"“Malvern steps up India investment to deliver high level service"

07 October 2010 | News

– Stuart Wakefield, director, Malvern Aimil Instruments, Mumbai

In May 2008, UK-based Malvern Instruments and Aimil, Malvern's long-term distribution partner in India, joined hands and established a new company, Malvern-Aimil Instruments. Together, the companies have built a strong reputation for the supply and support of systems for particle characterization, rheological measurement and chemical imaging, to a wide range of sectors including life sciences. The joint entity also provides training and application support to the Indian biopharmaceutical industry. In an exclusive interview with BioSpectrum, Stuart Wakefield, director of Malvern Aimil Instruments, tells us about the company's investment plans for India.

Q How favorable is the Indian life sciences market for Malvern Aimil Instruments?
Indian life sciences market is very favorable for Malvern Aimil Instruments. Biotechnology is relatively a new sector in India, which is growing rapidly; and that creates more demand for different measurement technologies. Malvern has an important role to play in fulfilling this demand.

In the life sciences market, there is a pressing requirement for protein characterization tools. Malvern Aimil Instruments offers a range of solutions, based on systems that can be configured to meet the special requirements of laboratories. These include the Zetasizer family, which uses dynamic and static light scattering to measure size and molecular weight; and the full range of Viscotek advanced size exclusion chromatography (SEC) systems and detectors. These are used for the rapid, reliable characterization of both molecular weight and molecular structure.

Q Could you elaborate on some of the achievements of Malvern in India?
The inauguration of the third Center of Excellence in India on February 10, 2010 has been a major milestone for Malvern in India. Located in New Delhi, and designed to serve customers in the north and northeast regions of the country, the new Center of Excellence houses laboratories that are equipped with a range of Malvern systems, and staffed with a full-time applications team. The team provides demonstration; deliver training, applications and technical support; and undertake sample analysis.

Direct support for Viscotek GPC/SEC systems in India is provided as a result of Malvern's acquisition of Viscotek in 2008. Our investment in this Center
underlines our objective to offer exemplary customer support across the globe. The new center enables us to deliver increasingly local support to our customers in India, effectively and in a timely manner. We make sure that all the users of our systems enjoy the same consistently high levels of support from all across the world.
With respect to company growth, despite 2009 being a challenging year in many ways, globally, from sales perspective, Malvern has had a best year ever. The response to the joint venture, Malvern Aimil Instruments, has been extremely positive, and has even exceeded expectations.

Q What are the major areas of focus for Malvern Aimil Instruments in India?
Malvern aims to strengthen its base in providing tools to life sciences companies for R&D and manufacturing in India. We would like the country's industrial and research communities to get the same benefits that other global customers are getting from Malvern, and we are working hard to achieve this.

The wide range of material characterization offering of Malvern allows it to focus on all major areas of the life sciences sector. For nanomaterial characterization, the Zetasizer family and Viscotek advanced SEC systems find application across a range of sectors; but are particularly valuable for protein characterization, and in the development of drug delivery systems.

Q What are the future plans of Malvern and what are the new products in the pipeline?
Malvern systems are used in many areas of science and technology, with increasing application of nanomaterials, smart coatings, new methods of delivering drugs and high-tech building materials. The unique combination of materials characterization techniques that Malvern offers, has a valuable contribution to make, in driving progress and in increasing manufacturing productivity.

In addition to launching new products, the company continues to focus on developing new ways to support customers. While the right products are clearly essential, it is increasingly a company's ability to communicate and deal efficiently with customers to make a difference. Malvern's service and support is unrivaled and distinctive, and we will continue to invest in upgrading our services.

Q How do you think the launch of the Center of Excellence in New Delhi will contribute to the growth of Malvern?
As mentioned, the opening of the Center of Excellence has been a key achievement for Malvern  in the last year. The center has a major role to play in Malvern's support infrastructure in India; and it also ensures that users of our system take advantage of the global quality standards offered by Malvern. The center gives Malvern a unique position in terms of support capability within the region, and is already clearly appreciated by our customers.

Q What are the future plans of the company in India?
The growth of Malvern Aimil in India is likely to reflect Indian government's projections for growth, with increasing sales in a number of sectors. The successes of Malvern Aimil and the growing number of Malvern customers in India, are fueling the need for more training, support, and facilities for delivering fruitful results. The new Center of Excellence underlines our commitment to ensure that we have the adequate infrastructure and expertise in place, to fulfill all the needs of our customers. We will continue to invest more, to enhance delivery of high level service in every aspect of customer needs.

An area of major investment in recent years has been the Malvern Instruments' website, which is packed with information and educational materials, accessible to customers and non-customers alike.

Nayantara Som in Mumbai


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