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Global vaccine storage equipment mkt set to grow to $192 bn by 2026: B Medical Systems Dy CEO

Given the growing prevalence of infectious diseases and immunological disorders, the demand for vaccine storage equipment has rapidly grown, especially since the pandemic's outbreak

Jesal Doshi, Deputy CEO, B Medical Systems
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Jesal Doshi, Deputy CEO, B Medical Systems  

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Stating that offering products with 24/7 real-time monitoring of temperature conditions is crucial in the healthcare sector, B Medical Systems Deputy CEO Jesal Doshi said as per projections, the world vaccine storage equipment market will grow at a CAGR of 8 to 10 per cent by 2026.

With frequent movement of vaccines from one place to another all over the globe, he says proper maintenance of temperature conditions with high safety parameters assumes significance. B Medical Systems is a manufacturer and global distributor of medical refrigeration, blood management and vaccine cold chain equipment.

Doshi, who looks after the company's vision and brings it to life through a meticulously crafted strategy by identifying early opportunities inspiring his teams to think holistically, told Bizz Buzz in an exclusive interview that the market size is bound to grow going by the track-record in the past few years in the cold medical chains. He said the world cold chain equipment market is set to grow at a CAGR of 10.47 per cent between 2019 and 2026 from $96.07 billion to $192.892 billion, as per the projections by industry experts.

How big is the medical refrigeration, blood management and vaccine cold chain equipment market?

Cold chains are critical for storing and transporting vaccines, drugs, medical samples, blood and blood components. These items need to be stored and transported at particular temperatures. Cold chain equipment includes cold rooms, freezers, refrigerators and cold boxes.

The market size of each component of the medical cold chain is also growing fast. According to Markets and Markets data, the global medical refrigerators market size was estimated to be worth $3.7 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach $5 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 6 per cent during the forecast period. Given the growing prevalence of infectious diseases and immunological disorders, the demand for vaccine storage equipment has rapidly grown, especially since the pandemic's outbreak. According to a projection by Medi-Tech Insights, the global vaccine storage equipment market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8-10 per cent by 2026.

How do you intend to approach the Indian market and establish a position?

India is a critical part of our global strategy. B Medical Systems India was established in early 2021 after we received the invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to establish a production facility in India to support the country's immunization efforts. We all are honored with the opportunity and we will ensure that India has access to the best in class medical cold chain equipment. Our differentiation is that we bring very reliable and innovative medical-grade cold chain solutions into the market along with 24/7 real-time monitoring systems. This along with our 40+ years of experience in delivering unbroken cold chains across the world is what we are bringing into the country and I am sure this will definitely help us in achieving a strong position in the country through our direct sales network. Through our distributors we will ensure that the entire country has access to our products.

What are the products being manufactured in the facility? What is so unique about these products?

We are manufacturing vaccine refrigerators/freezers and vaccine transport boxes in the initial phases and will expand the product portfolio slowly. Our products are known for their reliability and superior performance across the world. These products have been working successfully for years across some of the most hostile conditions on earth, e.g. health centers in the middle of deserts, in Amazonian rainforests, extremely cold locations etc. Some of our units are also known for their versatility. We have units that can work as a vaccine refrigerator, vaccine freezer, and ice-pack freezer. Our ultra-low freezers can support a wide range of storage conditions from as low as -86°C to -20°C.

These products are all certified medical devices. Another unique aspect of our products is that it offers 24/7 real-time monitoring of the temperature conditions in which vaccines and other temperature-sensitive specimens are stored and transported.

Who is the intended target audience- which sectors?

We serve all the customers who need a medical cold chain to store and transport temperature-sensitive specimens like vaccines, medicines, blood and blood components. This covers the public sector (including national and State immunization programs) and also the private sector like pharma companies, clinics, doctor's offices, laboratories, hospitals and blood banks.

Can you tell us about all of your partnerships?

We have partnerships with several leading pharma players like Dr. Reddy's and Serum Institute of India. We have a MoU with the Adani Group and Spicejet. We are also working closely with several hospital chains in the country.

How big is your facility?

The facility has an annual production capacity of 100,000 units of medical cold chain products such as vaccine refrigerators, freezers and transport boxes, which can also be quickly scaled up based on demand.

Please elaborate on your hiring plans...

Our facility in Mundra is expected to generate hundreds of employment opportunities in the Kutch region and we are proud to announce that most of the workforce on the factory floor is women. We have our corporate office in Mumbai and have recently opened one more office in Ahmedabad. We also have plans to open offices in other parts of the country. All these will generate more employment opportunities. In general, we are looking at significant hiring across the country.

What are your manufacturing and marketing plans?

The manufacturing facility will cater to all the demands of India's healthcare sector. We are proud to be contributing to Make in India and Atma Nirbhar Bharat Mission.

How do you see the future?

We are committed to bringing to the world innovative and sustainable cold chain solutions that offer reliable and efficient storage and transport solutions for all types of temperature-sensitive specimens. We will continue to do so in India also. Our new manufacturing facility is a testament to our commitment to the Indian market. We plan to further expand our commercial activities in India and increase our production capacity also in the near future.

What is your share in the market and how do you see the potential for future growth?

We are one of the leading global players in the vaccine cold chain market. We have a very significant market share of cold vaccine chains globally. Our market share is also growing at a very healthy speed. We are strongly committed to serving the Indian market. We have increased our investments in India in the last two years, and our strategy is to significantly increase our market share in the country in coming years.

What safety features do you adopt as part of your supply chain management?

We are committed to providing the most innovative and reliable solutions to ensure safe vaccinations worldwide. Our vaccine cold chain products come equipped with integrated electronics, alarms and remote monitoring systems for the best possible vaccine safety 24/7.

To ensure additional safety, we only use trusted partners for each component. Further, we follow highly meticulous R&D and quality processes while all our suppliers undergo thorough quality assessments. We have also set up state-of-the-art testing facilities to ensure that every product that leaves our facility offers the best-in-class reliability and safety features.

What are the challenges generally posed to the players in the field, and your expectation from the government to overcome them? Please elaborate.

The presence of unregulated products in the market is a significant challenge for us as a leading vaccine cold chain manufacturer and consumers. Substandard and unregulated cold chain equipment created without following standard guidelines and benchmarks can lead to cold chain inefficiencies, posing significant health hazards to the end users. However, there is much positivity in the market now, thanks to the Government of India's active involvement and commitment to making India a robust vaccine cold chain market.

As per an estimate, India's medical cold storage infrastructure currently accounts for 43.7 per cent of the total revenue from cold chains. Given the expected growth in demand for temperature-sensitive vaccines and medical supplies, there is much room in the market for developing vaccine cold chains. We are now seeing more guidelines coming to the market. Gaps in the cold chain networks are being actively addressed, while there has also been a push for cold chains powered by renewable energy sources like solar. We are expecting these efforts to increase significantly in the future.

Santosh Patnaik
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