Source: Kommersant newspaper 09.12.2014
SERGEI MAKSIN, CEO of Shvabe Holding, told about the prospects of the country’s only company that manufactures the whole range of neonatal equipment, which is already installed in more than 600 obstetric clinics in Russia. Recently, the company managed to master the production of unique laser microscopes.
- The share of your company accounts for 50% of neonatal equipment market. An outstanding result.
- Indeed, this kind of equipment is a key direction of our production. At the moment, we are the only company in Russia that produces all kinds of neonatal equipment. The Holding has a possibility to install appliances in perinatal centers of any level. At the moment, companies that are included in our association have delivered more than 15 thousand items of equipment in more than 600 medical obstetric facilities in Russia. With the help of our equipment doctors have saved the lives and preserved the health of more than 3 million babies.
But neonatal equipment is not the whole range of medical products of the Holding. We also develop and produce resuscitation, anesthetic, laboratory, ophthalmology and gynecology equipment. The range of medical products of the association accounts for more than 200 items. What concerns resuscitation equipment we produce mainly defibrillators. Within the framework of the national project "Health", our defibrillators have been installed in more than 2.5 thousand ambulances. The Holding also produces incubators for different kinds of vehicles: ambulances, ambulance helicopters, airplanes, etc. Within the scope of the "Program of development of pharmaceutical and medical industry" of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation we have developed and launched into production a new anesthetic breathing apparatus. In addition, we also produce more simple but popular consumer devices such as slit lamps, sets of test eyeglass lenses, colposcopes, etc. Shvabe carries out turnkey projects by offering hospitals packaged supplies of equipment and various medical devices.
And at the recent international exhibition Medica-2014 in Dusseldorf, we presented laser interference-modulation microscope
- Your colleagues from “Rusnano" note that MIM-340 is one of the best in the world in terms of its resolving power. Is this an advance account? Or is it really so?
- At Medica-2014, professional experts, scientific laboratory managers, scientists and medical industry professionals from around the world got acquainted with MIM-340. Indeed, we have received appreciation from experts in the field of laboratory diagnostics. They think that the development is highly promising. I am confident that in the future the innovative microscope will take its rightful place in the export of medical products of our Holding.
- What is your base in the creation of innovative products? Is there a deliberate system? How do you come up with such competitive products?
- Of course, when developing this or that medical device we monitor current trends in the market. Representatives of our holding participate in all major international exhibitions, work closely with various international medical institutions. The main thing for us is not just to create a device but to make a product that will be competitive and in demand in the world market.
However, today more frequent that ever there are situations when we act as a trend setter in the global medical market. Our progressive activity in the field of research and development is explained by the fact that the Holding includes companies that are engaged in the development and manufacture of advanced medical devices.
- It is not enough just to come up with an invention. We need to realize the idea in the production process.
- The essence of our integrated approach to production is that in the development of new equipment every detail is important. For example, a powerful team of industrial designers is responsible for external interface. These are leading experts who develop ergonomics, technology and functionality of a future medical device at the planning stage.
- But still there is more to come, as you need to meet the expectations of doctors and specialists who will work with the equipment.
- Certainly. In addition, we work closely with future users of our equipment – doctors – and take into account their requests when designing our equipment. Recently, the Holding has signed a cooperation agreement with the Ural Research Institute of Maternity and Infancy, Russian center FSBI "Scientific Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology named after the member of the Academy of Sciences V. I. Kulakov” of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Russian National Research Medical University named after N.I. Pirogov, Federal Medical Research Center n.a. V. A. Almazov.
After taking into account all the details we create first prototypes of new equipment and test them at the premises of the manufacturer. In case of successful completion of test procedure the equipment is delivered to medical institutions with which we have signed cooperation agreements. Doctors assess the products in terms of various technical, aesthetic, functional and ergonomic parameters. And only after Shvabe's new equipment receives positive opinion from practitioners, it enters into serial production. Due to the fact that the development of our products takes into account the wishes of end users to the extent possible, Shvabe’s equipment is appreciated by doctors around the world.
- Does complex equipment require special knowledge in the course of its operation?
- Before commissioning new equipment our Holding provides training to medical personnel who will operate the equipment, and those who will maintain it. In the course of this training, we use different methods: film demonstrations, detailed explanations of specifications of the product, conduct hands-on training with the participation of leading Russian and international experts, etc. Shvabe support service is composed of a network of service centers on the basis of exclusive distributors in 30 countries, which provide maintenance of our medical products. In addition, all Shvabe equipment goes through designer supervision. We work closely with clients to determine their needs for modernization of equipment supplied by us.
- What is your sales geography?
- In Europe, the greatest interest in our products is show in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. It is also in demand in South America - Mexico and Peru. In Africa, Shvabe equipment is used by doctors from Burkina Faso, Senegal, Malawi and Madagascar. In Asia - Pakistan: up to the end of this year, several hospitals in Islamabad will be equipped with our incubators and neonatal tables. There is an understanding that doctors around the world appreciate our products, so by 2020 we plan to increase the sales of our medical equipment in the global market in three times.
Administrators of clinics in any country of the world are primarily interested in value for money of medical products. This criterion is particularly relevant to private foreign companies. Our products fully meet the expectations of customers. Reliability and high quality at a competitive price – this is the advantage of the line of medical products of Shvabe Holding.
- What are your clients in Russia?
- Mainly, state and municipal hospitals. In 2012-2013, in the framework of the program of modernization of healthcare, only in Moscow the Holding delivered more than 1 thousand products for obstetric facilities for a total amount of 600 million rubles, including 350 incubators, 200 lung ventilators, several hundred phototherapy lamps. In this case, the city budget had an opportunity to save money, since the price of our equipment is 35-40% lower than most of equivalent equipment.
However, among our clients there are many private clinics, such as the group of companies "Mother and Child". This organization has a network of perinatal centers and clinical hospitals around the country. In cooperation we supply equipment for developmental care to Ufa hospital.
- What about your participation in government programs?
- At the moment, we are taking part in the "State Health Development Program until 2020". For example, according to the federal target program in 2015-2016, we have to equip with new devices 32 neonatal perinatal centers in three dozen Russian regions, and for our Holding this problem is not formidable. In the framework of this program, we have already equipped 23 perinatal centers, having installed more than 5.5 thousand items of equipment in the amount of more than 1.3 billion rubles.
- What is your personal formula for success?
- Firstly, proper design from the very beginning, which ensures reliability of our medical equipment. Secondly, sensible quality management system in the company, which corresponds with international standards ISO 9000. Quality control is carried out at all stages: from the development of design documentation to the creation of the end product. And, thirdly, of course, interest in achieving results, because if you put your heart into the work, then everything will work out.