In an exclusive conversation with YourStory at the India UK Tech Summit 2016, the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Sir Andrew Witty spoke about the opportunities in India and the advantages that Indian healthcare startups have.
YS: What according to you is the role of technology in the world of healthcare?
Sir Andrew Witty: Without technology, the mission of the government to bring better healthcare access for everyone in India is going to be a challenge.
Technology has the power to treat people in a cost-effective way and brings the focus towards prevention rather than cure. It brings awareness and also lets people spend lesser time in hospitals.
India has the opportunity of using fresh technology and build products with a fresh approach, unlike anywhere else in the world.
YS: What is your take on the Indian healthcare startups?
Sir Andrew Witty: India, in general, has a very diverse and vibrant startup culture and ecosystem. With India’s size and the diversity of population, it’s also understood that the scope and breadth of startups will only increase.
As far as health startups are concerned, India now is at the cusp of growth and discovery of new ideas.
I think India and UK can benefit a great deal from collaboration. India can gain and learn a lot from the experience of the UK healthcare ecosystem.
We also need to be realistic and work along practical timelines. Indian startups are poised for a strong growth curve, we need to respect that and give them the time. And, all the stakeholders who are a part of the ecosystem need to create the right environment for that growth.
YS: How is the India market for GSK?
Sir Andrew Witty: India is a super important market for us. We have two of our very big businesses here ‑ the consumer healthcare and pharma businesses. Our aim is to deliver the best possible medicines at lower prices in India. Over 30 percent of what we make globally is sold in India.
India is on the way to becoming the wealthiest economy in the world and we would like to be a part of that journey from the beginning.
We are open to investing in ideas and businesses that are innovative and inventive across the globe and if there are Indian businesses like that in India, we would love to invest in them.