Mr Srikanth Muthya, director, patient care & clinical informatics, Philips Electronics, India
With an outlook to set up R&D centers in India, he is confident that the healthcare sector will always be an evergreen area for business and investments. He says that only through building healthcare awareness among people through constant support from the government and organizations, the message will be driven home. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
What are your major challenges in the area of healthcare innovations?
Mr Srikanth Muthya: We genuinely need to build more awareness on diagnostics. When it comes to patients and customers, early detection of diseases is very important. For the urbanites, it is not a big challenge to get a simple ECG done. But the real challenge is in the rural masses in terms of accessibility and affordability, which we continue to struggle in India. The government should wake up at a time like this, and we'll be able to do a lot more. We need to bring in more awareness and productive diagnosis procedures to people. If that happens, things will automatically fall in their place.
What are your expansion plans and strategies in India?
We are looking at partnering with the government to drive public-private partnerships. We want to reach out to masses because healthcare accessibility remains a big question. We want to bring in various good financial models for our customers who can afford and access basic healthcare. We are also focusing on driving affordability. We also would like to begin our R&D centers where our products will be completely designed and manufactured in India.
What strategies do you employ amidst economic instability?
Our business still continues to grow. We do not see any impact on our business as a result of economic instability. There will be short term churns in the forex, but people will always need healthcare. We are here to stay for a long time. Healthcare is an evergreen segment. We look at our business in the light of next four or five years and then operate in those spaces.
Where are your current healthcare investments for 2013?
We are right now focusing on five important key areas: Cardiology, Critical Care, Emergency Care, ICUs and Operation Theater Care.