Diagnostics is the very first step to live saving and life-augmenting healthcare solutions. Most of the information that a physician knows about a patient and his/her condition is supplied by the medical laboratories. The errors in this information can be dangerous to a patient’s health and safety. To enhance the accuracy and efficacy of the diagnostic tests, in-vitro clinical reagents play a key role. These are used to generate precise and safe lab results on examination of a patient. With a mission to save lives through quality medical diagnostics solutions, Accurex Biomedical Pvt. Ltd. is leading the way in manufacturing and marketing in-vitro diagnostic reagents and urinalysis test strips.
Abhinav Thakur, the Managing Director of Accurex, took the reins of the company in his With a mission to save lives through quality medical diagnostics solutions, Accurex Biomedical Pvt. Ltd. is leading the way in manufacturing and marketing in-vitro diagnostic reagents and urinalysis test strips.hands after the demise of his father. Since then, he guided the company towards profound success. Under him, Accurex has grown 4.2 times in revenue, increased in team size from 90 to 170 employees, and moved from a diagnostic reagent company to diagnostics reagents and instruments company. To get more insight on the intriguing story of Accurex, we bring to you a special interview with Mr. Thakur.
- What was the inspiration behind the inception of Accurex Biomedical? What has this journey been like for about 34 successful years?
In 1984 majority of the diagnostic reagents were imported into India. Mr. A.J. Thakur founded Accurex in 1984 to indigenise the manufacturing of imported reagents in India.
Accurex was the first company in India to manufacture urine test strips and enzymatic clinical chemistry reagents. This was the beginning of the IVD clinical chemistry manufacturing industry of India.
The journey of Accurex since 1984 has been on a growth trajectory. With the continuous launch of innovative products Accurex has created a brand name in the Indian IVD Industry.
- Serving in the areas of laboratory diagnostics and point-of-care, what are unique range of products that Accurex offers in both the niches?
In the laboratory diagnostics space Accurex offers the entire range of clinical chemistry and haematology reagents. In Instruments we offer semi automated, fully automated clinical chemistry, 3 part and 5 part haematology analysers. We also offer urinanalysis test strips, urinanalysis meters and immunology rapid tests.
In the POC segment we offer blood glucose meters, haemoglobin meters, HbA1c meters, immunofluorescence meters, uric acid meters and respective test strips.
3) Tell us in detail about your new launches- AccuSafe Touch, XpressGluco Meter Strips, Glucose Hexokinase.
Needle prick injuries and reuse of disposable lancets can cause spread of infectious diseases from within patients. To combat this patient safety challenge we launched disposable safety lancets – AccuSafe Touch, which does not cause needle stick injuries or reuse, resulting in patient safety.
Accurex markets indigenous blood glucose meter and strips – XpressGluco. Domestic manufacturing helps us to make the product affordable to the masses.
Accurex in the #1 company in laboratory glucose reagents in India. We recently launched advanced Glucose Hexokinase reagent in India. This is the gold standard for glucose testing method recognised by American Association of Clinical Chemistry(AACC) and USFDA.
4) How are your products and services benefiting your clients and what is their impact on the healthcare industry, as a whole?
Today close to 80% of IVD products are imported into India. The cost of manufacturing in the developed world is many times higher than the cost of manufacturing in India.
Consequently imported products are higher priced and lead to the increase in the cost of diagnostics to the patient in India.
Since we are one of the leading manufacturers of IVD reagents in India at a much more competitive price than imported products we help increase the affordability for our customers and the healthcare industry as a whole.
5) Research and development plays a key role in a company’s growth. How much does Accurex focus on this aspect?
R&D is important in the IVD industry which is dynamic.
Disruptions due to technology is happening in the diagnostics industry. New tests and biomarkers are replacing old tests and biomarkers hence R&D plays a key role in the growth of Accurex.
6) Among so many contemporaries, how has Accurex ensured to stay of the top through all these years? What features mark it unique?
Our company was established in 1984. Since we have been in the market for over 35 years we have build a strong brand in the market. If it was not for the quality of our products it would not have been possible for us to survive in the market for over 35 years.
Hence quality of our reagents and resulting brand for the last 35 years is our competitive advantage.
7) Running a successful company for more than three decades is no easy task. What are the challenges you faced on your way to being one of the best? What has been your strategy to overcome all these challenges?
The challenges we face are in maintaining our quality since our brand name is built over 35 years of providing quality products and can be destroyed in 35 days if we don’t meet the quality standards for our products.
We maintain the quality of our products by using high quality raw materials and using tight quality control parameters in our QC lab.
On a continuous basis we improve the quality of our products so over a period of time the performance of our products remains ahead of our peer group products.
8) Tell us how the in vitro diagnostic reagents play an important role in the diagnostics industry. Being one of the top 3 manufacturers of quality Clinical Chemistry Reagents and Urinanalysis Test Strips, tell us about your invaluable contribution to the healthcare industry.
The foundation of evidence based medicine(EBM) is diagnostics. It is estimated that 70% of all health care decisions affecting diagnosis or treatment involve a pathology investigation. Decisions on an individual’s diagnosis, treatment and subsequent therapeutic monitoring are often dependent on a range of pathology-based results.
Diagnostics affects 70% of medical decision and in only 3% of the healthcare costs.
There is a dire need in India to reduce the ever-increasing cost of health care and diagnostics plays a pivotal role in the efficient use of resources.
By using preventive diagnostics effectively we can prevent diseases in advance and significantly lower the cost of health care in India.
Its an honour for Accurex to contribute in the reduction of healthcare cost to patients and ultimately to our country.
9) What are the latest developments disrupting the diagnostics industry? How does Accurex ensure to stay updated in this fast advancing era?
The diagnostics industry in getting disrupted by point of care (POC) testing.
Point-of-care testing (POCT), or bedside testing is defined as medical diagnostic testing at or near the point of care—that is, at the time and place of patient care. This contrasts with the historical pattern in which testing was wholly or mostly confined to the medical laboratory, which entailed sending off specimens away from the point of care and then waiting hours or days to learn the results, during which time care must continue without the desired information.
POC testing is getting popular in the medical diagnostic industry.
Through POC testing the lab tests are available at the doctors and patients at home. This is convenient to the patient.
Accurex has launched a complete range of POC products to ensure faster and convenient testing.
10) Kindly tell us your take on the market scenario of healthcare in India. Where do you think we are heading?
The focus of the government on Ayushman Bharat is good initative to help the economically weak sections to access quality healthcare.
In India 70% of medical expenses are out of pocket. About 55 million Indians were pushed into poverty in a single year because of having to fund their own healthcare and 38 million of them fell below the poverty line due to spending on medicines alone, a study by three experts from the Public Health Foundation of India has estimated.
Therefore the initiative of Ayushman Bharat will be a boon to the economically weaker section of India.
11) Being a prominent leader yourself, what would you advice the upcoming leaders or budding entrepreneurs in the healthcare segment?
- Good Governance: Never compromise on your ethics. Sooner or later you will have to pay the price. Reputation built over years can be destroyed in hours if you compromise on ethics.
- Empower your team. Don’t dictate your terms to the team but involve your team in the decision making process to get ownership.
- Build a competitive advantage in your business or you will become a commodity soon and loose your market share. You need to keep innovating to build your competitive advantage.
- Purpose: You need to build a strong purpose for your business. If you don’t have a strong purpose then you will give up in the difficult times. Money cannot be the only purpose because if money is the only purpose then it will be short lived and you may end up taking short cuts.
12) What are your future plans for the company? Where do you see it in the years to come?
Now the motivation for me is to grow the company so I can have an impact on the economic development of our country. I strongly believe that strong economic development is the antidote the poverty.
The next major milestone for me in this decade will be getting Accurex listed on