The consumable products have higher margins
compared to big-buck items such as instruments, and are a steady source
of income for a company because these are not tied to fluctuations in
the end-user’s capital expenditure budget. Laboratory Consumables range
from staple items such as plastic and glass ware, filters, chemicals
and gloves, to instrument-related consumables, such as plates, columns,
tubes and reagents. Consumables for life science applications have come
to constitute a distinct category of laboratory consumables and include
items such as microplates, DNA kits, oligonucleotides and gels.
According to the BioSpectrum estimates, this market is close to Rs
2,025 crore, including Rs 875 crore for general consumables, Rs 950
crore for reagents, and Rs 200 crore for media.
The general consumable segment, estimated to be close to Rs 950 crore,
has players like Merck, Rankem and Qualigens (taken over by Thermo
Fisher), and SD Fine Chemicals in control of the 60-65 percent market
share. In molecular biology reagents sub-segment within this
market—estimated to be around Rs 220 crore—Sigma Aldrich has 80-85
percent of the business which includes the organic reagents as well.
However, Invitrogen through its distributors has a formidable presence
in molecular biology reagents market. For scientists who use commercial
reagents, Invitrogen currently outpaces its market peers for selection
as primary supplier, followed by Sigma-Aldrich. Within this sub-segment
itself, Bangalore Genei, which was acquired by Merck in 2009, has been
catering to the the economical teaching kits and reagents for the
educational market including the colleges and universities. This
business is estimated to be worth Rs 25 crore in India.
The overall media market is estimated to be close to Rs 200 crore and
is dominated by HiMedia Laboratories and Difco. The culture media
market size is around Rs 50 crore and at the same time the microbiology
market is close to Rs 150 crore. HiMedia Laboratories is a popular
choice as it offers wide range of economical culture media options. The
other players include the international brands from companies like
Merck, Sigma, and Invitrogen. Besides, there are many domestic players
in this space which play an important role in the culture media space.
In the peptones and industrial media category, Kerry Biosciences,
Difco, Himedia are the major suppliers.
The plastic ware and glassware markets combined add up to Rs 120-130
crore and constitute an important part of the Lab Consumables segment.
Borosil is the major player. Corning range of glassware also holds some
market share. Of late, many chemical suppliers have also ventured into
the glassware space, with companies like Qualigens and the S.D Fine
Chemicals promoting their glassware. The unbranded Chinese glassware
has also been a part of this market. In plastic ware segment, the
distributor companies like Genaxy has been a major supplier for the
In the chromatography Lab Consumables market, the majority of end-user
needs are met by distributors and specialized manufactures. However, a
growing number of consumables sales are being made by instrument
companies themselves. Instrument companies selling consumables is
nothing new but the trend has accelerated recently. This market is
estimated to be worth Rs 200 crore, within the consumables market.
- Low susceptibility to fluctuations and margins higher than even
instruments, no one can discount the importance of consumables in the
analytical and life science market.
- BioSpectrum estimates this market to be close to Rs 2,025 crore,
including Rs 875 crore for general consumables, Rs 950 crore for
reagents, and Rs 200 crore for media.