Indian Medical Device Industry poised to become a Big Story

COVID 19 blasts off domestic potential as never before

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New Delhi: Thanks to COVID 19, Indian Medical Device Industry seems all set to become a big story after IT and Pharma.

The speed with which it has risen to the occasion in force by manufacturing personal protective equipment kits and ventilators for coping with pandemic, little doubt is left that in times to come it is going to give importer lobby of medical devices a run for its money. The pandemic has blasted off the domestic medical device manufacturing potential on a high trajectory.

The success growth story has shown such an amazing rise of graph champions of local and ‘Make in India’ would never wish flattens ever. In just 2 months time, the industry has grown 56 times ! Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry, foresees in this sudden spurt of in –house growth India becoming 2nd factory in the world for medical devices in not far away times to come. He says, ‘Indian medical device is poised to become big story after IT and Pharma. I wish days of monopoly of import of medical devices in India are numbered. We are 80 percent import dependent for medical devices despite the fact that we have potential to become exporter of medical devices. The post COVID surge in domestic manufacture of PPE kits and ventilators should be an eye opener to country’s medical policy makers.’

Banglore has made great strides and become a major PPE hub by contributing about half the output. Other cities where PPEs production  are going on include Noida, Gurugram, Ludhiana, Bhiwandi ,  Tiruppur, Coimbator, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Kolkata. The companies who are leading the pack are Alok Industrues, JCT Phagwara, Gokal Das exports, Aditya Birla, Haryana-based Sai Synergy, Vadodara-based Sure Safety, Mumbai-based Venus Safety and Health Private Limited factory and Chennai based Shree Hari Healthcare. The Kolkata-based Frontier Protective Wear has just started in its Gurugram unit. The textile biggies such as Arvind Mills and Welspun have also joined the forces. Not only the private Industries, even the Railways, Navy and Ordnance factories are now into PPE manufacturing .COVID has fuelled making of Medical kits and Equipments in India like never before.

The success story sounds like a dream run. Before COVID onset, India made not a single PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kit. Now, it is manufacturing astronomical number- over 3 lakh PPEs and N95 masks per day. Its total output so far are around 75 lakh PPEs and over 111 lakh N95 masks. Some quality issues for sure have reared its ugly heads but quality control regime is also in over drive. Earlier all PPE kits were imported. But India now can boast of becoming second largest supplier of PPE kits in world. PPE includes Goggles, face shields, masks (surgical and N 95), gloves, coveralls and gowns, head cover and shoe cover.

By an estimate India would need 2.01 crore of PPE kits by June. In view of that orders of 2.22 crore PPE kits have been placed out of which 1.42 crore have been given to domestic manufacturers. The government has identified at least 110 domestic manufacturers for PPE kits in the country out of which for now 52 companies are in the thick of manufacturing PPE kits.

India is now eyeing a share of global market which will be 60 billion dollar according to a report of Invest India on ‘Personal Protective Equipment in India: a Rs 7000 crore industry in the making. Indian govt has set up Invest India to spur investment.

The same is with ventilators which are life saving equipment for serious COVID patients. By an estimate India would need, 75,000 ventilators out of which about 60 thousand will be in house. The major domestic players for ventilators include Bharat Electronics, AgVa and AMTZ (AP Medtech Zone).

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