Bayer plans sub-Rs 1,000 blood sugar monitor Eyes Tier II & III Markets, To Launch Product By 2009-1
IN Abid to strengthen its presence in the diabetes care market, German healthcare major Bayer is planning to roll out a India-specific blood glucose monitor. The company intends to target the tier II and III markets with this device which is likely to be priced at less than Rs 1,000. Bayer Diabetes Care, part of the € 11.7 billion Bayer HealthCare, has already started the R&D process for this device. The company expects this product will revolutionise the Indian diabetes monitoring market since the current entry-level price is at Rs 1,500. Bayer expects to launch this product in 2009-10. “We are developing a blood glucose monitor to target the masses at sub-Rs 1,000 price. While this device is for the Indian market, we might roll it out in some other emerging Asian markets as well such as China. The project is currently in the planning stage,” Bayer Diabetes Care country head (India) Rakesh Julka told ET. The company is currently working out the finer details about production of this device. “We will manufacture this device in existing manufacturing bases such as Japan, Taiwan or even Europe. There will be no compromise on the features or product standards,” said Mr Julka. Even as Germany and the US are Bayer HealthCare’s largest markets globally, it has identified India and China as their focus markets for growth. “In line with this, the company is slowly stepping up investments in India to grow the market. The distribution network will be beefed up from 25 to 80 cities by 2009-10,” Mr Julka said. Bayer has already launched some of its global products in India on a priority basis. For instance, it recently unveiled a global launch of a new blood glucose monitor with ‘no-code’ technology in India, christened ‘ContourT TS’. “We will soon roll out a HbA1c blood glucose monitor and a couple of products to grow our portfolio in India,” said Mr Julka. The company currently has a basket of four products in India. A substantial investment is also happening in marketing activities. Bayer also recently entered into an agreement with Starcom MediaVest group for its advertising and media campaign for the Indian market.