‘We plan to achieve Rs 5-bn turnover by 2020’

Sandip Mhatre, Managing Director, Thermolab Group reveals details of the company’s upcoming strategies and new offerings to Usha Sharma

In the next three years, Thermolab will celebrate its golden jubilee. What are your plans?

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Sandip Mhatre

Golden Jubilee year shall be the half way mark to reassess our ambitious target of achieving Rs 5 billion turnover by 2020.

Tell us about the company’s ongoing activities?

Thermolab Group’s activities include:

  • Thermolab Scientific Equipments is engaged in manufacturing of stability chambers (walk-ins and standalone), BOD incubators, cooling cabinets, ovens, vacuum ovens, deep freezers (walk-ins and standalone), autoclaves and other related equipment.
  • Thermolab Testing Services is a NABL accredited company engaged in in-house and on-site calibration and validation of plant, machinery and equipment with various parameters like temperature, relative humidity, time, pressure, vacuum, pH, conductivity etc.
  • Thermolab Sales and Services is engaged in installation, maintenance, validation, annual contracts, upgradations, modifications and supply of spares for all temperature and humidity controlled equipment.
  • Thermolab Analyticals is engaged in product sample storage and analytical testing for stability studies of pharma, biopharmaceuticals and drug substances.
  • Thermolab Healthcare is having three divisions of food, nutraceuticals and cosmetics, offering unique lifestyle products which are made from selected natural ingredients.

Any new services in the offing?

We are already providing 2-8 0celsius and -20 0celsius chambers, standalone and walk-in types, for cold chain maintenance of medicinal products. We are now poised to enter the fruits and vegetables (F&V) sector for ‘Farm to Fork’ cold chain services under the guidance of National Centre for Cold-chain Development (NCCD). Unlike storage of medicines which are in packed conditions, (F&V) handling is challenging as the materials are live and we need to take care of oxygen, carbon dioxide, ethylene and other atmospheric molecular ingredients present in the storage environment. NCCD along with Cemafroid, France recently arranged a training programme in Paris in cold chain management where Thermolab represented the industry sector.

Which is your block buster product?

Stability testing chambers and BOD incubators continue to be top on our sales charts as we are arguably the only one offering precise temperature and relative humidity conditions warranted by international standards and guidelines. Our recent innovations reduced connected electrical load to almost one fourth bringing down running costs significantly. Last year, we lunched Biological Safety Cabinets and Unidirectional Air Flow System (formerly called as Laminar Air Flow) targeting the healthcare sector. Indian hospitals and dispensaries are notorious for spreading uncontrolled infectious diseases due to bad air management. In laboratories where human body fluids and other materials are tested, our biological safety cabinets are used for containing potentially pathogenic organisms. With insurance companies stressing on certain environmental conditions as pre-cursor for accreditation of hospitals, we feel that our clean air division will see faster growth in coming years.

How competitive is the market?

Client expectations have escalated proportionately. The audit requirements have become more stringent. However, due to constant upgradations, we manage to stay on the top. Current data integrity issues are being faced by many pharma manufacturers related to untrustworthy software and alleged data manipulations. We have recently commissioned one of the largest stability testing storage areas for a multinational company at Vishakhapatnam and the facility has received approval from US FDA inspectors.

The market will see competition from China in the coming years and we are ready to meet the challenges.

How has I-Mark recognition helped Thermolab to accelerate its growth?

I Mark is a prestigious achievement for us. It has given us the confidence of meeting global design standards.

What is the company’s target for the present financial year?

Our target is 40 per cent which is more than the last year. As things stand today, we may overshoot our target by March 2015. Last year we have seen a growth of 25.6
per cent.

u.sharma@expressindia.com