Rajesh M Patel, Head-Business Operations, Meril Diagnostics

Make in India is an initiative launched by the government of India to encourage multinational as well as national companies to manufacture their products in India. The major objective behind the initiative is to focus on job creation and skill enhancement.

Meril Life Sciences commenced its operations nearly a decade ago launching Meril Cardiovascular and Meril Orthopaedics. Today, Meril Life Sciences has added two more companies, Meril Diagnostics and Meril Endosurgery. The vision has always stressed on manufacturing in India rather than import. Due to the lack of technical know-how and personnel, few of the products still remain imported but not for long. It is Meril's endeavor to manufacture all products in India thus creating jobs, technical enhancement, price benefit to Indian customers, and pride.

Meril's vision is to add more to the lives of nearly 1.4 billion people in India by 2025.

In the healthcare sector, even IVD industry has not been spared from having high dependability on overseas companies. We have witnessed significant growth in the IVD space in the last decade; however, the flip side of it has been the dependability on these overseas companies either for finished products or for raw material. This is applicable completely for instruments, reagents, spares, and consumables.

During the last 5 years, the USD has travelled from Rs.39 to Rs.68-plus and has seen nearly 70 percent oscillation. The last 6 months have seen the maximum variation, which has put all importers in a difficult situation. It is not possible for any company to bring in price changes frequently and ultimately the margins and the bottom lines have been affected. Most of the high-volume-contributing customers have instruments on the reagent rental business model, wherein the return on investment is always calculated on long-term placement. The oscillation of USD has delayed the return on investment, further thinning the margins and profitability.

We at Meril, to further our vision, have planned to decrease our dependability on overseas companies by introducing several indigenously manufactured instruments and reagents including quality controls. We have successfully launched several analyzers spanning a wide array of semi-automated and fully automated biochemistry analyzers, ELISA reader and washer, semi-automated coagulation analyzers, and corresponding reagents. We also manufacture compatible biochemistry system packs for Mindray BS and Transasia EM series. Compatible hematology reagents manufactured by Meril give the customer a choice without compromising accuracy and precision. Meril remains the only company to indigenously manufacture and launch a 3-part differential hematology analyzer. The analyzer comes equipped with two chambers - volumetric-based counting system and 20 parameters including three histograms, the unique feature being the addition of P-LCR reporting.

Recently, Meril has entered the niche market by manufacturing 400-throughput fully automated biochemistry analyzer, which will lessen the customer's dependency on imported analyzers and investment of premium price. The analyzer boasts of smallest footprint and is available as both bench-top and floor model. The analyzer has been designed for minimal water consumption and a unique cooling unit. User-defined reflex testing has been included in the software, which makes clinical interpretation much easier. The analyzer will offer customers a truly walk-away system.

At its state-of-the-art 300,000 square feet R&D and manufacturing facility at Vapi, Meril plans to manufacture world-class instruments and reagents in the field of biochemistry, hematology, coagulation, immunoassays, point of care, rapid test, and many more to provide high-quality and affordable diagnostic solutions for every diagnostic laboratory in India and across the globe.

Following the Prime Minister's initiative of Make in India, it is Meril's vision to manufacture 90 percent of its products in India in the next few years, including high-end hematology analyzers and immunology processors.

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