With more than one billion people and a rapidly growing middle class, India is a market medical device companies have in their crosshairs. But Gunjan Bagla, founder of Amritt Ventures, a consulting firm that helps companies do business in India, says many are missing the biggest opportunity the country offers.
"The biggest opportunity in India is using engineering talent in India to design products from scratch for the next three billion consumers," Bagla told an audience during a panel discussion, "Internationalization of Medical Devices: Regulatory and Commercialization Challenges," today at MD&M West.
A mistake device companies are making, he said, is not understanding these new consumers in the developing world.
"We are designing products for the richest of the rich consumers right now," he said. "What good does that do to someone who earns $2 per day?"
To tap into that market, he says device makers need to start thinking about lower cost products that lower-income consumers can afford to pay for out of pocket.
"There are 900 million cell phones in India," he said. "Even the poorest of the poor have cell phones in India."
The key to creating products that can improve the lives of those consumers is working with engineers who understand their needs and know how to work with what they have.
Jamie Hartford is the managing editor of MD+DI.