Updated on 21 September 2012
Mr Lance Little, chairman and managing director, India and South Asia, Roche Diagnostics
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche Diagnostics began its journey in India from January 2002 as an outcome of global acquisition of AVL Biomedical, leaders in blood gas and electrolytes testing market. Having operated in India for a decade, the company has clocked revenues of $81.48 million (Rs440 crore) in 2011growing at about 13 percent.
Recently, it announced the appointment of Mr Lance Little as the chairman and managing director of Roche Diagnostics India and South Asia. In his new role, Mr Little will oversee operations in the Indian sub-region which includes the neighboring markets of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Mr Little joins India operations from New Zealand, where he served as managing director of Roche Diagnostics New Zealand. BioSpectrum spoke to Mr Lance Little about the market opportunities and company's plans for the region. Excerpts of the interview.
How do you differentiate the Indian market from other markets such as Thailand and New Zealand?
In the context of the laboratory diagnostics business, all countries are on the same pathway; its just that certain markets are in different positions down that path. New Zealand with a population of 4.2 million people is a consolidated environment as far as labs are concerned; primary and secondary healthcare is publicly funded and it is a very controlled, low growth environment.
The challenge is being able to grow the market share. Thailand is a mix of government funded healthcare and out of pocket payments and a good quality user base. But again, Thailand starts to get into similar challenges as India has regarding healthcare access, with approximately 60 million people and a significant rural component. In India, we have very good high-end labs, which are equivalent to any country around the world.
However, the challenge is when we look at the laboratories here. We have got somewhere between 40,000-to-60000 labs in the country but only approximately 400 labs that are NABL accredited. These labs have to consistently perform and are frequently audited and checked. The focus that I want to bring to India is the experience from the other two markets to build and drive the quality in the labs here, so that more people can benefit from quality diagnostics. This is the core fundamental and we want to do that by moving away from the traditional trader type mentality as a supplier to being a partner for our customers.