Allied Medical, a Gurugram-based family run company, has been manufacturing and distributing critical-care equipment like ventilators, anesthesia machines and defibrillators for close to 40 years.
In March, after India was hit by COVID-19, there was a huge shortage of ventilators, a mechanical breathing device that can blow air and oxygen into the lungs. Ventilators are critical for those affected by lung failure - one of the major complications suffered by patients with severe COVID-19.
“The government sanctioned 60,000 ventilators in March. In fact, the target was 1,00,000 and the first lot was 60,000. They (government) asked people how much you can supply, and released orders with a condition that it has to be supplied before June 30," said Aditya Kohli, Director, Sales and Marketing, Allied Medical.
Allied took an order for 350 ventilators, and delivered them well before deadline. The price of each supplier differs, but the average is around Rs 4-5 lakh. “We have been in the business for 40 years, but we still did not have the courage to supply tens of thousands of ventilators overnight. It isn't something doable, given the level of quality control,” Kohli said.
Allied says it has ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 accreditations and its ventilators have European CE certification.
Nevertheless, hopes of rising demand spurred the company to increase capacity -- from a few hundred ICU ventilators before March to 3,000 per month by June.
The auto industry, PSUs, defence laboratories, all joined hands to help ventilator manufacturers overcome supply issues of components and funding. Before COVID-19, ventilator makers were relying on imports of upto 80-90 percent components. It is now less than 50 percent for companies like Allied. For other companies, indigenisation is as high as 70-80 percent.