Philips targets Asian market

PHILIPS Medical Systems is targeting Asia for greater revenue growth and has placed excellent teams in the region to achieve its aspiration.  

“Asia is an important market for us, and that’s why we have an excellent team and a specific strategy in place here,” said Dr Paul Smit (PhD), senior vice president of Philips Medical Systems during a media briefing in Tokyo recently in conjunction with its Asian Media Healthcare Event. 

“The key drivers in this strategy are a consumer-centric approach, great product portfolio based on high innovation rate, a good team, and a good understanding and knowledge of how to do business in Asia,” he added 

“Business is growing faster than forecast in 2005, with 24% revenue growth in Japan, 25% in China, and 42% in India. Strong revenue growth is also being recorded in all other markets,” Dr Smit said.  

Worldwide, sale of medical equipment, services, devices and supplies accounted for 21% of the total business of Royal Philips in 2005, netting in a revenue of US$290bil. 

Philips has also been registering strong growth in their medical systems in Malaysia, according to Rajah Kumar, CEO of Philips Group of Companies in Malaysia. 

“We are targeting double-digit growth this year, and we will continue to work with our partners and business associates to cover all the markets in the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak,” Kumar said.  

“Our state-of-the-art introductions in healthcare and lifestyle will continue to satisfy the needs of Malaysian consumers and create this growth and sustainable position for Philips in this important growing market. In addition, we will also look at growing our consumer health and wellness products as and when we add products to our growing portfolio.”  

Kumar said Philips has made significant global acquisitions, which are now allowing them to provide systems and solutions for the entire care cycle of the patient. 

“This covers care in ambulance to diagnostic imaging in hospitals and patient care at home even after discharge with telemedicine. We have recognised the unique opportunities that the world of health and wellness has to offer and accordingly, have made healthcare a cornerstone of our strategy,” he said. 

Philips products that have been supplied to local hospitals include MRI systems, CT Scanners, Ultrasounds, Cardiac X-ray systems, patient monitoring and medical information systems, nuclear medicine systems, and general X-ray products. 

“These are found in all leading hospitals and medical centres nationwide,” Kumar said. 

“Many leading public and private hospitals in Malaysia use Philips products. We have high Tesla MRI machines and 64-slice CT scanners installed here.” 

Philips Medical Systems is led by competent marketing, technical and application teams, Kumar assured. 

“Locally, we are also the market leader in the cardiovascular, patient monitoring and echocardiography systems. This leadership position was attained through the establishment and maintenance of strong customer partnerships with local hospitals.  

“We are also renowned for providing excellent after-sales service by a team of well-trained and experienced engineers.  

“Furthermore, our newly opened Singapore Learning Centre provides our customers the opportunity to be trained and share feedback on some of the equipment/systems/solutions, which we provide.” 

Addressing the perception that only private hospitals could afford to install the systems or provide the services since their patients could afford to pay the cost, Kumar said: “This is a question of understanding the needs of the customer. Our brand promise – ‘Sense and Simplicity' – is all about designing solutions around consumers and finding solutions that are easy to experience by users, though technology is complex and advanced.  

“We treat our customers as partners and find their requirements first. If there is no need for a high-speed, high-resolution machine for certain applications, we discuss and suggest to the hospital the best fit.  

“Where the product can be upgraded later when they need and have the patient throughput, we also suggest the future upgradeability. This way we can provide solutions based on need.  

“For example, a 64-Slice CT scanner is very useful in cardiac applications, but if a CT Scanner is needed for routine general use only, there is no need to invest in this machine. This is where Philips treats clients as partners.” 

As for healthcare facilities in Malaysia, Kumar said he found public hospitals here to be well equipped.  

“Recently, we installed a 64-slice CT Scanner in a government hospital in Kuala Lumpur,” Kumar said. 

“This goes to show that demand and supply is based on need and patients are getting what is required. 

“Philips has solutions that can fit the needs and budgets. However, the increasing need for equipment from smaller and rural general hospitals is what we are now serving from our joint venture in China.” 

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