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‘We would be manufacturing around 100,000 wheelchairs and 25,000 beds by 2020’

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Syed Riaz Qadri, MD, Vermeiren India Rehab shares more details about the company’s recently launched manufacturing facility, its role in the company’s growth plans, the opportunities it seeks to tap and more, with Usha Sharma

What was the reason behind Vermeiren Group’s setting up of state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in India? How is it going to benefit the Indian population?

Syed Riaz Qadri

India is one of the emerging markets with significant growth potential across categories like automobiles, tourism, electronics and others etc. With the potential of the population and growing demand, the medical equipment sector is set to witness exponential growth. Moreover, people are getting more aware about quality and ask for customised products as per their requirement.

Innovative, best quality products will be manufactured in the facility. It will be supplied in the Indian market at competitive prices as it is manufactured locally. Moreover, the government is also planning to give benefits for Indian manufacturing units through exemption of taxes and duties. Thus, patients will be able to reap several benefits through the newly launched facility.

Which products will be manufactured from the newly built facility and what business opportunities do you foresee? What percentage of growth have you chalked from the rehab care equipment market?

Currently, we will be starting with manual wheel chairs with different models. We will be able to supply around 20-30 per cent of wheelchairs initially from our facility as per the requirement.

In the first year, how many wheelchairs, hospital beds, shell chairs, comfort chairs and other products do you plan to manufacture from the newly launched facility? Are you in partnership with any hospitals?

In 2016, we would be manufacturing around 8000 wheelchairs and in 2017 it may reach around 35,000 to 40000 wheelchairs. We would manufacture hospital beds in 2018, post construction of our building’s second phase. We also plan to manufacture around 100,000 wheelchairs, 25,000 beds and other products by 2020, to meet the market requirements.

What will be the USP of your products and how cost effective will they be for the Indian patients?

Since, we manufacture in India, our products will be more cost effective than those of other importers as we can save the cost of manpower, transportation cost and other miscellaneous expenses for clearance. As of now, since we are in the SEZ, we will be paying import duties for local sales in India. But the government is thinking of new policies in which duties can be exempted for local manufacturers, which in turn will help us to price our products in a more competitive manner.

Reportedly, you have plans to open a R&D centre in India and the focus will be on rural areas across India. Can you share your strategies to achieve these goals?

Yes, we have plans to develop R&D centres in India and the focus will be to not only tap the untapped rural areas across India but also the urban areas with an aim to meet the growing demands of medical equipment market in the country.

Will India be your gateway for Asia Pacific?

Yes, we can supply to Asia Pacific countries as per requirement and as of now, we are able to supply to Europe and the Middle East as well.

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