Caremont is a Bangalore-based healthcare start-up of 15 employees, incorporated in 2019, by Ankit Kedia, the former Promoter Director at Manjushree Technopack Ltd. – South Asia’s largest packaging solutions provider for pharmaceutical and FDA-approved medical packaging. The Global Hues received the opportunity to get in conversation with the managing director of the company- Mr. Ankit Kedia.
Manjushree Technopack Ltd has been a pioneer in medical packaging and has achieved a large number of landmark designs in consumer CPG and Pharma markets. It has created medical packaging of international standards for successful brands like Pfizer, GSK, Abbott, Herbalife, Amway, Ranbaxy, Sun Pharma, and more. This provides Caremont with an insightful understanding of the medical care industry, as well as rich prowess in developing and escalating various business ventures. Caremont has embarked on a journey to provide customers with the very best in healthcare products and services. The main aim is to identify emerging technologies and make them available by way of distribution and manufacturing to consumers in India and worldwide.
India, providing easy access to raw materials and a huge pool of skilled talent along with cost-efficient manufacturing processes is a prime choice for businesses to drive a positive change in the healthcare sector. This, coupled with the company’s 40+ years of manufacturing expertise, helps it further its own manufacturing processes and enrich the medical care industry with the most cutting-edge healthcare systems and technology. Caremont has access to large facilities that can be utilized for manufacturing and storage of inventory. They also have strong financial capabilities and a large-scale network across the country.
INCEPTION OF THE COMPANY
Ankit Kedia, Managing Director of Caremont, in his conversation with The Global Hues, revealed that during his years in his family business that manufactured packaging solutions for the pharma industry, he found himself extremely fascinated as to the workings of the healthcare industry. This business was sold off in 2018 to a leading private equity player, post which he decided to continue with his passion for the healthcare and medical devices business and dreamt of taking across the world. In order to prepare for the business, he visited all the leading exhibitions around the world including Medica 2019 at Dusseldorf, IMSH at LA, CMEF in China, and the Arab Health Exhibition in Dubai. This gave him a glimpse of the global MedTech markets and inspired him to bring these devices to India. What worries him today is the huge population in our country that currently does not have the required healthcare infrastructure. He wishes that in the coming years the country witnesses massive progress both in terms of hospitals as well as a new pedigree of doctors. The company’s aim is to become a global force in the healthcare industry. Caremont is tirelessly looking out for possibilities to make strategic partnerships with whosoever shares their aim and vision for innovation and technological advancements in medical devices, consumables, as well as equipment. Ankit has also recently launched a venture capital fund – Capital-A, for backing early-stage meaningful startups, with healthcare and Medtech as a sector focus.
ENSURING TIMELY DELIVERY
Caremont is extremely sensitive about OTIF (On Time in Full), especially when they cater to a large chain of hospitals such as Apollo and Manipal Group. They have multi-location warehouses including the experience center located in central Bangalore to ensure timely delivery to hospitals and distributors.
CAREMONT’S MARKET GROWTH DURING THE PANDEMIC
The overall market growth has grown significantly with the onset of the pandemic as the medical fraternity has been forced to become more conscious about the quality and performance of their products and services. While the company saw sizeable growth in demands for products like PPE Kits, sanitizers, face shields, and other covid related products, there was significant traction in some of the high-quality critical care consumables that were supplied to their customers with Avanos branded products. Caremont also distributes Halyard Health products which consist of drapes, gowns, and other international standard consumables to various customers. Ankit expressed that the healthcare industry is in dire need of financial stimuli from the government, especially regarding the reduction of GST on critical care devices and equipment.
GEARING UP FOR THE COVID CRISIS
The company believes that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a significant change in the mindset of both healthcare providers as well as patients. The patients have realized the importance of prioritizing their health whereas the hospitals have realized the urgency of constantly upgrading their medical devices infrastructure along with upskilling doctors, surgeons, and nursing staff. At the core of it, Caremont believes, the change needs to happen at an academic level with a transformation in teaching style and methodology. There has been a good momentum of initiatives like skill labs, problem-based learning, and other new techniques but what’s lacking is its urgent execution at different levels. Caremont has tied up with Sectra, Sweden to offer virtual dissection tables and a cloud-based portal for problem-based learning of medical students. These tables offer a new-age way of learning the human anatomy along with cases in different disciplines from all over the world for specific modules. Similarly, there are other companies and start-ups working towards simulation technology as a tool to prepare the doctors of the future.
All geared up for the third wave, they are in a much better position to predict demand and supply to the customers and have managed to develop an SOS plan for the incoming orders. They are also covering a lot of pediatric products given that the third wave is expected to affect the children on account of their increased vulnerability to the risk of infection. Many critical care devices such as ET Tubes and Catheters are kept ready for invasive and non-invasive procedures. Similarly, on the preventive side, they are working to distribute self-testing kits to provide a faster diagnosis.
IMPENDING GROWTH OF THE HEALTHCARE SECTOR
According to Ankit, over the next 5 years, the medical device industry will see a lot of interest from multinational brands that will be seeking to collaborate with companies in India. The healthcare industry will enjoy a favorable position with regard to government policies and economic progress.“It is not possible to develop hospitals and institutions overnight, hence, in my personal opinion, existing players will leverage their experience and expand horizontally both in their own territory as well as outside,” says Ankit. One fine example of this strategy is the recent acquisition of Columbia Asia Hospital group and Vikram Hospitals by the Manipal Group which is considered a veteran of the industry. Over the next 5 years, he expects the teaching infrastructure to get a massive boost and up-gradation through government funding and student-friendly programs.
CONSTRUCTING THE IDEAL PPE KIT FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS
One of the biggest challenges faced by Caremont was during the first wave of covid when they received a humungous order for manufacturing PPE kits for various hospitals. Due to the past experiences of Ankit in manufacturing, he immediately swung into action along with his team to source the right fabric, lamination, and materials for the overall construction of PPE gowns to ensure that they supply the highest quality equipment to the front-line workers. The challenge was to make a kit that was highly effective in preventing ingress of the bacteria while also ensuring that the doctors are not compelled to compromise their own health on account of the fatigue and dehydration caused as a result of wearing this kit. They overcame this by choosing the right combination of non-woven melt-blown fabric with the right gsm to balance both the quality as well as price. Their efforts were recognized by various hospitals and all of them continue to source PPE kits from them.
TEAM ETHOS FOLLOWED BY THE COMPANY
At Caremont, patients always come first. Their products and services are only of top-notch quality and effective in practical use by the healthcare community. They believe that for them to be successful, it is imperative to have the right product fit. They avoid wasting their time on impractical high-cost solutions for the Indian mass market. Since their products are directly used by patients, the company is extremely particular about the companies that it ties up with for distribution agreements.
IDEA OF SUCCESS
Ankit shares that success to him means the achievement of short-term goals in order to reach a long-term destination. “It is an individual choice as to how one defines success and there is no one way to answer this question,” he says. At Caremont, it is believed that learning is a continuous process and success is an outcome of efforts put in the right direction. They consider themselves successful in establishing Caremont as a credible name within the healthcare industry and will continue to work for the welfare of the patients.
Caremont, having only finished two years of its existence was already instrumental during the covid crisis in providing care to patients and healthcare workers and considers it a major milestone achieved by the company.