It was August 2015….. we had partnered with a company which had invented an amazing wound management device to launch the product in South India. The product was developed to give a holistic wound treatment platform for burns patients at one tenth the cost. The vision was to provide low cost, but top of the line access to wound treatment, to even the poorest of the poor.
We had a successful presentation and demo at the Medicall 2015 in Chennai. We were now going to utilize the next one week visiting the leading burns care hospitals in Chennai and Bangalore, showcasing how this product would cut costs, improve healing time, reduce infections and pain. We had taken prior appointments in all the hospitals we visited. They were easy to get because the product was extremely appealing to the doctors from time, cost and treatment perspective.
However, we grudgingly got approval for the demo from one of the leading burns care hospitals in Bangalore. The doctor kept telling us that the product had already been demonstrated before and it was too expensive. We had just started the process of launching the product in India. There was no way the doctor would know the price or would have experienced the product before. We told him that it was a different product and he had mixed it up with a different technology. He finally agreed to let us give him a demo.
On the scheduled day, we gave a very successful demo. The team was satisfied with the equipment and said they would like to budget for this in their purchase. The doctor asked us for the price. We informed that the price would be Rs. 1.3 Million. He appeared pleasantly surprised and said, the other guys had quoted almost 4 times higher price for the same equipment.
The representative from the company which invented the product, asked him how this was possible since this was being launched in the country for the first time. That was when the doctor informed that the demo had been conducted by a Delhi based distributor who claimed to represent the company. They had given a very unsatisfactory demo and quoted a prohibitive price for the product.
It turns out that the Delhi based distributor had purchased the product during an international exhibition a year back and was now going around trying to exploit the company’s lack of marketing and distribution structure with out the company even knowing about it.
The company had a great product and technology. It was just scaling up its marketing and distribution network. Imagine the damage that the distributor has caused to the brand, the technology and to the health of the patients — by falsely representing the company, by making the product too expensive, going against the very principles of why the product was invented in the first place and by killing the technology owing to a hugely unsatisfactory demo.
This was a product which people who could not afford the normal line of treatment for their wounds deserved, because it cut costs by 70%. But traditional methods of marketing, distribution and sales meant that it would take a very long time for the doctors to discover the product, engage and learn about the therapy from authentic distributors or representatives of the company and also be able to purchase the product at company specified price limits.
During the course of our discussions with medical device companies, biomedical departments & purchase departments in hospitals, doctors and distributors, we found that such experiences were common.
We consistently get approached by international companies to represent them in India — we have to politely decline most of them owing to our limitations. During exhibitions, we see many small & medium sized companies come out with great products, therapies and technologies. Most of them have problems in growing beyond their home market.
We set up our own stalls in exhibitions too and find doctors and hospitals discovering new products — international brands that have been around abroad for decades but out of access & unknown to most of the domestic buyers due to lack of representation and any means to discover them.
This was gap we needed to bridge. The existing technologies simply were not sufficient to effectively meet the demands of the Medical device industry — from Manufacturer’s, Distributor’s and Buyer’s perspective.
We simply had to invent a new one…. the idea which took root in November 2015, is finally taking shape in the form of Atto Marketplace — The next generation online marketplace platform. Doctor’s Bazaar — doctorsbazaar.com — the world’s first, truly global medical device market place would be launched on this platform in Nov 2016 at Medica Dusseldorf.
Doctors Bazaar is an Enterprise platform for Medical Devices which performs Networking, Interaction and Marketplace functions. It aims to connect thousands of Medical Device Companies with millions of Hospitals, Clinics and Doctors around the world. Improving product discovery, product — therapy fit, global procurement and servicing solutions for Medical Devices. Try out the site at https://doctorsbazaar.com/