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Service Is Key For Success To Ensure Seamless After-Sales Service Support: Harshit Rathore, Nocca Robotics

In an interview with BW Disrupt, Harshit Rathore, Co-founder of Nocca Robotics, talks about company, funding, and challenges.

  1. Brief us about your business model like how did the idea came to start and how does it work?

Nocca Robotics primarily began as a company to develop innovative solutions that address real-world problems. Nocca originally designed products such as the Noccarc S200 and Noccarc A600, both being the waterless solar panel cleaning robots for large scale solar power plants.

Post the pandemic-induced in March, given the surge in demand for ventilators, Nocca Robotics decided to take up the challenge to design and develop a fully functional indigenous ICU ventilator in collaboration with SIIC IIT Kanpur. A task force was created by IIT Kanpur and IAN including business leaders, senior intensivists, MedTech experts, manufacturing, and supply chain experts to assist the team in every aspect of the project. Nocca has now ventured into the development of critical care ICU devices and currently has Noccarc V310- An ICU ventilator commercially available in the market. As on date, the company has installations in more than 30 hospitals in India.

With critical market research and experience in rapid product development, Nocca Robotics identified the need of High Flow Oxygen Therapy Devices in the treatment of COVID-19; catering to which Nocca Robotics has now developed Noccarc H210, a High Flow Oxygen Therapy Device which is now clinically tested and have already started production. 70+ Noccarc H210 machines have been installed within 2 weeks of the launch.

Both the products are meeting the top of the line specifications and are affordable, making them the best option for the end-user.

  1. What are the unique key points of your company?

With rich experience, we possess multi-domain expertise and our core strength lies in automation and our inhouse capability of product and prototype development. The Nocca team has also received mentorship from med-tech experts, business leaders, and investors. Our 360-degree planning helps us gain holistic insights into our products and the requirements of patients. 

  1. How are you different from the existing competitors?

We believe in building top-tier products that are affordable and designed under the able guidance of senior intensivists and end-user to make it user-friendly. Our tested and certified products are created to bridge the infrastructural gap in the healthcare and medical devices segments. 

  1. What is the funding status and monetization model?

We are currently in a post-revenue state and had pre-series investment rounds from IAN. The company is generating revenue from the direct sales of both med-tech and cleantech products. AMC is another revenue stream for the company. 

  1. What challenges are you facing in running your business?

The overall absence of strict regulatory guidelines has led to the inflow of substandard med-tech products in the healthcare sector. The supply chain and dependency on the import of critical care equipment also poses a challenge. There is also the additional issue of benchmarking international standards such as the FDA and CE while Indian standards are absent gives an edge to the imported products over indigenous ones. 

  1. How has been the people`s response so far?

The overall response has been incredible. There have been over 200+ installations of the Noccarc V310 till today and 70+ installations of the Noccarc H210 within just a month of its launch. 

  1. What are the traction details (like users and other achievements of the company)?

We had a government purchase of the Noccarc H210 within 2 weeks of the launch. Nocca products are approved by the DGHS to meet all the guidelines specified by the Government of India. Our products are now being used in 130+ hospitals in over 20 states across the country in both government and private hospitals.  

  1. How do you look at expansion?

After the successful launch and adoption of 2 critical care medical devices, Nocca Robotics now looks forward to empowering the country with more such world-class innovative products to strengthen the healthcare infrastructure and ensure quality healthcare reaches all sections of the society.

Since this is a piece of critical care equipment, service is the key for success in this sector to ensure seamless after-sales service support, Nocca has partnered with an independent service provider with a nationwide presence of 4000+ service engineers, along with own internal team and service franchise network.

Nocca plans to design and develop more med-tech products that have top of the line specifications and yet, are affordable and suitable for the Indian as well as the export market by meeting international standards. 

  1. What are your marketing plans?

We plan to reach out to the needs for safe and cost-effective ventilators for people and hospitals which have been in resource-limited settings so far. Improving market access is a big part of our strategy and we see the company as a social enterprise in a big manner. We are using a mix of social media, online marketing, and direct engagement with end-users and policymakers.

Once the situation on COVID19 eases we plan to reach out to bodies of respiratory therapists, pulmonologists, and intensivists to position V310 as the safe and extremely usable ventilation system for first-time users. Clinical marketing will form a large part of our marketing effort. Online training, webinars are here to stay and we plan to set up budgets and resources for Ventilation training courses for nurses and doctors from basic to advance for popularizing this medical technology and creating a workforce for the tier 2&3 segments.

  1. What has been the biggest learning’s so far?

When developing any product, cracking the science behind the main functionality of the product is the key to building an innovative product that helps solve real-world problems. For instance, for a ventilator, our biggest learning was understanding the science and the working of the product. This helped us build a safe and reliable product. 

  1. What is the market size and opportunity?  

The market for ICU ventilators in India typically ranges between 8-10000 units per annum and in value terms it would be between 400-500 crores. In the COVID19 scenario, the market has seen some radical changes in demand and supply and it would be anybody's guess how the market will shape out in 2021. We at Nocca firmly believe that the quality offerings and genuine players in the ventilator market will survive and thrive in the future. Further, COVID-19 has also taught the customers and end-user to put their money wisely on authentic needs and look continued support, cost of ownership, and acquisition.

For the H210 HFNO, the market has seen a meteoric rise due to COVID19 and the global market touching 11 billion. All countries including India have seen massive growth in HFNO adoption due to COVID19.

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