The medical device market in India is markedly smaller than other overseas market. Around 80 percent of medical equipment that are used in the hospitals are being imported. This invites for import duty and heavy maintenance charges making treatment expensive. Seeding of the idea to establish AKAS Medical was born out of the same issue faced by Arunkrishna, Founder & CTO and Arjunsooraj, CEO. These two entrepreneurs during their younger days witnessed their close relatives suffering from various life-threatening ailments and couldn’t afford the medical treatment. Informal discussions between the duo led to a research in this field and to their astonishment they didn’t find any such service in India. Hence a necessity to design and make medical equipment in India was the need of the hour. Thus, way back in 1996, they decided to design and develop the first equipment – an infusion pump (which was totally imported) with the help of a small team of engineers. Today, AKAS Medical is a premier critical care equipment manufacturing company offering infusion pumps and syringe pumps for over two decades.
AKAS Medical proven mettle lies in offering cost-effective products to its valuable customers with lifelong service support assurance. One such example is its infusion pump which is successfully running for beyond 20+ years. The company never compromises on the performance of the product and have a wide service network which maintains the product. The Chennai headquartered company’s another biggest USP is value for money. AKAS medical products are priced lower than the European and Japanese competitors. “Our position in this industry from Indian manufacturer point of view, we are well placed and on the top. But from global perspective, we are in the median level. We have lot of scope for improvement in terms of advanced products, increase of product range, penetration in market and more,” affirms Arjunsooraj.
Promising Medical Care Products
AKAS medical takes great pride in offering ‘Quick Vital Sign’ – a seven parameter outpatients screening equipment. This equipment is ideal for any OPD (Out Patient Department) to check seven parameters such as Height, Weight, BMI, Spo2%, Pulse Rate, Non-invasive Blood Pressure and Infrared Temperature in less than two mins. This product has touch screen for easy user interface and will give a print of the all these seven parameters. This is an innovative product which can replace conventional manual systems that has manual errors and do not have all these seven parameters.
The company has developed another cost-effective product known as ‘DripSure’ – a gravity based drip infusion controller, which is completely new to the market. This product controls IV fluid flow rate electronically. This is half the price of a pump and can serve in all the beds. When developed countries can afford an infusion pump for all beds a developing nation can afford an infusion pump only in the ICUs. But this product will ensure accurate delivery even in the wards. AKAS Medical is one of the leading volumetric infusion pumps manufacturers in the realm. Therefore, its R&D team is on the forefront to provide value for money products and DripSure is its one successful outcome.
AKAS Medical has also developed ‘Patient Monitors’ with five parameters namely ECG, Spo2, NIBP, Temperature and Respiration Rate. The best features of this innovative product are its 80-mm thickness that can easily be hanged on the wall and user-friendly touch screen. This patient monitor can also be pole mounted (horizontal as well as vertical poles). The company is upgrading its product with a sixth parameter, which is Fluid Balance monitoring by default in all patient monitors.
“AKAS Medical is one of the few companies who work on technology to the core. Our dedicated team of engineers design every product and deliver better performance to our customers. We constantly improve our products and strive to bring innovation in every area. We use the digital technology to deliver better customer care. We have android apps that can register complaints, status of orders & delivery and more. Our applications take customers feedback through audio, video and stream them in house,” asserts Arjunsooraj. With Government sector starting to spend for equipping hospitals and rural market using sophisticated products, AKAS Medical is all set to deep dive into the market with two ways – one is more network of dealers and sales staff and the other is use of digital media to get the reach.
Living up to the Strategic Vision
Like any other start-up, AKAS Medical too faced several challenges but getting and hiring technically knowledgeable manpower was the toughest one. The company also faced the initial crunches of sourcing imported components, vendors to manufacture the right items. As fortune favors the bold, they overcome these glitches with their strategic vision – Better than German Engineering, Better than Japanese Quality, Better than American Customer Service, Lower than Chinese Pricing, Just like the Indian Software, Made in India, made by Indians and made for the World. AKAS Medical is the first Indian company to exhibit their product range of drug delivery systems at Medica in Germany. The company was first to develop a Slim cost-effective LCD Vision chart.
Crafting a Positive Work Milieu
AKAS Medical has crafted a work milieu of openness and flexibility which shows a landscape of career growth opportunities for its people to think outside-the-box, while also encouraging them to voice their opinions. Housed with a talented pool of 175 professionals, out of which 90 are engineers, the company offers bunch of perks including flexible working hours, entertainment and challenging work environment. The company have a good promotion system that ensure career growth and provides incentive on monthly, quarterly and annually basis. AKAS Medical also conducts several rewards and appraisal programs to keep its team motivated towards delivering highest quality of service in each engagement. “This is an engineering/technology driven company. We have flexible working hours in R&D for those who fair better. One can get promoted every year if he/she is meritorious/deserving. We provide lot of freedom for engineers to come up with their own innovative ideas. We allow them to cultivate ideas and grow them,” says Arjunsooraj.
Rolling Out Plans for the Future
With a strong foothold in Indian medical device market, AKAS Medical is currently working on digital technology (mobile apps) to enhance superior customer experience. The company is adapting strategies to stay cost competitive and making plans to enter the global market with its cutting-edge products. AKAS Medical also envisions becoming the first medical equipment rental provider in India.
By Rashmisree Deb