Khyati Bhayana | Medorah Meditek Pvt Ltd
Khyati Bhayana is the Co-Founder and Head-R&D at Medorah Meditek Pvt Ltd, a Med-Tech organization focussed on designing and developing cost-effective products of an impeccable quality conforming to international standards. With an advanced Research and Development (R&D) centre and a manufacturing setup equipped with state of the art machinery in alliance with technically skilled talent, Khyati’s team is committed to “Improving the Lives of Millions” – especially those deprived of good quality healthcare. In order to adhere to international quality standards, Medorah Meditek follows stringent regulatory guidelines and ensures that all products are manufactured and packaged in designated, controlled environments designed as per Class 10,000 and 100,000 specifications. Incidentally, Medorah is also a government recognised facility dedicated to R&D in Gastroenterology and Cardiology.
“By focusing on continual improvement of management systems along with maintaining consistent product efficiency, Medorah Meditek is striving to bring about landmark technological advancements to reboot benchmarks of excellence. We are inspired by our Prime Minister Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi’s call to all Indians to ‘Make in India’. Under the influence of Make in India mission, Medorah Meditek is designing and developing devices in India itself and selling them at affordable prices without compromising on quality. We want to take Indian manufacturing to the next level”, beams Khyati, setting the tone for her richly earned success story.
Khyati Bhayana’s saga begins in India’s capital city Delhi, where she was born and brought up. After graduating high school from the distinguished DPS International school, she joined a transfer program (2 years India and 2 years abroad) at Manipal University – ICAS. She subsequently transferred to Drexel University, Philadelphia (USA) after her Sophomore year, returning to India in 2015 after earning her bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering. All this while, her father – who also belonged to the healthcare industry and was a man of sturdy work ethic - was a rock of constant support and inspiration for Khyati.
Khyati reflects, “With an aim to help improve lives in India, I moved back to India accepting a job offer from Medtronic based in Bangalore as a Systems Engineer. My time at Medtronic gave me an opportunity to get exposed to R&D and manufacturing. I had a great mentor and inspiring people around me. However, there must come a time when every person must heed the ‘calling within’ and respond to the responsibility destiny has marked for him or her. For me, it was the entrepreneurial bug, so to speak. With the idea ignited and glowing stronger every day, I finally decided to take the leap of faith and quit what was quite the dream job”.
Taking inspiration from PM Modi's Make-in-India campaign, Khyati moved back to Delhi to set up her very own R&D unit and a manufacturing plant. With Lovkesh Bhayana as her Business Partner and her father Mr. Sunil Bhayana as the Managing Director, she finally co-founded Medorah Meditek Pvt Ltd in 2016. Khyati continues, “Here again, the memories of my father building his business from scratch – and the insights and lessons I picked up during those days – must have been driving and inspiring me subliminally. I believe I have the same fire in my belly as my father. “
While her degree in Biomedical Engineering had helped Khyati gain the skills required to enter the healthcare industry (affording her a ‘foot in the proverbial door’, in her own words), there must have been more compelling reasons to choose healthcare as her entrepreneurial arena? As it turns out, there was. Khyati explains her choice of domain at length, “I never wanted to be in business that didn’t have a social conscience and developmental aspect to it. I have always hoped my business would carry an active component of social responsibility, while focussing on robust value-building for all stakeholders. Healthcare industry seemed to be the industry which would help me achieve all of this in the best way possible. Hence, I decided to make a career in this industry. I am very passionate about developing new medical devices as an economic alternate to the currently existing ones. I am always on the lookout for new opportunities where we can take initiatives and innovate in the face of challenges. My aim is to deliver innovative and unique products and services for betterment of human lives.“
With a population of about 1.3 billion, India is the fourth largest medical device market in Asia. However, despite a population of 1.3 billion, we still stand behind Korea, a country with a population of only 5 crores. This gives rise to several plights, including the challenge of affordability. The country is slated to suffer substantial human and economic costs from increasing rates of cancer. More than 1 million cancer cases are diagnosed annually in India — and this number may reach 5 million over the next decade. In low-income and middle-income countries such as India, most of the population does not have access to a well organized and well-regulated cancer care system. This sets the stage for Khyati’s brainchild Medorah Meditek to work its much-needed miracle. As they chip away quietly and doggedly to bridge the lacuna, they are healing India in their own, unique way.
Elaborates Khyati, “The digestive tract is a major site of cancer in humans. Medorah Meditek develops and manufactures devices to treat an array of medical conditions including diseases pertaining to digestive and pulmonary systems. Common gastrointestinal (GI) disease states include esophageal disorders, GI strictures and bleeding, biliary disease and conditions, as well as esophageal, biliary, pancreatic and colon cancer. We are working towards developing products from scratch in India itself to reduce dependency on imports of medical devices. We want to make healthcare accessible and affordable by all, and ensure that nobody is left behind. “
Khyati’s initiative is certainly a Need-of-the-Hour. Indeed, it also has all the makings – and intent – of being a Game Changer. She explains exactly why…
“While some ‘Top-of-the-Line’ medical device companies sell their overpriced products to private Indian hospitals in India, most public hospitals still require affordable versions of these diagnostic and cancer treatment products. Medorah Meditek - being inspired by our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi's “Make in India” initiative - plans to enable quality and far-reaching healthcare accessible to all. To make that happen, we are designing and developing our devices (cancer palliative treatment) entirely in India, and making them available to the market and the healthcare community at affordable prices with uncompromised quality.
Currently, there are only about 8 major manufacturers of self-expandable metallic stents (SEMS) in the world. India currently relies on imports for nearly 80 percent of its medical devices, particularly higher end products that include cancer diagnostics and devices. We aim to change that. We want to bring a sense of pride to the Indian medical community by being the leading Indian self-expanding metallic stent manufacturer. The new winds of confidence sweeping across the nation through ‘Make-in-India’ multiplies our conviction that we can indeed achieve that. Our nation can become a global manufacturing hub or destination, rather than just relying on Western markets for imports. Medorah will consider it a privilege to be able to play a role in this resurgence.
Frugal innovation is a significant strength that we can offer to India. We provide an opportunity to design and manufacture India centric products at lower price points that are at par in quality with the products currently being imported in India. This would allow us to make healthcare accessible and affordable for all by helping us in covering untapped market segments.”
Turning the tide single-handedly is never easy, and leaders who end up doing that successfully inevitably pick up scars and wounds (metaphorically speaking) along the way. So what has been Khyati’s experiences on that front? What are the setbacks she has overcome?
The lady who leads by the power of her ideas responds, “There have been innumerable hurdles along the way. We are the pioneers in manufacturing self-expandable metallic stents in India. This lack of ecosystem made it almost impossible to get any support or guidance. It took us 3 years to develop our first stent as there were no Indian predicate devices available. Also, people in India are very rigid when it comes to their work and are not open to new opportunities and do not want to take risks with something new. Due to the unavailability of an ecosystem, we had to procure all our raw materials from abroad. All the initial R&D testing of our products were also done outside India which was a time-consuming and an expensive affair. However, we did not give into our frustrations and throw in the towel. Many trial runs later, we did manage to launch a one of its kind product for the Indian market.
In India, despite having ample opportunities to innovate in the healthcare segment, one has to face a lot of hurdles too. When we planned to apply for product licensing, the medical device regulatory process had changed and the new Medical Device Regulations came into force. There was absolutely no clarity in the regulations that created a lot of confusion. The licensing process had become more complex and stymied our progress. Had there been more clarity, there would have been a clear path for us to grow at a much faster pace. The regulations in India are very stringent when it comes to healthcare which makes it difficult for any healthcare start-up to grow as fast as other countries.
Another roadblock that we experience is that physicians still prefer multinational company’s products over Indian products. They have this perception that Indian companies cut corners. This stigma is difficult to break but Medorah Meditek is working very hard to change this perception. Our products are making their name in the market due to the quality that we offer and we believe that we would be successful in pushing the Indian medical device sector to become self-reliant or Atma-Nirbhar Bharat.”
With pitfalls and peaks come precious learnings. The wisdom and insights Khyati has imbibed over the years are important – not just for her own organization’s future courses of action, but for an entire industry where young and hopeful leaders out there are trying out their ‘entrepreneurial luck’ every single day. Khyati’s insights could help them replace the ‘luck factor’ with tested roadmaps and winning strategies.
Recognizing the opportunity to inspire the next architects of Aatma-Nirbhar India, Khyati generously volunteers, “Learnings gained? Dream big and never give up. Be firm and determined on your life’s purpose, stay patient and never surrender. I know it is clichéd but it works. It is important that we set our own trends and believe in ourselves, so learn to believe in your intuition. Don’t give too much importance to the hurdles and failures, except as vital sources of lifelong learning. Finally, try to create something of value that improves people’s lives.
Another crucial thing is to never forget to be grateful to those who support you in your toughest times. There were times when I was way too frustrated and stressed which is usually the case in R&D. But my family, my best friend, my hard-working team and by Business Partner never stopped believing in me. They are my biggest helping hands and the backbones of my life. They made sure that my failures never dissuade me from achieving my life goals. After all, to be a successful entrepreneur means you got to pour in your blood, sweat and tears. Nothing would have been possible without them.
There are many ups and downs throughout my journey and I believe each and every one of them is equally important. The ups confirmed I was doing something right, the downs made me stay grounded and try again.”
Khyati is well on her way to leaving an enduring signature on the landscape of Indian Manufacturing and Healthcare. So how would she like to be remembered by oncoming generations? What would she, in other words, want her legacy to be? “I want to be remembered by my ideas, my leadership and my products – and the extent to which they have been able to make an impact in the lives of my fellow citizens. I will retire peacefully if I am able to engineer a significant change in the practises and mindset of Indian medical practitioners, and inspiring self-belief in the healthcare community that Indian medical devices are no less than their imported counter parts.” Noble goal indeed, and in her quest, Khyati has our full support and encouragement.
“VOH provides us all with an ideal platform to connect with each other. It has become a voice of many healthcare entrepreneurs to share about their impeccable journey and their views. This also in turn motivates upcoming healthcare start-ups to work towards their goals and passions. VOH makes us feel like we matter and that we all are on the right track to give back to the society. Hats off to their commendable efforts to bring us all together… as one, unstoppable force.”
*This story is published by VOH Team*
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