Medtronic plc, medical technology global major, recently announced Rs 1,200 crore investment in India. The company has said that it would explore more investment opportunities, including in manufacturing, if the government offers incentives and addresses other challenges. The development comes at a time the government is trying to attract investments in various sectors under Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).
Madan Krishnan, vice president and managing director, Medtronic India said that R&D leads to innovation which is crucial to growth strategy. The Rs 1,200 crore in scaling up and expanding Medtronic Engineering & Innovation Center in Hyderabad into an engineering and innovation center will make it Medtronic’s largest global R&D center outside of the United States.
There is tremendous potential in India not just from an emerging market point of view, but also as a global hub for innovation and R&D, said Krishnan, adding that today's Medtronic India accounts for one per cent of the company's global revenue.
Medtronic India is actively working with its parent to showcase capabilities India offers to Medtronic's value chain. With continued support and sponsorship from the Center and state governments, Medtronic India believes it will be successful in bringing more investment into India.
For any company to set up manufacturing at par with global quality and clinical standards, it needs sizeable incentives from the government, smooth approval processes, simple policies and a vibrant domestic market for business feasibility, said Krishnan, urging the government to focus on 3As (affordability, access and awareness).
To create awareness, he suggested a partnership with private players for outreach programs, for affordability he said several means such as a universal health insurance programme, innovative financing schemes and procedure-based pricing linked to patient outcomes can be explored and for access of advanced medical technology is availability of the therapy, which is constrained by lack of capacity in terms of infrastructure and training.
While welcoming 100 per cent foreign direct investments (FDI) in medical device manufacturing companies through the automatic route and development of six medical devices manufacturing clusters in the country, Krishnan said, because of the small size of the sector, a solid foundational and holistic approach to the policy framework for the industry is the need to boost growth. Atmanirbharta can be achieved when ‘R&D - Design in India and develop in India’ are also part of the plan.
Some of the other areas where the government can focus through policies are – public awareness about disease risks, promoting health seeking behavior, building adequate and highly skilled-workforce in healthcare, improving healthcare facilities and infrastructure and creating reimbursement mechanisms to cover healthcare needs of the citizens.
More incentives, support and encouragement during our development journey in the healthcare space are needed, because there's no chance that any company can do 80% or 100% of the manufacturing in India. That is what other countries which have climbed the ladder of development have done, he said.
The growth opportunity for Medtronic in India is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly on making our innovative devices accessible to a larger cross-section of the society, he added.