive
and overwhelming customer feedback from both pharma and non-pharma
What are the trends
in the LC market in the last few years and how has Agilent addressed
Last two years have seen an immense pressure on the pharma companies to
speed up their drug innovation cycle and get the drug as fast as
possible to the market. Also with the growing overhead costs in the
pharma and the generics industries, they need to strengthen the outputs
from the laboratories by means of more sample analysis per day per
instrument. This has resulted into many of the pharma players deciding
to buy fast LCs. While most Pharma companies bought fast LCs, few
others converted their existing hardwares by modifying them to fast
LCs. Agilent was fast to react to such customer needs and introduced
kits for 1100 series LC. This gave the customers an added advantage of
better asset utilization and hence a preference over the other
solutions. Gradually Agilent launched its 1200 series Rapid Resolution
LC which has been a big success due to the very fact that the product
was developed keeping customer’s interest and needs in mind.
Another growth area for LC business during the past years is the mid
range market segment which has been steadily growing every year.
Customers in this segment are very price conscious and wish to buy
products that have a controlled maintenance cost. After understanding
the customer needs Agilent introduced its 1120 Compact LC last year.
Also as the customers in these segments cannot afford to buy multiple
LCs every year, they prefer to trade in their old products for the new
technology and this is one area where we are very successful.
What will be the
future of LC and mass spectrometry (MS) market?
As mentioned earlier, industry-acceptance to faster LCs will grow in
the coming years. The hardware cost would also increase per instrument
and hence customers would prefer to buy instruments that deliver fast
LC performance and also give them added advantage and flexibility. With
growing lab infrastructure, customers show concern about the instrument
maintenance cost; hence softwares or services that would help customers
achieve this without an outside support would have a better preference.
For MS opportunities in India, the big wave has started to build up.
Today you see several customers using the advantages an MS has to offer
by means of sensitivity as an additional detector to their existing LC,
gas chromatography (GC) or capillary electrophoresis (CE) hardware for
their regular applications.
The clinical research market in India is already on a boom stage and
will continue for at least the next five years. LC-QQQ has a great
usage and preference in this industry. Vendors are trying to improve
the sensitivity levels of their MS hardware which in a way will help
the customers to do their jobs better. LCMS and GCMS are gaining
preference in the food industry. The other industry segment where MS is
seeing a growing opportunity is the “Omics” area.
In the future you would see more and more customers moving to adapt
high end MS-MS applications. With regulatory bodies now focusing on
heavy metals testing in samples, ICP-MS is seeing larger acceptance in
both pharma and non-pharma customers. Although the import license
process is much tedious and time consuming, the customers are getting
the real benefit.
What are the new
products that will be introduced in the Indian market?
Agilent would focus on high end MS instruments and continue to refresh
its core product line of LC and GC. Today, even though a late entrant,
Agilent is considered as a preferred vendor by many pharma and
non-pharma customers for their basic as well as high end MS needs. Last
year, Agilent launched several new high end mass analyzers
like 7000A GC-MS/MS, 6460 QQQ and 6530 Q-TOF, which offer the
“best in industry” performance and address the
needs of customer in several application areas. The products that
fulfill the needs of customers in “Omics” and other
life science applications are also on our radar.