Living in a world of growing pressures contributing to a risk of hypertension, increased cholesterol levels, excessive smoking and a hassled lifestyle that eventually leads to innumerable cardiovascular diseases, the need for technological advancement has amplified with time.
Addressing these risks of effectively, Vascular Concepts Limited, under the wise guidance of Swaminathan Jayaraman-CEO, is providing affordable solutions with an aim to develop technology that largely addresses the root problem with their wide range of products comprising of Balloons for Coronary Artery Diseases, Rheumatic heart diseases and Stents to treat Coronary artery disease and peripheral artery diseases.
The firm sits proudly at an enviable position in the medical device ecosystem, where they offer a complete variety of products for structural heart disease which includes Closure Devices (ASD, PDA, VSD, PFO) with an entire kit of accessories, covered stent for endovascular treatment of co-arctation of aorta, percutaneous Aortic Valve which to treat aortic valve disorders in patients through a minimally invasive approach.
The CEO Magazine grabbed a chance to connect with the team at Vascular Concepts and got to know their perspective on the industry, future, technological advancements, corporate ethos and more;
TCM: Do you believe yourself to be the most trusted medical device company and why?
Vascular Concepts: We prefer calling ourselves as 'one of the most trusted brands'. We have a long-standing existence in the market with results at par, and at times even better than our multinational counterparts. We are in the healthcare industry for more than two decades now, and our purpose is to provide a superior quality cardiac implantable product at an affordable cost, along with results that add value to the money spent. We host a broad range of stents and other cardiac closure devices, as is the need of the industry. Outdated products keep getting removed or upgraded.
TCM: How do you reach to your end-user, what difference do you provide?
Vascular Concepts: We reach to our end users through their health care providers i.e. the cardiologists. We provide telephonic follow up and counselling with due consent of the doctor; offer them stent insurance in case of reoccurrence of blockage at the same site. We use different techniques of reaching out, and patient awareness programs for welfare and post-procedure care. We bring international experts to train and guide our doctors, we are not just sellers, but partners to our cardiologists, where we bring them reliable and high-quality products for use, keep them informed, and participate in national and international conferences.
TCM: Do you feel the technology and market have transformed over the years?
Vascular Concepts: Yes, doctors have gained access to global information, research, outcomes and impacts. They can now view international live cases or attend seminars from the comfort of their own country. Earlier they would have to wait for attending major international conferences to know the updates. They now train themselves successfully using the latest software & share their success stories with their peers all over the world. With our doctors connected to the western world, they now have access and availability of expertise equally in our country. Hence, the medical device industry grows unilaterally across the globe and the cardiologists are more capable of sharing their learning experience as well as opinions with their mentors or seniors. Also, AiMED currently is organizing the medical device companies and is spearheading the representations that are necessary for policy-making playing a key role in creating a voice for all.
TCM: In a competitive market, what hurdles did you have to battle?
Vascular Concepts: We as an Indian company, procure our raw material internationally from one of the best vendors of the market in Europe. Assembling and packing are done locally at our factory in Bangalore. Still, we sell at significantly lesser costs than other multinationals. However, our Indian competitors have been able to offer at much lower prices. Price War has always been a challenge. A basic minimum cost has to be maintained upon with increasing costs in research & improvement, and fighting competition in this arena was and still is tough.
TCM: How do you chalk out a business model for a successful medical firm?
Vascular Concepts: A successful medical device firm needs to continuously innovate and find disease segments that are either not treated or undertreated. There are several such market opportunities available for the medical device industry. The development of devices for these markets should undergo vigorous testing and should withstand long term success. If a company can do this successfully with the least amount of capital deployed it can then offer the products at competitive pricing to the patients.
TCM: What natures of clients are you associated with, and is there status satisfaction?
Vascular Concepts: We are currently associated with Interventional Cardiologists who do minimally invasive procedures to treat heart blockages or close coronary ducts. We are already enjoying the status satisfaction, as I had previously mentioned about a very comprehensive product array. We are also looking at adding new and upcoming devices, so I am confident that we shall not just maintain the status but also create an identity of a continuously innovative company. This is across several disease segments related to cardiac function.
TCM: Do you believe this is an appropriate time for one to step foot into the industry?
Vascular Concepts: Not really. There is a lot of turbulence in the industry at the moment, similar and varied quality of products have mushroomed, the price war has gone way beyond comprehension and its difficult to maintain exceptional quality quotient at such compromised costs. Research and innovation, which is mandatory for maintaining the quality of the product, are almost impossible to keep up with, at such falling costs.
TCM: What are the achievements and awards earned by you?
Vascular Concepts: We offer the patient an innovative range of medical implantable products to improve their quality of life. We are the recipient of the "2017 Asia-Pacific Coronary Care-Drug Eluting Stent Growth Excellence Leadership Award" presented by the business consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan. Before this, Vascular Concepts has also received the prestigious Alexandria-Frost & Sullivan Award for Excellence in India Healthcare, under the ' Indian Medical Devices Company of the Year ' in 2010 & 2011.
TCM: What role does 'Make in India' play for your industry?
Vascular Concepts: Make in India encourages manufacturers to step into the industry and bring to our citizens, reasonable products and meet the medical needs of patients, as we understand our country's diseases and symptoms much better than multinationals. Imported products are mostly made as per the western needs and then dumped on the Indian prototype, due to lesser options being made available for us. 'Make in India' can only be successfully implemented by sincere market research and quality product development.
TCM: What core values and compliances are followed by you to maintain the value across the industry?
Vascular Concepts: We are clear in our vision to not get bogged down to low-cost demands because we do not compromise on quality. Research/PMS is performed in-house and is an ongoing practice since we have been in the market. It helps us keep a close eye on our product performance and quality. Our other core value is innovation, which has been the backbone of us relentlessly upgrading our existing products. Compliance for us is a part of our day to day activity and every employee is attuned to keep this value at the forefront. Rules and regulations are taken seriously and deviations/malpractices are not accepted and feel competition should be healthy and products provided must not be compromised in quality, due importance should be given to both, cost and quality.
Vascular Concepts are a pioneer in initiating a unique patient welfare program promoting health & wellbeing of patients implanted with stents. It is called the 'Heart Insure Program', a one of a kind service in India, which aims at disease management post angioplasty & takes care of the financial burden to undergo a repeat procedure. The patient is covered under special insurance & does not have to pay any premium. If the patient surfaces restenosis at the site of stenting, the company covers up the cost for the second procedure with a free device.