From small trading business to becoming a medical device manufacturer, this company exports to 80 countries; clocks Rs 50 Cr turnover
Paramount Surgimed was started in 1993 to manufacture surgical blades, adult diapers, and underpads. Now, in times of COVID-19, it started two additional production lines to manufacture three-ply and N95 masks.
In 1993, the Indian trading and retail markets were seeing a boom, while in China, the manufacturing sector was becoming stronger than ever. Founder of Delhi-based Paramount Surgimed Ltd., Shaily Grover says, in the mid-90s, the Indian manufacturing sector was facing a threat from China due to cost-effective imports from the country that were paralysing India’s manufacturing output.
Hailing from a family that was into trading of medical devices, Shaily joined the family business in the late 1980s. He honed his skills for over eight years, after which he founded his own company Paramount Surgimed under the parent organisation, Grover Group of Companies. The healthcare company deals in the manufacturing of surgical blades, adult diapers, underpads, and masks.
In conversation with SMBStory, the Director of Paramount Surgimed shares how he transitioned from trading to manufacturing medical equipment, and the challenges the Indian medical equipment manufacturing industry faces.
From trading to manufacturing
The current market size of the Indian medical devices industry is estimated to be $11 billion. It is poised for significant growth in the next five years, reaching up to $50 billion by 2025, an Invest India report suggests.
“The medical devices hold an extremely vast industry, and at the time when I was with my father, I saw the opportunity for immense growth. Putting to use the experience I had gained in my family business, at the age of 27, I started the business of manufacturing surgical blades by doing backward integration wherever possible to expand and grow,” Shaily says.
With people becoming more health-conscious, and the COVID-19 pandemic reinforcing hygiene and sanitisation practices at a large-scale, Paramount Surgimed expects an enormous growth of the sector, says Shaily. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the company diversified and started two production lines into manufacturing three-ply and N95 masks.
“The market share of adult diapers in India is around Rs 500 - 700 crore, and now, facemasks have yielded over Rs 500 crore market size. So, almost every segment we touch is over Rs 500 crore market size,” Shaily tells SMBStory.
Twenty years into the business, Paramount Surgimed now exports to over 80 countries. In India, it supplies to major hospitals with a nationwide network of 40 distributors and 400 dealers.
It has a state-of-the-art production facility in New Delhi, which is accredited with ISO:13485:2016, CE Mark, and US FDA Device Listing. The company rakes in an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore.
In fact, Paramount Surgimed has been awarded the ‘Best Franchisee Award – 2006-07-08’ by OSIM International for its remarkable performance among its global franchisee partners.
Maintaining quality with price
Talking about how India differentiates itself from the imported medical devices, Shaily says, Indians want medical devices with quality as close to European standards and price as close to Chinese products. Hence, it becomes a little challenging to balance the two.
He adds, “We import steel for surgical blades and other raw material for the products from Korea, New Zealand, and a few from China to maintain the quality of products and sell them to the consumers at an affordable price. Medical devices are not something where we can play with the quality, and hence, the pricing is done on the same basis.”
Paramount Surgimed also acts as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for various companies overseas. The company exports its products to the American and Korean markets, where these countries sell it to the consumers giving their own branding.
Stressing on the pain-point of not being able to sell its own brand overseas, Shaily says,
“Products are made in a company, but brands are made in mind. Due to various limitations in the government policies and lack of infrastructure, we are unable to create a brand identity as it involves its own costs and other resources. The medical device industry needs handholding from the government, and then only other countries would buy us as a brand.”
Challenges, and the way ahead
According to Shaily, if a person sets out to start a business in India, he or she comes across a multitude of issues such as a lack of world-class infrastructure, outdated laws, and a dearth in pro-capitalism approach by the government.
In fact, on the market front, while issues such as COVID-19 dampen the purchasing power of the consumers, and eventually, lower the demand, a shortage of labour also adds to problems.
He says the government should provide complete relaxation from export norms because, in such tough times, there is a lot of opportunities for the medical industry to exploit.
Paramount Surgimed is on the road to expand. Talking about the future plans, Shaily says that the company is looking to grow three times in five years, and then plan to move ahead with an initial public offering (IPO). Despite COVID-19, the company aims to grow 15 percent in the current financial year as compared to last year.
Edited by Suman Singh