The medical and with it the medical device industry in India has seen tremendous growth over the years, with the advent of technology, and the world at the brink of globalization. The onset of a global pandemic led India to be an efficient producer of medical devices.
Featuring for The Enterprise World’s this issue of The Most Influential Healthcare Leaders in 2021 is Mr. Rajiv Nath, the Forum Co-ordinator at AiMeD, who with his dedicated services has led the company to the forefront of medical device manufacturing in India.
In this Interview with Mr. Rajiv Nath, let us know more about Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices.
What inspired you to start the company? Please brief us about the company.
My father, Late. Shri. Narindra Nath founded Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices in 1957. He was a pharmacist and pioneered the launch of a comprehensive range of Glass Syringes in India (Glass Van brand). His passion for sincere honest hard work helped him serve the medical profession with affordable world-class medical devices. It is because of his vision, in-depth knowledge of management and organizational expertise that the Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices group has scaled to new heights every day under Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices’s culture.
I am the lucky son born with a ‘silver syringe’ but trained by my father.
As current Managing Director of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd., I am now carrying forward the legacy of fair business practices and the value system for our organization while shouldering responsibility of well-being of 3500 direct employees & 5000 indirect dependents of Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices. Fortunately, our current turnover is more than 650 crores and growing to support them.
What were the initial challenges you faced?
I spent first year on the “shop floor” learning the ins and outs of the production process, chasing hourly outputs and working to minimise wastage. Then, I worked my way through the business, ascertaining which areas needed strengthening and making the necessary changes and adding departments and staffing them. We transitioned from a sales organization to a marketing organisation, from an OEM to overseas brands to selling mainly in our own brands globally, from IR to HR, from Accounts to Finance, from Quality Control to Quality Assurance etc.
It was time well spent, for in the 36 years since the company has flourished from a single plant at one location (with about 200 members of staff producing just two product lines – glass syringes and surgical blades. The annual turnover was around US$250,000 in current dollar terms) to nine plants in four different locations. The range has grown to include seven products while turnover now sits at about US$95 million.
Which was that point that triggered the growth of the company?
The first round of growth was triggered soon after we started making disposable syringes in 1986 and then disposable needles with help of Japanese automated technology in 1987. The initial 5 years 1987– 1992 period were very challenging to establish the brand DispoVan with educating the market to appreciate its quality against well entrenched overseas brands as well as innovations it had adopted such as needle-topped syringes and ribbon packs which the market resisted initially as the syringes and needles were then being stocked and sold separately and packed in blister packs. From 1992 to 1997 we grew rapidly as the major driver has always been Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices’s commitment to offering consistent quality.
What are the products/services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd (HMD), has deliberately remained focused on a very narrow product range of medical disposables that need high level of assembly automation in order to ensure it delivers premium products that are created in partnership with some of the best suppliers worldwide. We want to be the Top5 global manufacturers for each of our products but do not aim to be a Walmart with a thick catalogue.
We believe in ethics and following fair business practices and empower each of our employees to think and act as if it’s his own company while working as a team player and every salesperson is our Brand Ambassador.
Over 2 decades Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices created a niche for their disposable syringe ―DISPOVAN which is today still the most popular brand in syringe market in India with over 60% market share with DispoVan Needle and DispoVan Insulin Syringes having over 70% Market Share and thereby displaced renowned MNC ‘s – an inspirational case study for other Indian entrepreneurs.
Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices is now a reputed leading Top3 manufacturer of Disposable Syringes in the World and possibly the largest for Kojak Auto Disable syringes and shouldering the responsibilities with the Govt. for the success of India’s massive covid vaccination campaign
How do you decide to take the company a step further in terms of your products/services?
From day one, as an essential product supplier and having more than 60 per cent market share in the country, we knew that the country depended on us. Predicting a spike in demand, Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices adopted an all-hands-on-deck approach and won the necessary approvals to advance production into 24/7 mode despite lockdown restrictions.
Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices has supplied approx. 640 million 0.5 ml AD syringes to Govt. by Dec 2021 to help vaccinate over 855 million people till date to support the massive vaccination campaign to eradicate Covid-19 and help make India Atmanirbhar. In addition, HMD exported approximately 300 million AD Syringes to COVAX and PAHO in 2021 and nearly 50 million syringes to Japan for Covid vaccination.
Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices’s top priorities right now is to help the Govt. to combat the pandemic. Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices had been ensuring continuity of supply chain and its manufacturing plants to ensure no shortages in India for its critically needed disposable devices during the Covid crisis and remains dedicated to its constant endeavour to introduce affordable new and advanced products that not just ensure patient safety but also the safety of healthcare professionals.
- Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices alone contributes to over 65% of syringe supplies in India for curative healthcare and immunisation.
- We feel honoured to contribute to the National vaccination campaign. The vaccine bullets need our guns. It is a huge responsibility. We are glad we could shoulder the responsibilities with the Govt.
- Presently, Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices is producing more than 4.75 lakh syringes of various types per hour at our factories spread over 11 acres in Faridabad industrial district in Haryana.
Is there any new addition to the list of products/services? Anything exciting you would like to share?
By March 2022, HMD aims to ramp up capacities to 1.50 billion pieces of AD syringes while simultaneously, increasing its total syringe capacity to 4.5 billion pieces a year.
A new 150,000 sq. ft factory as a green field project is set to be commissioned in Jan 2022 to increase capacity from 4 billion Cannulas (Needle points) per annum to 6 billion per annum to be Atmanirbhar, a vision we share with the Honourable Prime Minister
HMD is coming up with more designs of novel safety engineered drug delivery products in the near future e.g. for nasal vaccine delivery that don’t need a needle and some that need a needle but don’t need a syringe.
Adaptability and the ability to think ahead are skills that have clearly served me well.