India Spawning Top Notch Medical Devices Companies With Cutting-Edge Tech at Affordable Prices  
2/8/2013 8:02:51 AM

In India, about 15 babies die every minute due to asphyxiation in maternity homes that can't afford the costly imported infant warmers. Many midwives try and make do with table lamps — but they are a poor substitute. As a student of IIT Chennai in 1988, Sashi Kumar was asked to repair imported baby warmers for a hospital. Kumar, 49, not only fixed the warmers but also started making them on his own — his company Phoenix Medical Systems was born. Phoenix is among the nearly 700 medical equipment companies in India's $5.2 billion (Rs 28,000 crore) medical device industry that make affordable alternatives to equipment supplied by global giants. Kumar's baby warmer costs about Rs 80,000 a piece, onetenth that of an imported warmer. The Chennai firm is expected to clock revenues of Rs 50 crore this year. "There is a perfect storm brewing in the medical devices space," says Ajit Singh, partner at venture capital fund Artiman Ventures, which manages a global corpus of about Rs 4,100 crore.