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Supporting and Maintaining Eye Care Equipment in Developing Countries - An Experience from Asia and Africa Dr Arun Kumar Galli L MS, DNB, FRCS(Glasg),

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting and Maintaining Eye Care Equipment in Developing Countries - An Experience from Asia and Africa Dr Arun Kumar Galli L MS, DNB, FRCS(Glasg),"— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting and Maintaining Eye Care Equipment in Developing Countries - An Experience from Asia and Africa Dr Arun Kumar Galli L MS, DNB, FRCS(Glasg), MNAMS Executive Director-Africa Operations Appasamy Associates & Appasamy Eye Hospitals Chennai, INDIA Lusaka, ZAMBIA Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA

Appasamy Associates - a trusted name in the World of Ophthalmic Instruments and Equipments - was established in the year 1978 Our name is synonymous with Ophthalmic Products at AFFORDABLE prices We provide Reasonable and Life Long After Sales Service We support our products in such a way that our post sales services remain a bench mark in India; even MNCs try to emulate it

3 Make It Affordable When we entered business, we offered India’s first low cost cryo at Rs 1800 (US$ 200), doctors were distrustful Why? Equivalent Indian product was priced at Rs 8000 (US$ 1000) and imported was at Rs (US$ 3000)! Hence we offered them the next best choice. Use and Pay. It worked A NEW Indian company was born, which sustained hard times and proved itself since last 30+ years

4 Make It Simple and Working
When we introduced the world’s first non- electric Vitrectomy unit in 1979, it was designed to do just two functions! It will Cut and it will Aspirate. It was a runaway success, as it was priced at Rs 8000 (US$ 1000!) It was virtually Trouble FREE In its 1st year we sold more than 1000! Most of the surgeons use it, even today, as a trusted Standby Unit

5 Keep introducing NEW products
In 1980, we offered Keratometer. It helped not only contact lens fitting, but also found its way into the upcoming ECCE revolution in India Its OPTICS were designed at IIT, Madras Market share in India rose to an incredible 90% + We began its OEM supplies in We supply to many and now, unofficially, we can proudly claim that we are the largest suppliers of Keratometers in the world.

6 Keep Low Profit-Aim High Sales
In 1987, We started offering Surgical Microscopes Its input costs were so high, due to imported optical heads from Nikon and Fiber Optics Cables It was made available at 1/3 price of of an imported equivalent We did not miss the target; the sales soared to healthy and profitable levels

7 Foresee the Megatrends
Intraocular Lens were getting implanted in many parts of the world. New designs and new materials were the order of the day during the 1980s in the West Even Indian made IOLs were not affordable In 1988, we embarked on the project to manufacture of IOLs, with Indian made contact lens lathes! After rigorous tests and trials, our first PMMA 3-piece IOL was implanted into the eyes of the grand father of one our own partners! We made them available at Rs 200 and thus started our IOL venture and affordable IOLs for everyone under the sun

8 Invest in NEW Technologies
We realized the importance of investing in new technologies, when we realized that (1) we cannot manufacture enough for the rising demand and (2) we could not manufacture Single Piece IOLs, which were becoming the order of the day We bought it from the USA. Single piece IOLs came into our stable in 1995 We started to manufacture our own IOL machinery, when the supplier closed his supply machines We continued to invest to acquire Foldable IOLs, both Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic

9 Go to End Users and Ask His/Her Requirements
In 1989, we wanted to extend our product portfolio. Hence we asked the choice of our doctors Everyone’s first choice happened to be the Slit Lamp and Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscope In 1989, we went for OEM suppliers from others, despite our capability in manufacturing our own optics. It lead us into another learning experience

10 OEM Manufacturing Slit Lamps Microsurgical Instruments (Disposable)
Manual Keratometers IOLs Viscoelastics To Ophthalmology Companies in UK, Spain, Germany,France, Switzerland and North America

11 When You can do it, Do it Yourself
The increased cost of production due to OEM supply and added cost of logistics lead to unnecessary hassles Identifying the problems of maintenance and retraining our personnel to address the problems arising out of unknown and unpredictable issues became intolerable Most important being the increased cost of production; we could not compete effectively with other local suppliers We resolved and decided to make it ourselves, as long as it is possible for us to do so

12 Make it Religious Support Your Product
We know our products are working; yet it require support when it fails We promised ourselves right from day 1, to support the product at minimum or no cost to the user We promised ourselves, to support the product at minimum possible time interval, so that the user’s professional work does not suffer extensively Surprisingly, we found a huge demand to our products just because of this simple and committed resolve to support our own products

13 Support Everyone; Leave None
Our products are sold directly to vision care professionals, surgeons and hospitals We decided to support everyone, particularly the Ophthalmic Surgeon all over India We appointed service representatives in each and every region, particularly all major cities, from where every surgeon can be reached within 6 hours and attended within 6 hours to 7 days, depending upon the need and urgency Most of the time the service and parts were free of charge. Hence delays were looked by the users

14 If you have a quality product Just try to prove it
We went after certifications on quality systems and obtained CE markings, when vested interests raised questions on the integrity of our products We encountered frequent service problems and found them mounting with increased supply of goods We decided to introduce systems and went after ISO certifications We introduced ISO based quality system in 1999 with TUV certified our facilities . We went for CE markings in 2001 for IOLs and other products

15 USA-FDA Certification
Slit Lamps Indirect Ophthalmoscopes (Wired and Wireless) Microsurgical Instruments (Stainless Steel & Titanium) Manual Keratometer Manual Lensometer

16 Train others to support the product
When we started exporting, we started having nightmares. What was good in India, can go wrong in a foreign country without proper technical and service support We encouraged the distributors to train their personnel to support the products. If anyone having any second thoughts, we refused to supply the equipment for sale in that market

17 Increase the Product Portfolio and services whenever possible
People always expect and aspire more, when you fulfill their needs and expectations Try to live up to their expectations in every aspect Maintain the tempo – both in products and services ALWAYS try to fulfill the needs of the users - exceeding their own expectations and your own capabilities We do not have share holders answerable; yet we bound ourselves to our customers We found ourselves easy to grow, when we listened to their needs

18 Operation Locations in India











29 Supporting and Maintaining in India
Availability of quality eye care equipments and consumables at an affordable cost Wide network throughout India of Sales and Service Personnal Prompt after sales service lifelong at no cost Continuous Research and Development of new equipments and consumables Trust the words of consumers

30 In Africa ICEE CBM Swiss Red Cross in Ghana Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda
Tanzania Uganda Zambia Sudan Somalia Democratic Republic of Congo

31 In Africa Nigeria Ghana Ivory Coast Cameroon Benin Burkina Faso Togo
Mali Senegal Mauritania Gabon Equatorial Guinea

32 In Africa South Africa Zimbabwe Botswana Mozambique Madagascar Namibia
Reunion Island

33 Supporting and Maintaining in Africa
Quality Eye Care Products at an Affordable Cost We can train technical people to service our Equipments from Organisations who join with us In the future, we will station Service Personnel in African Countries with increased penetration of our products


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