Ineresting article about Mindray

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I found this one from China Business Feature. Some of the interesting paragraphs:

How they started the R&D of medical devices?
“But unlike other distributors, Xu Hang, who holds a degree in medical engineering, started independent innovation of some products in 1992. Mindray’s first products included China’s first single-parameter blood oxygen saturation monitor. “At the time, as China’s hospitals had never used Chinese-made devices, they preferred the imported multi-parameter monitors. So our products did not sell well,” says Xu. Customers didn’t try Mindray’s equipment until 1995 because of problems in technology, quality and sales service. In the early stages of its development, Mindary was basically an opportunist. It hadn’t gone deep in researching the industry. It would generally sell anything that appealed to the market. It even sold products that had nothing to do with medicine.”

Market acceptance:
“Despite its success, Mindray still faces “discrimination” on international markets. In the Middle East, for example, American products are always chosen in the first place, and then those from Japan and Korea. Chinese products are given a very low priority. But the situation has been slowly changing since Mindray was listed. “Agents that we couldn’t contract with before are now coming to us,” claims Xu. The listing made Mindray more popular and trustworthy in overseas markets. Xu hopes to build on that trust with an international brand image for Mindray – that’s why he chose the NYSE instead of the NASDAQ.”

Latest Developments:
“Mindray now sells products in nearly 120 countries. Last year, it adjusted its international marketing strategy by moving away from selling through phone calls and the Internet to sending employees to do field sales. Two vice presidents have been sent to Europe and the US respectively to supervise the local markets there. After all, the US accounts for more than 40% of the global consumption of medical equipment. Xu believes that in the future, 80% of Mindray’s revenue will come from overseas. He is optimistic that “the US market will double in 2007“. In fact, it’s very difficult for overseas medical companies to find ways into the large American hospitals. But fortunately, the US also has lots of private clinics, community hospitals, small labs and other medical organizations. This year, Mindray’s new products, the portable color ultrasonic imaging devices, are very popular with private clinics and small labs. “Our products are priced so low that even doctors themselves are able to afford them, instead of sending their patients to large hospitals for medical imaging. Our products can even be taken in cars like suitcases. We are actually creating markets, and creating customers,” says Xu, proudly.”

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