Modi To Attend Nuclear Security Summit in Washington

The fourth Nuclear Industry Summit, which gathers world leaders focused on preventing nuclear terrorism throughout the globe, will be held in Washington, D.C. from March 29 to March 31, and India’s Prime Minister Modi will participate in this event. India is expected to submit a proposal for the security of its nuclear assets from non-state actors as it seeks membership of export control entities such as the Nuclear Support Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime, reports Economic Times.

Kakrapar Nuclear Energy Plant

Kakrapar Nuclear Energy Plant

Ahead of the PM’s trip to the U.S., Toshiba Corp‘s Westinghouse Electric hopes to clinch a deal to build six nuclear reactors in India by end-March, its CEO Daniel Roderick told news agency Reuters.

The Westinghouse deal will be the first nuclear commercial power project since the United States and India first struck an agreement to cooperate in the civil nuclear arena a decade ago, and it is expected to give a big boost to India’s $150 billion nuclear power program, and a broader push to curb greenhouse gas emissions

India has given two sites to U.S. companies – Westinghouse, and a nuclear venture between General Electric Co., and Hitachi – to build six reactors each, reports NDTV.

February 23, 2016   1 Comment

GE Opens Manufacturing Plant in Pune

Inaugurating US-based General Electric’s first multi-modal manufacturing plant in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched his Make in India campaign and invited GE to manufacture ships in India. Modi said, “The opportunities for manufacturing in India are immense. We are blessed with demographic dividend.”

The $200 million new plant is as much path-breaking for India as it is for the 136-year-old GE. It is the result of thinking that began within GE about three years ago: How can the company harmonize its various operations for better economies of scale and better use of capital? The answer was a multi-modal facility. The unit will manufacture a range of diversified products for sectors like energy, aviation, and oil and gas transportation.

GE's Multi-Modal Factory in Pune

GE’s Multi-Modal Factory in Pune

Salient Features of the Facility

  • Employment opportunities for over 1500 people
  • Currently comprising over 25% female employees
  • Covering an area of 68 acres
  • 250,000 square feet, scalability potential to 1 million square feet

Sharing his comments, John G. Rice, vice chairman, GE said, “Today signifies a proud milestone for GE in India and the next step in our technology and innovation partnership, a journey that started over 110 years ago. Our operations here in Pune help us to compete locally and globally and play an important role in the resurgence of India’s manufacturing sector and in the country’s growth and development.”

February 22, 2015   No Comments

India designed PET/CT System

The Discovery IQ, a Positron Emission Tomography/ Computed Tomography  (PET/CT) molecular imaging system designed in India for local and global markets was released earlier this year. The $15 million 3-year project included close collaborative development with Indian nuclear medicine physicians and oncologists. The new GE Discovery IQ PET/CT comes with advanced early disease detection capabilities as well as measurements to understand a patient’s response to cancer treatment. The final products costs 40% less than pre-existing solutions.

GE Healthcare India stated, “A state-of-the-art imaging center requires a PET/CT to scan the human body and a cyclotron to produce bio-markers that can light up cancer cells.” However, setting up of a molecular imaging center calls for an investment as high as $5 million. With the support of several Indian entrepreneurs, GE has built a robust network of cyclotrons to halve the investment required to set up a molecular imaging center.

GE  Discovery IQ Pet Scaner

The Discovery IQ Pet Scanner

The company claims that the Discover IQ  is scalable to fit the needs of the many Indian healthcare providers and is built on a platform that is upgradable on-site to meet the increasing demands of a typical fast growing Indian hospital. As per a GE commissioned study, 70-80 percent of cancer patients are diagnosed late which renders any form of treatment less effective. Additionally, more than 60 percent of patients affected with cancer do not have access to quality cancer treatment.

Out of 400 cancer centers in India, 40 percent are not adequately equipped with advanced cancer care equipment such as Linear Accelerators. About 70 percent of them do not have molecular imaging technologies and rely on low-end computed tomography technologies to measure the effectiveness of treatment. This study further suggests India will need at least 650 additional cancer care centers to adequately meet patient requirements by 2020. India today has about 120 PET/CTs operational in the country whereas the required number is an estimated 1,300 units.

October 27, 2014   No Comments

Biocon scouts R&D pact after General Electric unit takes stake in research division

Bolstered by  positive new data on its insulin program and growing profits, India’s Biocon also won a big financial backer for its R&D outsourcing arm as it prepares to take the unit public. GE Capital has agreed to pay $23 million for a 7.7% stake in Syngene, which handles contract research work for a number of big clients. And Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw says the GE deal provides Syngene with a $300 million valuation.
There’s no timeline offered on a public offering, but Mazumdar-Shaw told Dow Jones that she expects the IPO to come up in the new fiscal year starting April, 2013. And the Indian biotech chief is betting that GE Capital’s commitment can pave the way to an R&D partnership with General Electric, which has an expanding health care division that goes w into the discovery side of the business.

“This is not just a financial deal. GE will bring its vast expertise in biologics and life sciences with this deal, which will allow Syngene to look at new research opportunities,” Mazumdar-Shaw told India’s Economic Times.

Biocon reported that its development program for the insulin product Insugen met its non-inferiority goal when compared with Novo Nordisk’s Actrapid and Insulatard in a Phase III study involving 300 Type 1 diabetics. The goal was non-inferiority in HbA1c levels at 6 months. Biocon has been looking for a global partner on insulin since Pfizer dropped out of its biosimilar pact with Biocon.

November 18, 2012   No Comments

Medtronic to design low-cost pacemakers for India, China, Bangladesh

With 46 percent of its $16 billion in annual revenue hailing from foreign shores, Medtronic, the world’s biggest medical devices company has an ambitious goal to develop new and cost-effective products such as pacemakers for the poor, while simultaneously selling its existing ones to the growing middle classes in emerging markets.

The company’s new CEO, 55-year-old Syed Omar Ishrak was raised in South Asia (Bangladesh) and  believes that Medtronic can expand its reach even more, particularly in the emerging markets of India, China and Latin America. “Huge opportunities,” he says. “Huge.” How exactly Ishrak’s globalization strategy will play out remains to be seen according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune last year.

Syed Omar Ishrak, CEO Medtronic

Syed Omar Ishrak, CEO Medtronic

At the Davos World Economic Forum last month, Ishrak, who was recruited from General Electric and has a PhD from King’s College in London,  continued the theme, “One has to be realistic about affordability in the under-served segment,” he said adding that the new generation of simpler devices should be five to 10 times cheaper than current high-specification products.

“To accelerate healthcare access one has to think about disruptive methods — disruptive technology and disruptive delivery mechanisms,” he said. While the work is still at an early stage, Ishrak has already identified heart pacemakers as the most likely area for initial research and development.

“I’d like to challenge all our businesses to start thinking this way but the area where we are furthest ahead is perhaps pacemakers, where we’re thinking of real disruption in terms of cost and simplicity,” he said.

What this means

At my company, Amritt, we have been advising our clients to look at emerging markets such as India, in exactly this manner not only in medical devices but in many other sectors that affect consumers. I had the good fortune to get to know the late legendary Professory C.K. Prahalad of the University  (the man who first became famous for coining the term “core competence”).  “CK” as he was know to all friends and acquaintances later wrote the ground-breaking “Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” where he pointed out dozens of examples of profitable business models that address wallet sizes different from the American middle class.

It is good to see that Medtronic has aspirations to address the needs of consumers  beyond the richest 1 billion global citizens. They are early in their journey, but doubtless the GE and Bangladesh heritage will carry Ishrak’s vision. We will watch this closely.

February 5, 2012   1 Comment