The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency interviewed Mr. Yin Luntao, Chairman of Mindray Animal Medical Technology Co., LTD.
Mindray Animal Medical was officially formed in less than two years. However, Mindray Group (also known as Mindray), the parent company behind this young corporation, was in the medical industry for over 30 years with nearly 20 years in the veterinary medicine business simultaneously.
Mindray Group is China's medical equipment manufacturer and solutions provider. Its products cover three main domains: Patient Monitoring and Life Support, In-Vitro Diagnostics, and Medical Imaging Systems. From its inception, Mindray Group has been an international company. Today, Mindray footprint extends to 52 overseas subsidiaries in over 30 countries covering North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and other regions. Mindray consistently occupies the top three market share positions in various market segments.
Yin Luntao, Chairman, Mindray Animal Medical
In addition to the three product domains mentioned above, animal medicine emerged as one of the critical strategic segments of Mindray Group in the past two years. Mr. Yin Luntao, chairman of Mindray Animal Medical and vice president of Mindray Group, played a vital role in Mindray's international expansion. Mr. Yin served as the general manager of global marketing and sales general manager of Mindray Europe.
Mindray and its subsidiary, Mindray Animal Medical, elected the Netherlands as the gateway in Europe. Mr. Yin shared his professional knowledge and investment and operational knowledge when "going global."
More than 15 years ago, Mindray established a European logistics center and an oversea office for part of the European business in Netherland. Today, Europe is the largest overseas market for Mindray Animal Medical. When the animal medical business was spun off from its parent company and became an independent subsidiary, Mindray Animal Medical established its presence in Europe -- like 15 years ago, it landed in the Netherlands.
For Mindray Animal Medical, the Netherlands is the hub for Europe and the support center for logistics, R&D, after-sales, and training services.
May 30, 2022, Opening Ceremony of the Dutch Branch of Mindray Animal Medical
Why the Netherlands? On the one hand, Mindray has been cultivating the Netherlands market for 15 years -- not only Mindray accumulated ample experience but also built a dynamic local team in Europe. On the other hand, during the investment and operation in the Netherlands, Mindray intensely realized the comprehensive advantages of the Netherlands in transportation, logistics, human capital, and business environment.
"The transportation in the Netherlands is very convenient, and it is easy to travel to the Netherlands from any European countries within a relative distance," said Yin. From a small office next to the airport, Mindray's Dutch branch has become the European headquarters and logistics center of Mindray. It is equipped with more than 5,000 square meters of warehousing space.
Dutch Branch of Mindray Medical
Mindray Animal Medical's independent subsidiary has established local technical support teams in several European countries. Based on the Netherlands-centered structure, Mindray Animal Medical can efficiently serve all European countries.
"The Netherlands has excellent software and hardware infrastructure and logistical system to conduct business. In addition, an inclusive cultural, open business practice environment; the Dutch government's rule-making and public services are extremely efficient. Our local team may manage and corresponds to business matters on our online platform."
Language is also another significant advantage of the Netherlands. Apart from the UK, the Netherlands represent the highest English language usage in Europe.
"From our line front-line employees in the warehouse to R&D engineers in the lab, almost everyone speaks English."
Mindray faces worldwide competition in Europe and outside of China. We met the hardship forefront and tackled challenges gracefully. Pursuing excellence in the European and International markets is not for the faint heart.
The Three Main Product Domains of Mindray Animal Medical
Mindray Animal Medical inherited Mindray Group's virtues of bravery and excellence. After a long period of cultivation in the European and American markets, Mindray Animal Medical has keenly captured the opportunities in the global animal medical equipment market.
Mindray is a de facto platform, said Yin. Mindray has well-established, mature, and successful product lines in medical devices for human use, the interrelated technologies and concepts are grafted onto the veterinary field. Build-on the platform supported by the parent company, Mindray Animal Medical yielded, a solid technological foundation, and comprehensive quality control system.
"Our products are inclusive and wide-ranged. It offers a multi-facet medical device solution for veterinary clinics and hospitals. Our equipment is manufactured under stringent quality control environments. Veterinary customers will enjoy one-stop shopping and after-sales services. The procuring procedures are simplified, with convenient services and hardware management in every piece of Mindray equipment purchased."
Veta Series of Veterinary Anesthesia Machines
According to Mindray's 2021 Annual Report, Mindray Animal Medical has already launched veterinary products such as anesthesia machines, veterinary ultrasound imaging systems, and veterinary hematology analyzers. These products have leveraged the abundant technological reserves and manufacturing capabilities of all three main product lines of the Mindray Group.
In the future, Mindray Animal Medical will also establish research platforms to optimize its products and solutions for different animal species. From In-Vitro Diagnostics to vital parameters, then to medical imaging technologies, Mindray Animal Medical will continuously accumulate expertise and advantages in all three product domains of the veterinary equipment industry.
"Last year, the sales of our veterinary anesthesia machine Veta 5 far exceeded our expectations. The product became a hit as soon as we launched it in Europe; within about six months, we sold thousands of units", said Yin. This excellent market performance was never seen in our past, showing the overseas market demand and the recognition of Mindray's brand in the overseas markets.
Currently, in some market segments in Europe, the sales of Mindray Animal Medical's equipment rank in the top three. Yin believes that soon, some of Mindray Animal Medical's products are expected to achieve the No.1 market share in their segments.
Mindray Animal Medical's competitiveness comes from its "dedication to the veterinary industry." Yin says, "Every medical equipment device company makes some veterinary products." However, most companies only transform human-use products directly into veterinary use while neglecting veterinarians' unique habits and application scenarios.
For example, compared to human medical clinics, veterinary clinics are much smaller and have fewer practitioners. Though veterinarians are gradually becoming specialists, most veterinarians are general practitioners. Therefore, veterinary equipment needs to be compact, easy to operate, and more versatile to quickly adapts to various animal species and life-threatening scenarios. Mindray established an independent subsidiary with sole focus on the veterinary market. Mindray Animal Medical gains natural advantages over the competitors who only "do the veterinary market on the sideline."
Animal Preset Interface of Mindray Animal Medical Ultrasound Imaging System
The "dedication to the veterinary industry" by Mindray Animal Medical is also reflected in its thorough research on the market and veterinary needs.
According to Yin's observation, European customers look for product expertise whether the product can meet real needs and whether the solution is comprehensive and consistently competitive.
"Customers will tell us what is needed. If we can do that, we can be the supplier of choice. We will know the customer's needs and product requirements during the communication process. Also, the customer has a system of evaluation." Yin says, "Customers won't necessarily choose us if we do the same as the competitors. After all, choosing a new supplier requires the customer to add training costs." Overall, through a relatively scientific and fair mechanism, the customer will consider all the opportunity costs, the veterinarians' perception of use, and many other practical factors to make the final decision.
For Mindray Animal Medical, finding the exact customer needs is the way to continuous innovation. "When it comes to R&D, we research customer needs very steadily," says Yin. Each year, Mindray Animal Medical's R&D staff spends ample time with European customers, learning about their needs to optimize products. "Some customers don't even know what they want. At this point, we must take the initiative to find out their potential problems and needs. Our R&D team then come up with some innovative solutions."
In addition to being rooted in the local market, market research needs to be systematic and methodical. "Systematic research cannot guarantee brilliant products, but it can certainly navigate us from much fewer detours."
Yin concluded that opening the European market needs to pay attention to three aspects. First, fully comply with local regulations, business habits, and procurement habits. Second, the product must be excellent in performance and accuracy. Third, maintain a remarkable reputation and pay close attention to all aspects of the work. “With a poor reputation, even if a hospital purchased your products, you lose all future business opportunities."
With many years of international business directing experience, Yin believes there are market opportunities present at any time.
Yin said that in geo-economic, the key to success is always the company's strengths and capabilities. Whether the company can bring tangible benefits to the local community. For instance, increase employment and providing opportunities for innovation - every company should explore their niches.