India may be a top medical tourism destination, but it imports around 80 percent of medical equipment used in hospitals. The highly-priced devices are slapped with an import duty of 2.5 percent and come with heavy maintenance charges, with costs running into lakhs of rupees.
These costs are ultimately borne by patients, making treatment expensive and clearly indicating the need for change in the sector.
Enter UnivLabs, a startup working on a range of medical equipment and accessories.
Gurugram-based UnivLabs’ core focus areas are minimally invasive surgeries like endoscopy and laparoscopy, along with diabetes management. The startup’s product portfolio includes endoscope medical devices, robotic surgery suite, insulin patch pump, non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring (CGMS), and drone critical care for cardiac and trauma conditions.
Sunil Singh, Founder of UnivLabs, says: “Our key mantra is to design a quality product, inside and outside. From day one we are up against global giants and winning. The endoscope device is earning us revenue while the diabetes management device is under development,”
Sunil founded the company in 2015. The company’s core team comprises medical device engineers, AIIMS professors and tech experts.
Last year, UnivLabs was incubated in the government-funded electronics incubator, Electropreneur Park.
“UnivLabs experimented with several business ideas but finally settled for medical devices as this is a domain that significantly benefits society. We realised that if a distributor is confident about the UnivLabs product, it can reach a surgeon’s table. We provide distributors an international quality product at competitive prices,” Sunil says.
The brand has received a government grant of Rs 48 lakh from BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) for its Insulin Patch Pump project. The pump is a slim, electro-mechanical wearable device that injects small amounts of insulin as programmed throughout the day instead of a few large dosages. This helps achieve tighter blood glucose control, while reducing the risk of low blood glucose.
UnivLabs also received a grant of Rs 3 lakh from Electropreneur Park after incubation. The brand hasn’t raised any VC funding and doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to commence its fundraising journey.
Watch Sunil talking about how UnivLabs aims to contribute in reducing foreign import of medical devices for offering high-quality treatment in India
Since inception, the company has installed 800 devices across India and has a network of 25 distributors pan-India.
Going ahead, UnivLabs plans to launch a complete endoscope suite by mid-2018. It also aims to launch one of the most reliable and low-cost insulin patch pumps for diabetics in developing nations.
“From technology and innovation perspective, UnivLabs aims to become a company with a product profile that is among the top 10 most innovative in the world,” Sunil says.