‘Biotechnology industry in India is gaining momentum’

‘Biotechnology industry in India is gaining momentum’

Nicholas Tan, Business Development Manager, Asia Pacific, 3M CUNO discusses the forecast of the biotechnology sector and company developments in conversation with Arshiya Khan

What is the key focus of 3M with respect to healthcare?

The key focus for 3M-CUNO healthcare is in pharmaceutical, biologicals and bioprocessing markets, and India being a growing market, presents tremendous opportunity for us. 3M has a strong presence in the market, which shall help us to leverage a larger customer base. We will continue to work more closely with our customers, optimising their filtration operation and provide the most advanced filtration solutions.

Elaborate on your business model?

Our approach to the market is through direct sales force and distribution model. While we rely on distribution to expand the business, we are also building our own capability in the direct sales force. We believe this will bring us good intimacy to better serve our customer needs. Periodic introduction of cutting edge products like Zetaplus Maximiser EXT and BioASSURE PES membrane with Advanced Pleat technology (APT) helped us to grow in this market fast.

With new biotechnology products entering the market, how have you customised your offerings to meet those requirements?

3M CUNO has a strong R&D facility in the US comprising of staff scientists and engineers who work closely with biotech customers and understand their needs, giving us an edge while developing a new product. Most of our innovation’s are direct reflection of customer process requirements. With some of our new products already in place, we are beginning to make an impact in the global market place.

We offer broad product portfolios for the biotech sector, CUNO Zetaplus range of filters are widely used for biotech application worldwide. In India our products are used in bioprocess and vaccine applications. We also have air and liquid filters. Some of our filters come with innovative pleat technology call Advance Pleat Technology (APT), and Flex N technology which gives superior filter performance compared to equivalent products available in the market place.

What drives the growth of the company?

3M is fundamentally a science-based company providing innovative filtration devices to our customers, product innovation drives our business. We have improved or come out with new variants of Zetaplus filters in the last 50 years. We work very closely with our partners to understand their filtration needs, conduct trials and offer solution which are cost effective.

How have 3Ms products helped the clients improve their services, revenue and customer relationships?

Our Zetaplus family of products are widely used by many customers to optimise their filtration process. We have illustrated superior throughput and turbidimetric efficiency that out performed competitive products. To the customers, the superior performance translated into lower processing cost, smaller filter assembly and enhanced protection of the downstream membrane filters.

What is your take on the biotechnology sector with respect to its growth forecast and growth drivers?

The biotechnology market in Asia Pacific region is very similar in size to European regional market, whereas the US market attracted twice as much revenue as Asia Pacific in 2004. Most Asia Pacific countries have made a late entry in the biotechnology market, with the powerful performances of the Indian and Chinese economies; in future the power is likely to shift in this region.

In India, biotechnology industry is gaining momentum as it is poised to leverage its scientific skills and technical expertise to make a global impact from strong innovation led platform. There exists an exciting opportunity for biotech companies in the US and Europe to forward integrate their drug development programs at a lower cost and shorter time lines in India, which would provide them a lower cost validation option over trials conducted in the more expensive research environment in the West. The biotechnology sector is already showing India’s potential, in attaining leadership in vaccine production, genetically modified crops and clinical development. z

arshiya.khan@expressindia.com