ENTERING IN THAI MEDICAL DEVICE MARKET IN 3 MONTHS.
A successful business case.
By Diego Sala, Pre-market specialist in Kha Group
It was end of December 2017 when Xodus Medical, leading company in Surgical equipment located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, signed the preliminary agreement with Kha Group in order to open Thai market.
The company wanted to launch in South East Asia their Pink Pad system, an innovative product for patient positioning in Trendelenburg and related positions in Operatory Room.
The Pink Pad was already sold in 51 countries worldwide, but never had any experience or contact in Thailand before.There were two months of planning and conferences to find the right setting for the project. On March 5th it officially started.
The process was extremely fast: after a preliminary check in Thai FDA, the Company sent the necessary documents and information for the case. Our management received the basic training on the project, and of course on the core product. The task was ambitious: FDA registration, license holding, finding a distributor, and perform clinical tests with Key Opinion Leaders in the most accredited hospitals in Bangkok.
Well, less than three months later everything is accomplished, and the Company management already visited 4 distributor candidates all with the right profile. Together, we performed two clinical test which gave positive results, so positive that one of the KOL commented “I was waiting for a product like Pink Pad!”
THE KEYS OF A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS CASE
Of course great part of the merit goes to the product and its manufacturer: Pink Pad (and all products in Patient Positioning area) is a great product indeed: innovative, safe, and really useful for the Patient comfort, since it avoid many unpleasant consequences due to obsolete positioning techniques. This represents also a great opportunity for the hospital to keep risk and costs under control.
The business model proposed to Xodus Medical Inc. was the typical Kha Group enforce for its major partners: License holding and master distribution remain under the control of the Manufacturer, sub-distributor and delivery is in the hands of local companies; Manufacturer, Kha Group and the sub-distributors will manage product promotion and scientific endorsements together, in partnership.
This setup allows the manufacturer to be on the market in first person, having the full control of it. Distributor, on his side, has limited investment and the ease of purchase, since the product is ready for sale.
THE FUNCTION OF KHA GROUP
Kha Group, in addition to being the holder of the licenses, also had the function of marketer. How could a company located in the USA manage meetings from 18.000 Km distance, with a 12 hours time gap? In this scenario is extremely hard to search a distributor, and the only possible way would be to attend a Fair or a business delegation. An incredible waste of time, with high cost and low percentage of success. On this topic, we suggest you to read “how to expand your market abroad” and “exhibitions abroad: investment or pure hope?” by Kha Group.
Kha Group’s staff selected around 80 companies between the Thai Medical Devices Distributors with a profile matching the typical distributor’s profile indicated by manufacturer. Then, Kha Group staff contacted all the companies with a company/product presentation and followed up with scheduled calls. This work gave a selection of 15 potential heterogeneous potential distributors, A further screening have been done, and 4 companies were visited by Xodus management in a 3 day mission full of success.
In the same time, Kha Group organized with its HBU Manager two clinical meetings, which would have been possible only with a FDA-licensed product. This was planned two months before by the internal regulatory team, which provided in short time the necessary license, essential for the test. A great team-work, whose result demonstrates that when manufacturer, importer, distributor and consultants work as a team, a successful business case is behind the corner.
Welcome to Thailand, Xodus Medical!
* In header picture: Xodus-Kha Group Team during the Clinical test