With Analytica Anacon coming up by the end of this month in Hyderabad, not just Indian but international players are all set to observe the trends in analytical instruments. Dr Winfried Seeringer, Managing Director, Sigma Laborzentrifugen GmbH, Germany reveals more about the market and services to Sushmi Dey
A lot of players from Germany are investing in the Indian pharma analytical instruments’ market. What makes the Indian market lucrative for manufacture of analytical instruments and how are you planning to leverage on it?
Sigma has been serving the Indian market for over two decades now. The Indian market is a high tech market and is growing with interesting growth rates. The customers are extremely well educated and the research facilities are playing a top role in the international comparison. We also understand that Indian companies are very strong, and the growth rates have been very positive in the past.
We have invested large resources at our facilities in Osterode, Germany, to ensure that we can cater to the demands of our international operations even in expanding market situations. This helps us ensure reliability to our products, especially for the highly demanding pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. We would like to, and have plans for investment in India to support our product services for the Indian market.
What operations and services do you provide in India and what are the investments you are making?
Sigma is a manufacturer of high-tech laboratory instruments and focuses on quality products. We have a well organised distribution channel to serve the Indian market with SV Instruments Analytica as our exclusive partner for about 14 years now. Our 30,000 rpm centrifuge 3K30 has already generated a benchmark in the Indian market. We had good success with our three litre capacity model 6K15 and we are now focusing on our 12 litre centrifuge model 8K. We shall also focus on the clinical market with the 3-16K model.
The Indian pharmaceutical and biotech markets are natural customers and users of our instruments. Our services are used by most major Indian companies like Ranbaxy, Aurigene, Orchid Pharma, Cadila, Torrent, Nicholas Piramal, Intas, Panacea and many others. Besides, institutes like Central Drug Research Institute and National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research are also there in our list of customers.
However, presently we are serving the market as a foreign supplier with full support from our Indian distributor. Over the years, we have invested our time and energies to develop and support this market and are now happy to see the growth.
How would you estimate the growth of this market in India?
There will be a larger growth factor than for many other important markets. The market growth exceeds the growth rate of the European or US markets. As a result of our long years of presence in India we are seeing a healthy growth in our sales for the Indian market. Last year has seen excellent growth of around 26 percent. This encourages us to believe that our policy and direction for this market is well on its way.
What is your business model for India?
Currently, we are using our cooperation with the Indian distributor to cover the needs of the market, and will continue with our efforts to strengthen our relationship with the distributor.
Our distributor has a full geographical coverage of the market, with its own sales and service offices. This close proximity to the customers enables it to continuously improve its service. Sigma, however, will also continue to support the distributor in all marketing, application, technical, and service questions to even help the customers better to run their applications.
What are the marketing strategies adopted by you in India?
Our strategy has been to grow on our strength of continually integrating technological developments in electronics and material science into our centrifuges. We have aimed at providing and servicing these products efficiently in Indian market, even though in the earlier years the procedures and regulations in India were not easy or simple. Our focus will continue to be on providing good product and service, even if this means that the centrifuge costs a little more.
As our corporate policy, which is strictly followed in India as well, we ensure that our customers get long years of uninterrupted service from our products. SV Instruments shares our corporate policy and has offices at nine locations in India and have their technicians trained at our facilities in Osterode, Germany, regularly.
What are the challenges that you face in the Indian market?
The challenges are sometimes based on the cultural differences between India and Europe. This, however, can be overcome by a mutual understanding of the products and services we are able to offer, and the expectation of the users in India. Our long experience in the Indian market, combined with the excellent cooperation with our distributor, help us to solve and overcome any challenge of the market.
What are the plans in the pipeline for the Indian market? Are you planning to establish a subsidiary office or joint venture in India?
Our strategy is based on the cooperation with the distributor. We believe that the legal formation of an entity in India is of second importance only. Our first priority is to see how we can support our customer base in India in the best possible way to run their applications with Sigma instruments.
A joint venture with SVI—our Indian partner for many years—is already on the drawing board and we are also planning to establish a customer support office. The underlining goal for these conceptualised activities is to service the Indian market in the most efficient manner.
What are your plans for Analytica Anacon India?
We had participated in Analytica Anacon in Bangalore and Mumbai in earlier years. This year also we will participate at the Analytica Anacon in Hyderabad with our own booth. We believe that the market and the location this year will justify our personal presence.