Updated on 10 July 2013
Mr Amit Agarwal VP & country head, Thermo Fisher Scientific India
As part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Fisher Scientific India has been a channel partner for not just the parent company's products, but also for other principals in the biosupplier domain, as it has a revenue share of 20 percent in the entire group. Mr Amit Agarwal has worked with Thermo Fisher Scientific group for 15 years in the US, and took over as vice president and country head for Fisher Scientific India last year. Speaking with BioSpectrum, he outlines his plans to make the company a preferred channel partner for its customers and explains how a focus on tier 2 and tier 3 cities will ensure sustained growth.
How would you describe Fisher Scientific's offerings in the Indian market?
Mr Agarwal: About seven years back, we bought a business called Collagen, from GlaxoSmithKline, and that is how Fisher Scientific came into being. It was a primarily a chemicals' company. Using that as a platform, we tried to reach out to different verticals like pharmaceuticals, life sciences, biotechnology, government and academic labs. Since we are a part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, we sell their products along with those of other brands like Corning, LabConco, BD, and IKA. We also have a small healthcare business that focuses on healthcare products for small labs. Additionally, we cater to industrial manufacturing units in food and agriculture. However, that is not our focus area.
How does Fisher Scientific align its activities with Thermo Fisher Scientific's operations, while supplying other brands?
Mr Agarwal: Thermo Fisher is the parent corporation that includes Thermo Scientific, Fisher Scientific and Unity Lab Services, which is yet to be introduced in India, and smaller brands like Cole Parmer, Nunc and Nalgene. Every product that we make is branded as Thermo Fisher Scientific. These products are then taken to the market by us. We do not deal with R&D and manufacturing, but are the channel that sells internal products along with other brands. Our value proposition is choice and convenience. We like the customer to first consider the Thermo Scientific product, but if they prefer some other brand, we offer them that product as well. Retaining the customer base and building a relationship is important to us.
Do you see any particular trend in the supplier industry?
Mr Agarwal: Over the last couple of years, sale of equipment and instruments has slowed down. However, consumables in life sciences and biotech products are showing a healthy growth. From a segment perspective, despite the economic slowdown, the pharmaceutical and life science segment is growing at 8 to 10 percent. It is a mixed bag, as some products are seeing the impact of the slowdown, whereas others are growing strong.
What is your outlook for the next year?
Mr Agarwal: There is a hope that things will improve with the 12th Five Year Plan and its allocations for the life science industries. Though, we have not seen it yet, but we expect that by the second half of 2013, government grants would start coming in and things will change.