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India – strongest growth market for medical technology worldwide

India strongest growth market
photo: M. Klaas
sick people in an Indian hospital

India is the strongest growth market for medical technology woldwide. The motors driving growth are: increased expansion of the market for private hospitals, growing as an outsourcing location for laboratory testing, attractive market for medical tourism, and changed living conditions.


India is considered to be the most promising growth market for medical technology in the world. This is due in particular to a growing population, an increasing occurrence of diseases of affluence (notably diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases), a growing number of elderly people, and the establishment of health insurances.

National hospitals are considered to be poorly equipped – standing in queues and failure to respect privacy are commonplace. In contrast, private clinics operate with highly qualified doctors of a first-class international standard.

According to Deloitte, the overall market volume is around 50 billion. The segment with the strongest growth is the market for electronic systems, where annual growth of 17%, to almost US $ 6.5 billion, is expected for the period up to 2020. Medical appliances account for 55% of the market for medical technology, implants account for 25% and disposable products for 20%.

Local production is not expected to be increased in the foreseeable future, since on the one hand, Indian health service organisations do not operate in the high-end sector, and on the other hand, the Indian government focuses on basic medical care for poorer inhabitants.


According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, nowadays as much as 80% of the medical technology required is imported, with the level of import dependence being particularly high for technically sophisticated products. The USA, Japan, Germany, Singapore and the People’s Republic of China are the most important countries for imports.

Approximately 20% of the required electrical diagnosis devices and appliances, and X-ray equipment, is imported from Germany – this figure is around 30% for ophthalmological instruments (source: UN Comtrade, May 2012).

Medical products to be needed:

Medical products that will be needed in future are (acc. to Deloitte and Frost & Sullivan) are:

  • easy-to-handle measuring devices for home use, e.g. blood-sugar and blood-pressure gauges, digital clinical thermometers and scales
  • Electronic equipment and disposables for use in hospitals, e.g. X-ray equipment, CT scanners, ultrasound equipment, ECG, electronic stethoscopes, spirometers and video microscopes, pathological analysers and probes
  • Dental and surgical instruments
  • Diagnostic technology (laboratory technology and medical kits, notably in the areas of biochemical tests, immunology and haematology)

Growth areas:

  • Further expansion of the market for “private” clinics through private investors. Large clinic operators, such as Apollo Hospitals, Fortis Healthcare, Max Healthcare and Wockhardt, already account for 8-10% of the market.
  • Expanding India as an outsourcing locations for lab tests, diagnostic tests and research
  • Strongly growing medical tourism – targeted at Indians living abroad, foreigners who do not have sufficient medical insurance coverage in their home country, and Arab countries in the field of in vitro fertilisation

Our partner agency in India will gladly give you advice should you be striving to expand to India. Are you interested, please contact us.

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(Maria Klaas, Klaas consulting, www.klaasconsulting.com, contact@klaasconsulting.com)