We will invest more into medical aesthetic space in India: Ziv Karni

On global scenario how does India compare?

Alma Lasers is among the top five global companies in the medical aesthetic devices industry. Our devices are based on different technologies like laser, light-based, radiofrequency and ultrasound. We are currently selling in 80 territories around the world. One of the most important territories for us is China where we are the leading player with 25% market share. As far as India is concerned, it is a future investment destination because experts are of the view that India’s economic growth will exceed China over the next 10-15 years. Besides, we also believe the Indian market is growing fast and there are lot of opportunities for us to tap. That’s primarily also the reason we decided to open a direct selling office in India.

How long did it take you to attain the leadership position in China?
It took us about eight years or so. We started with just four employees and today we have over 200 people. We ship over 1,500 systems to China every year. The Alma Laser systems primarily cater to two segment in China viz. hospitals and aesthiticians.

How long have you been selling in India? How has the response been so far?
We entered India in 2004 and started with selling dental applications but moved gradually in to the medical aesthetic devices market. While we have been operating through distributors it is only in 2015 that we decided to set up a direct selling office in India. The products being offered so far were only for the beauty and aesthetic segment. We will soon be entering the surgical market (minimal invasive / non-invasive) in India with systems for ear/nose/throat (ENT), gynaecology, systems for plastic surgeons like liposuction etc and body shaping systems that help make people get back in shape.

How big is the market for your line of products in India? How has the business faired and what are your revenue targets in coming years?
The market is small but starting to pick up very fast. Our estimates indicate the size for medical aesthetic devices to be around Rs 250 crore and we should be looking at business of anything over $10 million to be achieved in over the next few years. Our business currently is under $5 million; however with the portfolio of offerings set to widen we should comfortably reach double-digit figure in five years. In terms growth, last year we grew almost 100% and this year we looking at between 40% and 50% growth. The growth rate is expected to go beyond 50% levels post introduction of new products and new categories. India is unique for Alma because we don’t usually open subsidiaries in a lot of markets but we have one here. So we will bring new technologies as well as invest more into the Indian market going forward.

Does investing in India also entail setting up a manufacturing unit?
Today all our products are developed and assembled in Israel and Germany. I believe once the India market reaches a reasonable size we should be able to start assembling some of our products / systems here. Our products are positioned at the higher end of the market in India. And considering the fact that market opportunity is big enough, we could make the products / systems more affordable for the customer by assembling in India thereby saving on taxes and benefiting from low manpower cost. That way we will be able to reach more and more customers. In fact, we have already started evaluating the possibilities of assembling in India and studying each and every aspect. It will take about a year or so to come to a conclusion on this.