“I want to leave this world as a better place than I found it,” says Abhinav Thakur.
An entrepreneur whose sole goal is to improve the frantic world of business is difficult to imagine. Abhinav, on the other hand, has steadfastly proved that his method merits praise. It is admirable that he wants to make the world a better place by building an organization that creates jobs and contributes to India's progress. As the Managing Director of a Mumbai-based quality medical diagnostics solutions provider Accurex Biomedical Pvt. Ltd., he has taken the organization to new heights.
Abhinav graduated from the world-renowned University of California-Davis before completing his PGDM at NMIMS University, Mumbai. Unfortunately, while studying in the US, his father’s sudden demise at the young age of 49 led him to join the family business in 2004. He prudently handled company operations and continuously spearheaded the organization’s growth. Since then, the company has witnessed a 4.2 times growth in revenue and the size of the team also increased from 90 to 170 individuals. Over the past decade, under the guidance of Abhinav, Accurex has grown from a diagnostic reagent company to a diagnostics reagents and instruments company.
Built on a legacy of 35 years
Accurex was founded in 1984, prior to which practically all diagnostic reagents were imported into India. Anil Thakur, Founder, and Ex-Managing Director established Accurex intending to indigenize the manufacturing of imported reagents in India. It was India's first to produce urine test strips and enzymatic clinical chemistry reagents. This marked the start of India's IVD clinical chemistry manufacturing industry. Today, Accurex provides a plethora of innovative and trustworthy medical diagnostic solutions. In the laboratory diagnostics space, Accurex offers the entire range of clinical chemistry and hematology reagents. Whereas, in instruments, it offers semi-automated, fully-automated clinical chemistry, and part 3 and part 5 hematology analyzers. The company provides urinalysis test strips, urinalysis meters, and immunology rapid tests. It also offers blood glucose meters, hemoglobin meters, HbAlc meters, immunofluorescence meters, uric acid meters, and respective test strips in the Point of Care (POC) segment. It has recently launched hand sanitizers, face masks, face shields, infrared thermometers, viral transport medium, and COVID-19 rapid antibody tests to fight against the pandemic.
Abhinav asserts that in the medical diagnostics industry quality is the most significant element since patients’ lives depend on the diagnostic reports. Thus, the company’s focus is on developing high-quality diagnostic solutions. In these last 35 years, the company has proved itself in the market and has created a strong brand. “Since we have been providing quality products in the market for over 35 years the customers in the industry trust our brand. This trust built with our customers on quality is our USP,” asserts Abhinav.
“Healthcare is a fundamental right of every human being. Currently, healthcare is not affordable to a majority of the population of our country since 70% of medical diagnostics are imported. My indigenous medical diagnostic manufacturing in India will make medical diagnostics affordable to more people in the world,” he emphasizes. “The lack of technology in India is an area of concern for me. We need to invest a lot of capital into R&D to develop indigenous products in India.” The core objective of the company's products is to democratize healthcare, hence Abhinav is working to revolutionize the established methods by incorporating innovative concepts.
“As an organization, we need to be agile to adapt to the changes happening in the external environment. As we have seen in millions of years of evolution that it’s the species that adapt survives the longest and the species that don’t adapt go extinct”
Responding to changing patient needs.
Abhinav believes that one of the key megatrends in the medical diagnostics industry is going to be the decentralization of medical diagnostics. Patients will prefer the choice of being tested and treated under the same roof simultaneously. The process of visiting from doctor to lab then again back to doctor is cumbersome as well as time-consuming, necessitating the development of an all-encompassing infrastructure. “The patients will want to visit the doctor and have the doctor run the blood tests and give the treatments immediately,” says Abhinav. This phenomenon is called professional POC which means medical diagnostics happens in the doctor’s clinic or at the point of care. According to Abhinav, Point-of-Care Testing (POCT)—also known as bedside testing—is a rapidly evolving medical discipline. POCT contrasts with the historical pattern in which the testing was wholly or majorly confined to the medical laboratory—which entailed sending off specimens away from the point of care and then waiting for hours and days to get the result—during which time care must continue without the necessary information. This problem was resolved by POCT through which lab tests are available to the doctors and patients at home, bringing convenience to the patients in particular. Observing the increasing significance of POCT testing in the diagnostics industry, Accurex has launched a complete range of POC products to ensure faster and convenient testing.
Adapting to the New Normal
“As an organization, we need to be agile to adapt to the changes happening in the external environment. As we have seen in millions of years of evolution that it’s the species that adapt survives the longest and the species that don’t adapt go extinct,” says Abhinav. He believes that businesses that innovate and adapt to the changes caused by the pandemic will survive and some may even prosper.
For instance, due to the pandemic, Accurex has converted most of its fixed costs into variable costs since the top-line forecast was uncertain. This helped the company maintain the cash flow to sustain its operations. Consequently, by changing its business model to cater to the needs caused by the pandemic, Accurex plans to withstand and overcome the challenges caused by the pandemic. Keeping safety as a priority for office employees in the COVID-19 hotspot Mumbai, Abhinav, and his team will continue with work from home unless it is safe for employees to commute. Moreover, the company is also fulfilling a crucial need: COVID-19 oriented products. That includes products like AccuShield-Hand Sanitizer, AccuShield – Face Shield, AccuShield - Face Mask, AccuSense - Infrared Thermometer, AccuSense - 601 Thermometer, ACCUREX - HOUSING SOCIETY SAFETY KIT, Accurex Viral TransportMedium Kit (VTM Kit), COVID 19 IgM/IgG Antibody Rapid Test, and Accurex Pulse Oximeter.
The ability to learn new things and grow as a result is critical for professional success. Abhinav thinks that the best way to learn is to teach. Educating oneself and later sharing that knowledge with others elevates the personal as well as sector’s growth. He says, “When you share the knowledge with other people with end up absorbing the knowledge 10x better.” Abhinav continues to add that in the current era of the internet, knowledge is democratized and anyone can access the best source online. “In today’s age when you are on a quest for knowledge the best sources are easily available at your fingertips online.” He advises aspiring business leaders to make use of all available possibilities to improve their skills and contribute to society. “The best charity one can do is to create employment,” says Abhinav.