Chennai-headquartered Indian software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm Zoho Corporation has invested $5 million (about ₹35 crores) in a Bengaluru-based medical devices company Voxelgrids, which makes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. This partnership between Zoho and Voxelgrids is going to revolutionize the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry and is a big step towards an ‘Atmanirbhar’ Bharat.
The investment will be made in two tranches over the next two years and Zoho would own around 25% stake in Voxelgrids. Zoho had previously invested in companies working in DeepTech such as vTitan and SignalChip
- Zoho Corporation has invested $5 million (about ₹35 crores) in a Bengaluru-based medical devices company Voxelgrids
- This partnership between Zoho and Voxelgrids is going to revolutionize the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry and is a big step towards an ‘Atmanirbhar’ Bharat.
- The investment from Zoho would allow Voxelgrids to build strategic relationships for faster market penetration.
- Indian Pharmaceutical Industry will challenge the Chinese Hegemony in the medicine industry in the near future.
“We have a medical device company vTitan which has already started shipping products. So Zoho has experience with medical devices,” he said. The investment in Voxelgrids will foster the development of deep technological capabilities and intellectual property (IP), he added.
Background of Voxelgrids
Voxelgrids was founded in March 2017 by Arjun Arunachalam, who has nearly two decades of experience in the field. He had previously worked as lead scientist at GE Corporate Research in the US and previously an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay.
The startup has over 22 employees. Its founding team includes engineers Shankar Murthy Udupa and Sairamesh Raghuraman.
Background of Zoho Corporation
Zoho Corporation is an Indian multinational technology company that makes web-based business tools.
Zoho Corp was founded in 1996 by Sridhar Vembu and Tony Thomas and has a presence in seven locations with its global headquarters in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, and corporate headquarters in Pleasanton, California.
Vemu, the founder of Zoho is a well-known Patriotic Tech Giant. Vembu said that he and Voxelgrids’ founder Arjun Arunachalam share a common passion for manufacturing sophisticated technology in India and in the long run want to build critical systems based out of India.
The China Factor
India is one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world. However, despite its huge capability to churn out medicines on a large scale, the industry is dependent on Chinese companies for the raw material required to produce these drugs. As reported by TFI, in the fiscal year 2018-19, the government had informed the Lok Sabha that the country’s drug-makers had imported bulk drugs and intermediates worth $ 2.4 billion from China.
Significance in the Indian market
The Indian market is dominated by either imported machines or refurbished equipment. According to said Arunachalam, Voxelgrids‘ indigenous MRI technology provides an advanced next-generation, cost-effective alternative that enables healthcare facilities to save on capital and operational expenditure.
India has a 75-80% import dependency on medical devices, with exports at Rs. 14,802 crore (US$2.1 billion) in 2019 and is expected to increase at a CAGR of 29.7% to reach Rs. 70,490 crore (US$10 billion) in 2025. One of the pressing concerns for the Indian economy is the lack of indigenous industrial know-how and manufacturing capabilities which compels them to be dependent on imports.
A healthy DeepTech ecosystem is vital to solving this issue and driving structural economic change. Voxelgrids is one of the few companies that is working to solve this problem with MRI machines entirely built in India.
Voxelgrids further claims to manufacture MRI scanners that are lightweight, mobile, easy to install, operate and maintain even in remote locations such as small villages, which is very suitable for a country like India. The equipment also includes a proprietary software package for imaging purposes.
With Advanced Medical Education System and brilliant human resource, the domestic capability for manufacturing is already there in our country, all that India need is technological efficiency, good equipment, and domestic production to become ‘Atmanirbhar‘ and a major exporting hub. Indian Nationalist Vemu has taken a remarkable step towards making India self-sufficient in itself and challenge the Chinese Hegemony.