The Indian pharmaceutical market is growing constantly and there is a huge opportunity for growth in the lab furniture market. Salil Sansare, Director, LabGuard India reveals to Usha Sharma the company’s plans to strengthen its domestic presence
Tell us about Labguard’s ongoing activities?
As an organisation, LabGuard has always endeavoured to stay ahead of the curve and thus we are always working on improving our existing product portfolio and developing new products. We have been growing significantly every year and recently handed over to a the client a 75,000 sq ft research and development centre with 85 fume hoods, lab furniture, VAV systems and gas piping systems in Mumbai.
How big is the Indian lab furniture market and how fast is it growing?
There are various figures floated in the market. A large number of players exist who are catering to the market requirements. It is one of the most unorganised sector for strategic reasons, so it is difficult to comment on the market size. Informally, the Indian lab furniture market is worth Rs 500 crores and it is growing at 25-30 per cent annually.
We have an active presence in the lab furnituremarket and are trying to scale our projects constantly. We have our presence across the country and our customer base is more than 1000.
Who are your competitors in India and abroad and why?
We consider all lab furniture manufacturers as our competitors and in the business we face them everytime with healthy business competition strategies.
What trends do you see in India? Are Indian players ready for it?
We Indians are known for our frugal engineering and ability to develop low cost solutions. This is very much true in the case of lab furniture as of the space programme. But, many Indian players are now gearing up to comply with the global standards, which is good for the industry.
What kind of services do you offer? Who are your major clients? Are your products cost effective?
We offer a full repertoire of services to our clients. Apart from our standard fume hoods and lab furniture, we also offer turnkey lab design and build projects- civil interiors, HVAC, electrical, gas piping too. Every business has to be cost effective else it gets driven out of the market place. The same also holds true for us.
Are there any guidelines for the lab furniture segment?
Lab furniture has many dimensions, safety being one of the most important. So guidelines on manufacturing quality, material, workmanship have to be strictly adhered to. There are severe penalties for non-compliance. SEFA 1 and SEFA 8, OSHA, ASHRAE 110: 1995, EN 14175: 2003 are some important standards which we follow.
Do you have any manufacturing facilities? Are there any plans to expand existing facilities?
We have a state-of-the-art, fully integrated production facility spread across a six-acre campus near Pen, Maharashtra. We are adding new equipment as well as upgrading our equipment at our manufacturing facility.
What technical training do you offer to your employees?
Our focus is largely on the safety, quality, managing waste parameters and getting it right for the first time and every time. Our employees are trained as per industry requirements and it helps our technical sales and project management personnel.
What market opportunity has been witnessed in the last two to three years?
There have been a significant investment in the chemical, pharmaceutical and educational sectors in the last three years. The government has increased its investment significantly in the R&D infrastructure arena. Lab furniture manufacturers have seized these opportunities and provided the equipment and services accordingly.
How large is your international presence and are there plans to expand internationally?
We have made a small beginning. We need to have several things in place to leverage our capabilities in the international market. So far, we have been exporting our products to more than 20 countries.
Tell us about the company’s mission and vision.
Our products are preferred by scientists. We aim to become a major national player in the next few years.