Medtronic eyes manufacturing in India

Hyderabad among preferred locations owing to its ecosystem, talent availability, and investor-friendly government policies, says India chief

By   |  Published: 18th Apr 2021  12:02 amUpdated: 17th Apr 2021  8:34 pm
The new R&D facility in Hyderabad will focus on several therapeutic areas and innovative technologies.

Hyderabad: India Medtronic, the Indian arm of the global medical technology company Medtronic (with a presence in 160 countries), is keen to showcase the country’s manufacturing capabilities to its board and executive committee. The company hopes to bring manufacturing to India and finds Hyderabad among potential locations.

Madan Krishnan, vice president, and managing director, India Medtronic, told Telangana Today in an exclusive interview, “We are very keen to attract manufacturing to India. We believe that we can support patients and society. The Central government’s production-linked incentive scheme is a good initiative. But it is also important that the domestic market grows in size and the government spends more on healthcare. The attractiveness needs to improve further.”

When asked what would attract the company to explore manufacturing in Telangana, he said, “Our experience with Telangana has been positive and the government has been very receptive. The ‘Say-Do’ (keeping promises) ratio is very high here and the government engages with the industry well. There are also certain advantages in integrating manufacturing with the R&D center (in the city).

Hyderabad is attractive in terms of a good ecosystem, talent availability, and investor-friendly policies. We have also received interest from other States. We will evaluate with our board, Central and the State governments to see the right approach for manufacturing.”

Hyderabad is significantly contributing to R&D. The team here has already been instrumental in building capabilities in the area of remote monitoring of ventilators in collaboration with Intel, amid the pandemic.

Driving innovation

The company recently opened its newly expanded Medtronic Engineering and Innovation Center (MEIC) in Hyderabad. The 1,50,000 square feet center employs engineers for software development & testing, test automation, mechanical design, analysis, and hardware. The company during the pandemic has hired 150 engineers from Hyderabad and other talent hubs across India. There are plans to more than double hiring in Medtronic’s next fiscal that starts in May.

MEIC received an investment of Rs 1,200 crore ($160 million) for expansion in Hyderabad. This investment spread over five years aims to foster global innovation and create new job opportunities. This is being spent on a combination of physical infrastructure, lab and technology equipment as well as human and scientific capital.

Krishnan said, “While the physical infrastructure spent is almost over, scientific spending will continue while human capital investment will ramp up even more in the coming years. Though the investment is entitled to five years, we may spend this amount much earlier in all growth areas.”

Building collaborations

Medtronic continues to explore collaboration opportunities. Recently, the company and Apollo Hospitals have partnered towards using artificial intelligence to accelerate the diagnosis of strokes, bringing down the time to diagnose from hours to few minutes (2-3 minutes). Apollo has a strong heritage of surgical and physician specialties and this partnership is key.

“We will also look at wide partnerships in the startup ecosystem in India including T-Hub, besides entering into curriculum collaborations with good institutions, partnerships with Governments of Telangana and Kerala, ties in the area of skill development, and building biomedical engineering capabilities,” he informed.

Therapeutic outcomes

The MEIC serves as a global hub for development, testing, and qualification for some of the most advanced and innovative technologies. The setting up of the new R&D facility will focus on various therapeutic areas including respiratory intervention, remote patient monitoring, and digital health, surgical robotics, electrosurgical generators, cardiac rhythm and heart failure, and navigation.

He added, “We are looking at invention, innovation, and disruption in technology through our Hyderabad operations. We are addressing unmet needs and improving several therapeutic outcomes by using technologies and bringing together clinicians and engineers. We want to make the maximum impact. Out of the major 20 divisions of Medtronic globally, we hope to get a majority of them to come to Hyderabad to utilize the capabilities here. We will also contribute in terms of data and regulatory management.”

Divya Prakash Joshi, senior director and site leader, MEIC, Hyderabad, added, “Among the several therapeutic areas, we are also actively looking at neurosciences, surgical robotics (embedded and algorithm development software) suitable for different devices, software implantable, use of data analytics in cardiac rhythm management and cybersecurity. Most of our focus will be on the software while there will be some emphasis on mechanical design, hardware and program management.”

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