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India eyes Japanese tech for med devices

India is seeking to leverage its partnership with Japan to manufacture medical equipment as part of a five-year $42 billion investment and financing package agreed by prime ministers Fumio Kishida of Japan and Narendra Modi in March.

Such equipment may include patients monitoring systems, cardiac catheters, dialysers, speciality needles, thermometers, glucometers and personal weighing scales.

The matter was further discussed during Modi’s visit to Japan in May.

India’s department of pharmaceuticals now plans to invite large Japanese MNCs to use India as a global manufacturing supply hub as part of their China-plus policy.

The department has sought suggestions for investment from stakeholders such as the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA), Indian Drugs Manufacturing Association (IDMA), Bulk Drug Manufacturers Association India (BDMAI), Association of Diagnostics Manufacturers of India (ADMI) and Association of Indian Manufacturers of Medical Devices (AiMED).

“At AiMeD, we have suggested targeting 1,200 Indian ventures for ₹25 crore each with foreign technical collaboration from countries like Japan who have the know-how but may not have the organizational capabilities to set up their own factories in India or their own sales organizations. And then we can target 200 joint ventures where the foreign partner may be willing to co-invest in factories of ₹50 crore each and also invite large MNCs (including from Japan) to use India as a global manufacturing supply hub in their supply chain as part of China-plus policy whereby they consider derisking their investments and dependence on their Chinese factories,” said Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, AiMeD.

He added that a target of 50 investments of over 200 crore each is feasible.

“We currently import many basic devices like thermometer, glucometer, personal weighing scales and more sophisticated technologies like patients monitoring systems, cardiac catheters , dialysers, specialty needles etc which may no longer be of strategic importance to Japanese manufacturers for making in Japan but that technical knowledge can reap benefits for them in India,” Nath said.

According to pharma industry experts, India, which is over 80% import dependent has a potential for ₹50,000 crore of investments in the medical devices sector. They said that Japan is one of the leading manufacturers of medical devices and most of the production is by MSME companies that have specialised and created niche products.

Darra Patel, General Secretary, IDMA noted it has disseminated the information to their member companies. “We have sought comments and suggestions from our member companies in this regard and we are hoping that they will soon share their ideas.” LiveMint

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