“India offers a promising ecosystem in manufacturing space”
Today, there is unprecedented awareness about quality across the industries. The increasing adoption of various regulatory norms is also creating an acute need of compliance and quality instruments, which in turn is driving the test & measurement (T&M) industry. There is an emerging trend of manufacturing in pharma space, which is opening opportunities for T&M industry to develop innovative technologies, says Bharat Bhardwaj, Country General Manager, Agilent Technologies India. In an exclusive interview with Rakesh Rao, he analyses T&M equipment market trends and how these instruments are helping manufacturing and R&D fraternity to make promising products.
In Feb 2019, Agilent introduced Gas Chromatography Systems 8890 & 8860 and Cary 3500 UV-Vis Spectrophotometer in India. What is the significance of this for Agilent?
Innovation with purpose is one of the core values of Agilent and we are committed to bring in the cutting-edge technology, product differentiation and creating value for our customers. Agilent has been pioneered in GC globally and the current innovation is leading us to strengthen our portfolio for emerging needs of laboratories. The 8860 system is designed to support many core routine applications, while
the 8890 system is designed to support ultimate flexibility and expandability, supporting application from various sectors.
New Cary 3500 UV-Vis system represent first significant advancement in UV-Vis architecture in decades and offers innovative solutions for life sciences, pharma and biopharma research communities. It provides critical tools that allow laboratories to perform tests more quickly and accurately. Agilent is continually seeking ways to delivering on our mission of improving both the science and economics of the customers’ labs.
How are you supporting the growth of India's manufacturing and R&D industry?
India offers a promising ecosystem in the manufacturing space, and many global players are looking at India as a manufacturing hub. With more than 70 years of insight and customer collaborations, Agilent has excellent chromatography solutions, including instruments, columns and chemistries in its product portfolio and now also greater expertise at the sample preparation stage.
There is an emerging trend of manufacturing in pharma space, which is opening opportunities for Test & Measurement (T&M) industry to develop innovative technologies. These innovations can be deployed on manufacturing floor for in-line testing and has promising value for our products in India. On the R&D side, scientists are looking for technology advancements which can solve the complex scientific challenges and help to shorten their research project lifecycle.
How is rise in awareness about quality and safety leading to increase in demand for test & measurement (T&M) instrument?
Today, there is unprecedented awareness about quality and this is driving the demand of for T&M products. Dynamic market conditions, regulatory framework and quality focus is encouraging customers to operate at the highest standards and we are in a good position in the market space with our integrated Quality Management Systems (QMS).
Our manufacturing standards are accredited with ISO 9001, 14001 standards. Agilent has also implemented Environmental Health and Safety Policy to R&D and other non-manufacturing facilities. To compliment quality offerings, safety is also an integral part of our technology design. Agilent’s Gas Chromatography (GC) products use the innovative Electronic Pressure Control value, which is the safest mode of operation even with flammable carrier gaseslike hydrogen. Agilent has made significant investments to reform our entire lab informatics portfolio to bring in the competitive solutions like CDS OpenLab 2.X and Electronic Content Manager XT to provide full-fledged compliance solutions to our customers. We have also added LIMS and lab management software capabilities to our portfolio through the acquisitions of Genohm and iLab Solutions. These integrated solutions with our promise of safety and quality are helping our customers.
What are the emerging trends in T&M equipment industry?
The increasing adoption of various regulatory norms have created acute need of compliance and quality instruments, which is driving the T&M industry. Agilent is also working closely with various regulatory agencies to align our offerings with the current regulatory guidelines. Our marketing and Center of Excellence teams ensure, that we build right messaging system through workshops and webinars to spread the awareness around the current trends of regulations.
We have been proactively working with various regulatory bodies such as AOAC, FSSAI and USP to build solutions for open challenges as well as support various awareness programs for customers.Our global society will continue to expect that the products they buy are safe and efficacious, and available at a reasonable cost. And we take pride that Agilent supplies many of the tools that will enable other firms, and our customers, to respond to these needs.
How is T&M instrument industry leveraging on digitalization and Industry 4.0?
The fourth industry revolution is a level up, which will connect people, processes and machines. This industrial revolution is leading towards automation, cloud computing, internet of things, data analytics and artificial intelligence. Automation, reliability, and ease of use will all continue to improve. Internet of Things (IoT) will improve data quality and decision support. We plan to lead with state-of-the art capabilities as these technologies develop, catering to futuristic needs of our customers using next generation technology and software platform in our new products.
What are your plans to tap growth opportunity for Agilent in India?
Agilent’s core focus continues in space of R&D, M&A and expanding our infrastructure to diversifying our portfolio and providing a one stop solution for our customers. We recently also announced that we have signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-owned BioTek Instruments. The acquisition accelerates our multi-year growth strategy to expand our position in cell analysis, a fast-growing and multi-billion-dollar market. It also expands our presence in biopharma, academia and research. BioTek builds directly on prior acquisitions of Seahorse (FY2015), Luxcel (FY2017) and ACEA (FY2019) to expand our cell analysis portfolio and give us unique capabilities and workflows. The acquisition is another example of Agilent’s forward-thinking, innovative approach to serving customers in a high-growth segment of the life sciences market.
Agilent had acquired companies, such as Prozymes, Ultra Scientific, Cobalt, iLab and Genohm to expand our capability to cater to our clients with reagents, chemical standards, lab management and LIMS solutions. In terms of India focus, Agilent has made the required investment which starts with having the right set of people in India. Agilent India has a strength of about 1,500 employees, with over 500 employees focusing on the domestic market and about 1000 employees focusing on the global support services from our center at Manesar.
Agilent’s mission is to deliver trusted answers and insights that advance the quality of life. We continue to move forward in this mission. Our focus on innovation differentiates us. We are committed to providing reliable answers and insights, helping our customers to anticipate next challenges and solving their problems. India is a key focus markets for Agilent and strategic plans are in place to tap the growth potential in the markets where Agilent operates.
Is the demand for hand-held (mobile) T&M instrument growing more strongly than stationary T&M?
In past, the hand-held or mobile technology was more popular in medical field whereas now this is being common ask from our customers in pharma, biopharma, food, environment, forensic as well as security sectors. The major attributes of hand-held instruments are to enable quick on-site testing, ease of operation and lower costs. Agilent’s RapID system is the next gen tool in portable Raman technology for raw materials identification and verification testing. The innovative design of technology provides true ease of operation and handy operation for on-field testing. Agilent has many products that fit into a range of market segments. I expect that many of the segments will evolve into opportunities for application specific analyzers.