India Spawning Top Notch Medical Devices Companies With Cutting-Edge Tech at Affordable Prices

Published: Feb 08, 2013

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.

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