29 Oct 2012, Manasi Vaidya, BioSpectrum
With a view of expanding their customer base, Shimadzu Analytical India has been taking concrete steps towards connecting with their customers through various initiatives. Recently, it organized food safety seminars in five different cities, including Kochi, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore in order to educate researchers about its existing technologies in the food safety space. In a conversation with BioSpectrum, Mr Senya Imamichi, MD, Shimadzu Analytical India, speaks about the idea behind the seminars, his plans to focus on the food safety vertical and the growth of the life sciences industry.
What do you think differentiates Shimadzu from its competitors?
In our view, Shimadzu is a total solutions provider. Take the example of food, there are contaminants present which require different types of analysis. Shimadzu is uniquely placed, as it can cater to identifying and analyzing all the impurities. We have specific packages designed for low level quantitation, of all types of inorganic impurities as well as MALDI based solution for biological contaminants. Hence Shimadzu is a good option for labs looking to tackle all of these issues. Shimadzu India also has the capability of supplying application packages along with the equipment, allowing the user to adapt it according to their needs. Also they are supported by our application scientists. These steps all come under our Food Safety Total Solutions Initiatives. Such measures offer more value for the customer,as compared to just getting equipment from any vendor.
We see that, the challenge today is to provide the right support team for running the systems. We, at Shimadzu also conduct over 100 training courses every year, to train the technicians who use the instruments, which shows our commitment to further encourage growth in this field. There are plans for the expansion of this support centre as well.
What have been the recent launches in the life sciences segment?
We have expanded our MS portfolio recently with the addition of LCMS 8040, LCMS 8080 and a triple quadrapole GCMS TQ8030 as well as Shimadzu's own chromatography data management system.
In the Triple Quad MS segment, frankly speaking, as compared to our competitors, Shimadzu entered into India slightly later. However the market is expanding, especially in India where the rate of expansion is much faster than in other countries. So even if we have entered late, we see the acceptance for the UFMS technology among customers.
What do you think is the strength of Shimadzu?
Shimadzu is very strong in LCMS, GCMS, Single Quad GCMS, Chromatography, Single Quad LCMS, Spectrophotometers. We do have the largest market share in chromatography and spectrophotometers, but we want to expand further. We have a market share of 35 percent in chromatography with Shimadzu crossing 14000 HPLC system installations to date in India. The single Quad MS market has very few players in this space so our share would be around 35-40 percent.
Shimadzu has had a very strong and unique relationship with its distributors. Can you elaborate about it?
In the analytical landscape, the Shimadzu family consists of Shimadzu India itself, plus our marketing partners Spinco, Toshvin and Swan and Saksham. This makes it one of the largest combined forces for Shimadzu products in India. We have adopted this model of partnering with our distributors, as we want to leverage their market reach and experience.
What are the trends you see in the market and what are your future plans for growth?
The trend we observe is that people are now looking for more high end instruments such as MS as compared to chromatography systems before. The depreciating rupee has affected our operations, however as the generics and biosimilars industry grows, we anticipate a corresponding increase in the need for sophisticated instruments thus fueling further growth. Most of the developed countries have already established their use of this technology. So its emerging markets such as India that hold a lot of promise and have a lot of demand.
We are aiming at 15-20 percent growth over the next year, building on our expanded MS portfolio as well as our other initiatives. Also we are in the midst of planning mini seminars on different issues and other activities to penetrate more deeply into our target base.