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Healthcare 13 Jan 2016

Small towns offers big business for Home healthcare Monitoring: Omron India MD

Lack of adequate medical facilities across India is propelling the adoption of home monitoring devices. Reportedly, tier II & III cities are witnessing over 20% growth as compared to only 15% in key metros.

Japan-based health monitoring products manufacturer- Omron Healthcare entered Indian market in  2010 with a wide range of healthcare products including home usage blood pressure monitors, blood glucose monitors, nebulizers, body composition monitors, pedometers etc,.

The company, which also brought hospital usage blood pressure monitors to the country, is expecting to clock sales of $18.8 million in the current fiscal, says media reports.

Omron is also open to the idea of opening a factory in India as its looking at over two-fold increase in its revenues in India to $40 million (about Rs 265 crore) by 2018-19 on the back of sales network expansion.

Nevertheless, the company has highest market share in home usage digital blood pressure monitor in India and across the globe.

With an aim to tap the lucrative tier II and III cities market along with big metros, Omron India MD, Hisao Masuda shared some untold facts about the country’s Home Healthcare monitoring market and its future prospects.

What’s the current status of Home Healthcare monitoring in India? How will Omron healthcare contribute in its growth?
Home healthcare is one of the fastest growing markets and India is the second largest market after China in both scale growth and future expectations. India has huge potential, owing to the rising awareness and people switching from a treatment-oriented to a preventive approach. Omron plays a major role in the preventive segment and we are focusing to deepen our engagement and reach in this segment. We are working to be the no. 1 healthcare company in India.

Currently, we are the leading player in Indian market for selling Blood Pressure Monitors and Nebulizers  across the world, in terms of both- volume and market share. We recognize the potential that India offers as a market and are focusing on growing the business aggressively. Metro cities contribute major sales and profit shares for our business with the top 3 metros by business volume being Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Our vision is to contribute in maintaining a healthy lifestyle of the country.

Wearable device market has seen a drastic rise in the past couple of years. This shift in demand has emphasised the health monitoring firm to produce more portable product. What’s your take on that?

According to Markets and market reports, the overall market for wearable technology is expected to reach $31.27 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 17.8 per cent in 2015-20. Gadgets that can record heart rate count, calories burnt and steps taken - one could only assume, how this technology could likely be used on a greater scale to help those, who truly need it the most. People with medical conditions such as diabetes, or congestive heart failure stand to benefit the most.

These devices will help in extending care outside the hospital by collecting information- anytime and anywhere. This will result in early detection, prevention and better clinical solutions for managing chronic diseases. They will provide personalized healthcare assistance to users, running  regular checks and leading to an improved preventive diagnosis.

How adoptive and equally competitive do you find Indian market in terms of wearable device business?
With the marketplace going online, consumers have access to a multitude of products and services. As preventive healthcare catches up with  consumers across the country, there is an increasing demand for wearable medical devices including blood pressure monitor, step counter etc. This change in consumption pattern will continue to gain momentum in 2016.

As per US-India Business Council, the Indian medical device industry is expected to grow from the current $4.4 billion to $7 billion by 2016. The industry is currently ranked as the fourth largest in Asia with a growth rate of 10-15 per cent annually.

India’s healthcare market is adopting global trend of wearable gadgets to keep records of daily health requirements, still, in terms of technical advancement, the country is lacking in comparison with global market. How Omron is filling the gap?
The lack of adequate medical facilities across the cities is propelling the adoption of home monitoring devices. Tier II and III cities are witnessing over 20 per cent growth as compared to only 15% in key metros. Factors like rising adoption of technology, expansion of hospitals and specialized clinics and increasing awareness about preventive healthcare is aiding the growth of the medical devices segment. These cities represent an area of under-served need, with a growing need for improved health infrastructure.

Omron has recently launched an integrated brand and marketing campaign titled ‘Gift a care’, underpinning the idea of how children today can take care of their parents, despite working in a different city. It typically focuses on children working/ studying in tier I cities, who are buying these products and sending/ gifting to their parents back home for – ‘healthcare with convenience’. The campaign is targeting all platforms including- broadcast, digital, print and outdoor media to promote a healthy personal lifestyle with convenience, as ‘somethings are good to know’.

What is the brand’s target for 2016? How much percentage of growth & market share you are eyeing?
We are looking at clocking sales of $22.8 million by the end of FY2016-17, 30 per cent increase from this year’s target of $18.8 million. We are looking at expanding our network in the country in order to reach these numbers.

What is your vision 2020 for Omron India? What would be your strategy to achieve this big target?
Our target for the next 3 years is to increase  our revenue to $40 million. In order to do so we will be aggressively looking at e-commerce, tele-health and network expansion in the country. Shift to eCommerce is unavoidable in India, with a growth of over 50 per cent. Besides, it also expands the brand reach geographically, enabling accessibility across newer tier I & II cities.                                                                                                                                                        
     Currently, we have partnership with few leading E-commerce sites like Snapdeal, Amazon and Flipkart in India, and we offer exclusive products (models) for sale on these platforms. Currently, eCommerce contributes 10 per cent of the total sales volume. We expect this to reach upto 25 per cent of our total sales by FY18-19.

We understand the needs of our consumers and create an offering that adds value to their life. With the app ecosystem catering to everyday needs of the consumer, it is important to address healthcare issues and provide information and advice to adopt a preventive approach. We, at Omron are looking at aggressively exploring the tele-health market with specific apps that will connect  our devices and provide general health suggestions to the patients using the Omron monitoring devices, basis their readings. It adds a new paradigm in healthcare, where the patient is monitored between physician office visits. A vast country with a population over 1.2 billion, needs accessible and affordable healthcare services.

This move will help both Omron and the patients by enabling Omron to overcome access barriers in tier III and remote areas and engage patients, while helping them to improve their quality of life with real time monitoring and assistance.

Please elaborate on the staff training and seamless communication with the teams across India? What kind of software do you use to maintain quality and staff knowledge sharing?
With each product launch, technical product trainings are conducted; along with it technical details and competitor and Market details are shared with each individual. Various marketing and product collaterals are designed for products and are shared with Sales team, technical team and with our distributors and retail across India.
 

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