Updated on 10 July 2013
What are the challenges that you are facing?
Mr Agarwal: First challenge is the infrastructure. When we want to ship out products to customers, I have observed that the capability that service providers have in the US is lacking in India, partly because of the infrastructure issues in India. The other challenge is again related to the infrastructure, as it is difficult to reach out to customers in remote areas. Once you get into tier 2 and tier 3 cities, it starts getting tough, and you need to rely on distributors. Sometimes customers want to deal directly with the company; and in situations like that, it gets challenging. We are now trying to improve our existing supply chain setups as well.
What kind of pattern have you seen with tier 2 and tier 3 cities?
Mr Agarwal: Things are definitely picking up in this regard. There is more focus on development of such cities, and part of it is engaged in developing research institutes in smaller places and towns. Also, a lot of pharmaceutical plants are now opening in smaller cities, which offer more space and tax breaks. The customers are moving to these locations. For us to grow, we have to have a focus on tier 2 and tier3 cities as well.
What do you think differentiates Fisher Scientific from other competitors in the market?
Mr Agarwal: I think it all boils down to the fact that we are a one stop shop. It is not just different types of products but also different brands. We make it very easy for the customer to work with us. In one purchase order, a customer can buy everything, which dramatically improves the way we can transact, and all of it can come in one shipment. And, this is our value proposition across the globe. Speaking of the entire group, there is no other company that has more self manufactured products and distribution channels than us.
What are the plans for Unity Lab Services?
Mr Agarwal: We have plans to introduce Unity Lab Services in India soon. We are focusing on putting together a service portfolio in India. We have the capability and we are trying to build on it. Some of these services are already being offered to the customers in India, but not under this particular brand name. We are trying to put it all together and are trying to make it happen by the next year.