Karandaaz Pakistan’s latest study provides an in-depth analysis and evaluation of Pakistan’s medical diagnostic equipment market for clinical laboratories that fall into the category of small and medium enterprises along with an assessment of the availability and need for formal financing. The aim is to provide financial institutions with insights that would allow them to design new financial products or tailor existing ones such that they are more responsive to demand and closely aligned with the financing requirements of small and medium enterprises operating in this segment. The study can be downloaded from Karandaaz website: https://karandaaz.com.pk/karandaaz-publication/
According to the report titled ‘Market Analysis of Equipment for Clinical Laboratories and Availability of and Need for Formal Financing in Pakistan’, in 2017 the total value of diagnostic services within Pakistan’s private sector was estimated to be between USD 500 to 600 million with an expected growth rate of 15 percent over the next five years. Findings suggest that nearly 15 million disease cases, in both the Punjab and Sindh provinces, have not been diagnosed despite patients’ ability to afford such tests because of lack of ready diagnostic facilities. Initial assessment shows that a huge potential exists for increased penetration of diagnostics services through private enterprises, especially among patients who can afford to pay for such services. The unmet need of such facilities is primarily due to lack of access to finance for the sector, especially for formal local establishments and regional operators (such as Shifa, Sindh lab and Essa).
An assessment of the market shows that the primary medical and diagnostic equipment market is very well-organized. It is dominated primarily by well-known multinational players that produce new or refurbished equipment that tends to have better technology and quality. Of the total equipment sold in the primary suppliers’ market, 40–60% is refurbished and resold to new customers in the secondary market who have relatively limited budgets.
On the other hand, the secondary medical and diagnostic equipment market is driven by highly price-sensitive participants—e.g., manufacturers, secondhand distributors—who prefer buying secondhand equipment at very low scrap value. This implies an appetite for short-term financing with a lower ticket size.
Mehr Shah, Director of Knowledge Management and Communications, Karandaaz Pakistan, said,
“There is a mushrooming in demand for diagnostic and lab equipment in Pakistan, and the availability of financing has a direct impact on the proportion of demand that is met i.e.,the growth of the sector. To enable better understanding of this space from a financing perspective, the study identifies the types and brands of capital intensive, revenue generating equipment commonly used and its pricing in the primary and secondary market; the cost of repair and maintenance; the value chain in terms of vendors, importers and re-sellers in the primary and secondary markets; and the financing arrangement at each stage of the value chain.”
Ali Sarfraz, CEO Karandaaz Pakistan said,
“According to the report, Pakistan has been ranked 6th amongst a total of 22 countries for the highest number of diseases in the world. Through this publication, we hope to shed some light on the many issues prevailing within the healthcare sector, particularly those pertaining to medical diagnostic equipment, and trigger the interest of the entrepreneurs as well as formal financial sector for this industry. This will have twofold dividends for Pakistan’s economy. Not only will this catalyse economic growth and job creation but will also improve the medical diagnostics infrastructure that is needed to cope with the high burden of disease in Pakistan.”
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Chairperson Karandaaz said, “The overarching goal of this study is to provide financial institutions with an insight into the demand and economics of diagnostic and radiology equipment. This can enable financial institutions to design new financial products or tailor existing ones that are more responsive to demand and are more closely aligned with the financing requirements for the medical and diagnostic equipment by the healthcare industry.
Karandaaz, through such sector-specific studies, will continue to develop and disseminate evidence-based research insights into sectors that have a high potential for growth but have historically remained neglected by the formal financial sector.”
When comparing Pakistan’s diagnostic and imaging equipment market to other peer countries globally, the study found that the market is significantly under penetrated. Sales per capita of diagnostic and imaging equipment in Pakistan is USD 0.5, which is significantly diluted when compared to other developing Asian countries with relatively similar GDP per capita such as Vietnam and India, whose sales per capita stands at USD 3.9 and USD 1.1, respectively.
Karandaaz promotes access to finance for small businesses through commercially directed investments, and financial inclusion for individuals by employing technology-enabled digital solutions. Karandaaz Pakistan has financial and institutional support from leading international development finance institutions; the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.