““Patients before profits” need to be in letter and spirit with encouraging a responsible behaviour in healthcare delivery.”

Mr. Rajiv Nath

Founder and Forum Coordinator of Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD)

Director of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd

Rajiv Nath is the Founder and Forum Coordinator of Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) an umbrella association of Indian manufacturers of medical devices, covering all types of medical devices including consumables, disposables, equipment, instruments, implants, electronics, and diagnostics. AiMeD has over 350 Members nationwide whereby Medical Device Manufacturers all types of technologies have been attracted nationwide on one Platform.

Rajiv Nath is also the Managing Director of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd. which is having a turnover of over 600 Crores & Trustee – Safe Point India – a CSR Initiative of HMD (Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd.) He is also the President of All India Syringes & Needles Mfg. Association (AISNMA).

He has worked relentlessly and the sincere efforts made by him at AIMED, HMD and AISNMA to better the healthcare sector in the country and internationally in areas of Injection Safety, Drug Delivery, Patient Safety & Affordable Healthcare access and Passionately driving Make In India policy agenda  is really appreciable. His dynamic leadership to drive innovations and contributions in medical devices for healthcare has played an important role for the country to carve out a niche for itself on the global map.

A firebrand leader- a collaborator par excellence

Mr Nath has demonstrated exceptional performance in setting up the agenda and roadmap for the future healthcare by putting up an exemplary entrepreneurial competency and leadership in the healthcare industry not only by his own manufacturing company Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd but also for the entire Medtech industry segment to realise his vision to position India among the top five manufacturing global hubs of medical devices.

As the founder and forum coordinator of AiMeD, Nath has undertaken many initiatives for establishing a collaborative framework with various Government departments and media to bring to their attention issues affecting the industry and drawing investments in Medtech space India as part of the endeavour to make the country a global manufacturing hub of medical devices – Make in India — and a preferred manufacturing destination and the leading supplier of medical device worldwide.

Stars on the shoulders

He has widely travelled more than 61 countries and has attended various meetings of WHO/ UNICEF/ ICASA/SIGN. Mr Rajiv Nath was recently conferred the prestigious ‘Award of Appreciation’ by Shri. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Hon’ble  Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare for his contribution to the Global Public Healthcare sector, on behalf of the Global NRI community. Rajiv Nath was also honoured for his achievements in the field of healthcare entrepreneurship and was awarded “Dynamic Healthcare Entrepreneur of the Year 2017” at the Prestigious Pharma Leaders Power Brand Healthcare Leadership Awards 2017 at Mumbai. Hindustan Medical Devices (HMD), country’s leading manufacturer of medical disposable devices and world’s largest manufacturer of AD syringes, under his leadership was conferred the “Make in India Initiative Company of the Year” award at the 6th MT India Healthcare Awards 2016is known for many firsts that has helped it to become among Top5 manufacturers worldwide in Syringes, Needles, Surgical blades and ported IV Cannulas.

Nath was recently appointed a member on Board of National Medical Devices Promotion Council by DIPP which has been established to boost the Indian Medical Devices sector and lead India to an export -driven market in the medical devices sector.

He is also working/ worked on various positions as:

  • Joint coordinator of Indian Medical Device Regulatory Review Group (IMDRRG)
  • Joint coordinator of UdaiMeD (Forum of User – Developer – Academia – Industry – Medical Device Development interface with the Govt.
  • Board Member of Kalam Institute of Healthcare Technology
  • Ex – Chairman IPC Committee on Medical Device Standard
  • Chairman – Technical Committee – ICMED
  • Member of Expert Advisory Group (EAG) for Biomedical Device and Technology Development (BDTD) by Dept. of Science & Technology
  • Earlier, an active Member of expert committee and Task Force for Medical Devices Regulation in India
  • Advisor to Andhra Medtech Zone in Visakhapatnam.

Famous quotes from Mr Rajiv Nath’s interviews:

Applauding Govt.’s achievements, in the year 2018, Mr Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, AiMeD said “Even though the year 2018 witnessed significant developments like creation of National Medical Devices Promotion Council in the medical devices sector and establishment of Andhra Medtech Zone at Vizag but there is an urgent need for the Govt. to accelerate further reforms and supportive measures  in the year 2019 in order to make India a global medical device manufacturing hub, reduce huge import dependency in this sector which is still at 70-90%, minimizing outgo of foreign reserves, and making quality healthcare affordable and accessible to the masses at large.

 

The elated Mr Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) said “We are delighted and in high spirits to be a part of the newly established National Medical Devices Promotion Council.  AIMED had been seeking a council for the development of Indian medical devices for quite some time. We look forward to new opportunities to contribute in Nation building by building a strong Indian medical device industry which is of utmost importance to address our National Healthcare Security Concerns & Economy.

 

Mr Nath further pointed out that the way Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) was successful in promoting the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry, we are similarly hopeful that Medical Devices Development Council will help realise our vision for India to be among the Top 5 Medical Devices manufacturing hubs worldwide as the Council will spearhead the policy needs to accelerate the manufacturing of medical devices in India and end the 70-90% import dependence forced upon us and an import bill of over Rs 31,000 Crore. The Indian market at retail and institutional level is estimated to be at over Rs. 70000 Cr (10 Billion $)

 

I feel extremely aggrieved when I see that India is ranked 145 among 190 nations, lower than even Bangladesh, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea by the 2018 Global Healthcare Access and Quality Index. It’s time that we change this landscape completely by ensuring affordable access to reasonably priced Medical Devices. There have been enough reports in newspapers of unaffordable hospital bills and exorbitantly priced medical devices used in treatment which has created distrust in healthcare industry. In the absence of fair competition to drive down pricing and options of choice of brand to consumers as is usually the case in a free market space, reasonable Price Controls are desired and one possible solution is keeping Trade Margin at a Rational Level along the Supply Chain. The market place is unfortunately skewed where suppliers induce hospitals to buy and push their brands based on profit margins to be made and not on basis of cost savings to be made on the procurement cost by a hospital. The main aim of Rationalization of Trade Margins in Medical Devices should be not only to help consumers, but also allow rationalized profits for Traders, Importers, Distributors, and Wholesalers& Retailers and create level playing field for domestic industry vis-à-vis foreign manufacturers. There should be clear objectives for any policy intervention so as to avoid distress (to consumers), distrust (in industry) and disruption (to market).

Family Background

“I was lucky to born with a silver syringe in my mouth” quipped Rajiv Nath.” My father was a chemist

(of Nath Bros fame) and the original entrepreneur who founded Hindustan Syringes as India’s first Indo Japanese manufacturing venture way back in 1957 and that too in a tough product to manufacture like  Glass Syringes which demanded highest precision engineering tolerances of plus or minus one micron on every piece . He was ambitious and travelled to Japan on money borrowed from friends to convince them to collaborate with him. He was not an engineer but FSC and trained himself on manufacturing best practices of mass production and Japanese Kaizen Quality culture that’s still the backbone of our operations. I am qualified as B.Com (Hons.), got trained for a year on shop floor on production & JIT supply chain management as well as Industrial relations & development of HR before catching the salesman’s bug of travelling and product development to meet buyer’s needs and learning business principles from my father”.

Turning Point

Turning point of our company was facing onslaught of competition by US MNC BD and their overtures to have a JV but with them as majority shareholder. We conferred and the sales team & dealers assurances to fight it out with a giant gave us the confidence of fighting to defend our market share. Learning from competition, imbibing best practices and discarding unethical and unfair ones we made a relentless drive to upgrade our work culture, marketing strategies, technology procurement and even opened up to allow an injection of funds by way of Private Equity participation through a phase when we were growing rapidly over 40% CAGR .We owe our growth to our competitors and their competitors who taught us.

Challenges

Foremost was price dumping by BD but we were able to grow even with this aggressive stance with help of fair business dealings with support of our dealers, many of whom who had started their business or career with our syringes and also loyal doctors and hospital buyers. Solution was relentless pursuit for quality competitiveness to attain Brand leadership as a step forward from market leadership.

Roadblocks

Low duties that made manufacturing uncompetitive and unethical practice of inducing our hospital clients with higher trade margins based on higher MRPs. have stunted our growth.

People I idolise

My father who had uncompromising business principle and value systems for long term gains which have got engrained into our business culture and in me; JRD Tata and Ratan Tata and the fantastic self – driven organisation that they created. What I dislike – the Reliance way of doing business though I do admire their project management skills.

Business Philosophy

Profits needed to feed growth buy best technologies to satisfy discerning doctors & patients’ needs but no profiteering. Help Patients by making your products affordable and not by charities. Decide in favour for only long term gains not short cuts.

Personal Philosophy

Work like you live forever and live like you may die tomorrow.

Message via VoH

Voice of Healthcare is created by a group of likeminded stakeholder and opinion makers in healthcare and related spaces. “Patients before profits” need to be in letter and spirit with encouraging a responsible behaviour in healthcare delivery. Govt. has a limited perspective, so we need to educate policy makers on taking out Executive orders, policy decisions and laws that can help India , Indian patients , manufacturing , rebuild trust between Doctors and patients and bring global respect to INDIAN healthcare system. We do have many success stories too, let’s build on them

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