Updated on 26 March 2014
Dr Ataat Khan, CEO & Founder, ClearPath Orthodontics
Singapore: Be it the low cost benefit or the vast gene pool, the Asian market has for many years been able to, lure the life sciences industry, either to launch their products or seek manufacturing and R&D help from the country. India, in specific, holds great promise for companies that have come up with break- through technologies as the market that can reap the benefits as the products shoot up dramatically, as compared to any other country.
Keeping this in mind, when ClearPath Orthodontics launched their path breaking 3D aligners product in the country around three years back, little did they know that the technology would create waves in the market. For the first few years, the company's founders invested time in boosting the awareness and popularity of the product through unending brainstorming sessions with dentists across the country.
They aimed at making the breakthrough technology avail- able for Indians as a sophisticated and technologically advanced substitute for braces, which has been enjoying success in the US for the last three decades.
ClearPath Orthodontics, with its headquarters in the US, started off their Indian chapter in December 2007. The pilot project that started with merely two people has managed to get over 800 qualified ClearPath practitioners from across the country. Furthermore, the team of two has today become a team of 20 well trained dentists who manage the show when it comes to assisting other practitioners in understanding the product. ClearPath's product, the 3D aligners, have been introduced in India for the first time. The technology is available with only two players across the world and ClearPath is one of them.
Dr Ataat Khan, the CEO and founder of ClearPath, explained that the product has been leveraging the aligners market in Bangalore specifically by 15 percent every month. "This has increased by 500 percent in the last one year. Increasing consumer awareness for oral health, rising per capita income and expanding urban population are all factors influencing the dynamics of global dental industry. Charting the growth In its first year of operations in India, the company man- aged to get about 150 cases. In a matter of 12 months soon after, ClearPath's clientele went up by almost three times. This has been the trend for the company over the last three years.
Speaking of the hardship faced with the launch of the product, Dr Khan said, "The first year was the most challenging one for us. This was a new technology for Indian doctors. An aligner is a custom-made clear plastic tray that moves teeth. These aligners are removable, custom made appliances which should fit snugly on patient's teeth. We developed this with more than seven years of experience and intensive R&D before commercial use. But for Indian dentists, who have been moving teeth with wires, using plastic was a very surprising aspect. Fortunately we were able to prove our stance with some cases studies from the US."