Exploring India’s Medtech and Healthcare Ecosystem

By Sonia Wieser, Junior Manager – Entrepreneurship & Innovation, September 2016

In the week from 11-16 September 2016, swissnex India welcomed, for the first time, Swiss entrepreneurs and investors for a multi-city immersion into the MedTech and Healthcare ecosystem of Bangalore and New Delhi. The delegates got the chance to visit world class research institutions, met with potential local partners and pitched their ideas to a plenum of Indian entrepreneurs and investors.

The first Medtech and Healthcare Startup tour organized by swissnex India kicked off on Monday morning by workshops on intercultural communications as well as on IP and Regulations in India. With their pitches prepared and their understanding of particularities of the Indian market and culture enhanced, the Swiss delegates were ready for the Indo-Swiss Pitch Fest of the afternoon for which swissnex India had invited entrepreneurs and investors from Bangalore. The afternoon, among other things, saw pitches for healthcare software, innovative implant technologies and wearables to enhance individuals’ personal health.

Medtech 1

For the first time, swissnex India organized visits to healthcare institutions in India. The delegation did not let mobility related challenges get in their way to operation theatres and hospital wards. Highlights included attending a surgery, visits to the private Narayana hospital and the bioscience research and entrepreneurship enabler C-CAMP. It was particularly interesting to see the wide range of healthcare activities offered at Narayana hospital – from services to research to the established incubator within the private hospital. Finally, we had a fruitful discussion with the startup accelerator Excubator that stood out not only with the startups that they work with, but also with their unique approach of engaging with these companies.

Another first was the multi-city aspect of the tour: after a few days in Bangalore, a slightly smaller delegation of nine participants then continued on to New Delhi, where they got the chance to visit one of India’s top public hospitals and medical research institutions All India India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) as well as meet with representatives of the endoscope manufacturer Karl Storz, the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute and the Regional Centre for Biotechnology. The final highlight of the week was the reception by the Ambassador of Switzerland to India Andreas Baum.

Not only did the delegates learn a lot but also taught the swissnex India team many things. As such, Dr. Stefan Stübinger, founder of Di Meliora and Ad Mirabiles stated that “Overall, the whole week was a complete success and wonderful experience. My individual and initial expectations into the tour were completely fulfilled. The professional organization and warm assistance and care were absolutely excellent.” In the future, swissnex India will continue the support of Medtech and Healthcare startups interested in the Indian market. That this is welcome and indeed needed was further confirmed by Mr. Stübinger: “For a first tour this was absolutely great to get a first overview and impression of the Indian market and its potential for a start-up. I can highly recommend this program to anyone being interested in the Indian MEDTECH market. I strongly hope that the program will further develop and will provide follow-up sessions.”