“Success is about staying effective, and it is possible only by constantly changing and adapting,” shared Jimmy Joseph, Technical Director, BTL India Pvt Ltd.
2013 incepted BTL India R&D centre in Bangalore is the second largest R&D centre and an important arm of 1993 founded established brand, BTL originally from the Czech Republic. BTL India is a complete R&D centre focussed on medical product developments in areas of Cardiology, Physiotherapy and Aesthetics.
BTL boasts 50 plus unique products in the market with its in-house marketing and sales in 55+ countries across the globe. BTL has four R&D centres and two manufacturing units in Europe while BTL India R&D centre was started 8 years ago to add more products under the BTL product portfolio to support its growing market demands.
Jimmy started his journey with BTL as the first employee in November 2013. Today, they have a complete R&D capability with experts and equipment in all areas of product development with a proven product development system in place. They have released five products to the global market and another three of them finished CB and are in the CE certification stage.
BTL brand was not so famous in the Indian medical industry, so attracting experts was a challenge in the beginning. But “the kind of niche products, end-to-end product development cycles, full product development ownership packed with Know WHY culture, lean process, and quick decisions made BTL favourite to many even from big Brand,” shared Jimmy.
With unique product development at BTL, they try to bring unique products and features, several times, without a reference product at the beginning. This demands core research and development for defining product specifications and requirements. The process is quite different from other companies or many giant multinational companies where requirements are mostly clear while starting the development.
BTL, as a company, would like to create new markets by launching products filled with innovation and unique features. For example, ECG devices launched in the early 2000s are still in the market and has still almost all advanced features with their competition.
Another example is BTL Flexi – a pocket-size hand heled 12 lead ECG system which was the first product developed and certified by BTL India. This is a beautiful wearable device with unlimited mobility due to its exceptional Wi-Fi range and connectivity options to computers and tablets. It is small in size, but it accommodates 12 lead displays, seamless connectivity, carefully designed power management, superior signal quality and added diagnostic confidence due to the connectivity to BTL high-end cardio point diagnostic and interpretation software. There is no direct competition for this product in the market.
BTL’s culture involves quick decision making. They want everyone to know the WHY to be more effective and motivated in what they do, they offer end-to-end product development, they trust and depend on their people as they don’t want to have a heavy process. However, they ensure that their people own what they do with enough learning and questions.
With no budget constraints, their operations allow the opportunity for everyone to invest without being stopped for any reasonable causes. Decision-makers are within the team and hence it is quicker and effective. The BTL leaders are engineers and hence we act more like an engineer- it is an engineer’s company.
“Having a clear vision, setting up goals, and working towards a common goal is key”. This is accomplished by hiring exceptional people, communicating WHYS, trusting and take care of them.
As a leader, Jimmy believes, “change is constant in any business. Successfully adapting to the changes keeps him motivated and driven through the journey”. It is difficult to manage changes unless we do not have an extremely good leadership team who can understand the WHYS and communicate the WHYS to the next level. We have such a wonderful team in place.
BTL Global leadership believes in investing in R&D is the future. They usually do not limit by budgets if the R&D potential exists. Diversity in product portfolio and geographical reach, as a global company, they remain unaffected by region or country-specific challenges and trends. Backed up by an established company but operating as a start-up with a lean process and a lot of trust and ownership to individuals, BTL maintains a “know why” culture in an environment where management wants to develop products and people. Hence, BTL investment is not just for product development but for people also.
“Be there to solve some problems outside money. Be authentic and know “WHYs” in your Vision and Goal. Ensure you are part of the right team by investing to develop common goals and culture,” Jimmy Joseph shared advice for the aspiring entrepreneurs.
2020 opened a new challenge of handling embedded product development remotely without affecting individuals’ safety, priorities, and Product’s Quality. In 2021, BTL India proved to be successful in their strategies by completing medical-grade CB certification and Design transfer of their upcoming next-generation products to BTL’s European Manufacturing units per schedule. Together, they crossed the hurdle and now they are gearing up to expand R&D capacity to handle more product developments in parallel.
Pandemic was driving companies to find alternative ways and adopt new styles. For BTL India, it allowed grasping many learnings, made them rethink the HR policies, and enabled them to run H/W product development almost remotely by setting up enough home office facilities and communication tools.
Despite not being under the category of mandatory CSR regulations per the Indian Government, BTL India has extended a helping hand since its inception. This year, BTL India has donated more than 40 numbers of BTL-606 Lung Ventilators to different hospitals across India.
They joined forces with BTL industries to achieve the bigger goal of addressing the COVID crisis, with a commitment to help in the fight against the pandemic. BTL started developing BTL ventilators and respirators when Covid-19 hit the world in 2020. Development was carried out at the BTL CZ R&D centre using a licensed platform for basic ventilators offered to medical equipment manufacturers. The company is proud to break the record in obtaining safety certification and a regular CE mark for ventilators in 5 weeks.
BTL revamped several of their manufacturing facilities to start producing medical-grade Respirators and Ventilators. From September 2020, BTL’s European manufacturing facilities have been producing FFP2 (European equivalent to N-95) respirator masks and expedited more than 13 million pieces around the world. The respirator masks received both CE marking and FDA EUA BTL Company has donated more than 400 numbers of BTL-606 Lung Ventilators and more than 1000K respirators in Europe to treat Covid-19 patients. BTL ventilators continue saving lives in many countries around the world.