Labat Asia: Making India Proud with Indigenously Developed Audiometry Products

  Tarlochan Dev,   Founder & Managing Director

Tarlochan Dev, Founder& Managing Director

Not so long ago, hearing disorder was neglected as an ailment in our country. Fortunately, the tides have turned today, as more and more people in India are earning disposable incomes. But the maturity of hearing healthcare ecosystem is counter balanced by the increasing number of hearing disorders caused by the seismic lifestyle changes, wherein the number of births with hearing disorders is also on the rise. Thankfully, the government has been proactively running hearing screening programs since 2011, which test the hearing ability of a new-born in the hospital itself and refers them to appropriate practitioners in case of an anomaly. The large number of devices it has been procuring to commence the early intervention centres has been nurturing the growth of the hearing healthcare device industry.

Sure! The demand for hearing screening, diagnostic and therapeutic devices has hit an all-time high. However, except for the basic screening and clinical Audiometers, all the audiometric products are imported into India since the market is controlled by three major group companies under different brand names based out of Europe & U.S. And the Indian companies manufacturing these screening & clinical audiometers are into a price war, as opposed to shedding spotlight on the product’squality or customer requirements. Hence, people have no choice but to purchase either an imported device sold at high cost or the low-quality local product. Amidst them, Labat Asia Private Limited is a forward-looking company that is leveraging path breaking technologies and bringing innovations in an industry that is long-overdue for a revolutionary product line, which is of excellent quality yet affordable to the masses.

Emerging into the Country’s First One-Stop-Shop
Labat Asia was incepted in 2010 by Tarlochan Dev (Managing Director) in a Joint Venture with Labat International Italy, as a trading company importing fully finished goods for extending a helping hand to the audiology practitioners, along with offering operational training & after sales support. Labat is renowned as a forerunner for introducing the world’s first PC based audiometry solution in 1998 to address the market’s need for a more user-friendly & customized audiology equipment. Despite being a pioneer, due to its smaller size (vis-à-vis the behemoths ruling the market), Labat wasn’t able to reach the huge number of audience it deserved and had a very limited product range: Diagnostic Audiometers, Free Field Audiometers, Oto Acoustic Emission Systems (OAE), Auditory brain-stem Responses(ABR/ASSR) and Automated Auditory brain-stem Responses (AABR).

When Labat Asia was launched, Tarlochan realized that in order to remain technically competitive, the company must start producing the
goods missing from Labat’s portfolio (including good quality entry level Audiometers), and also enhance its existing range. As a result, Labat Asia kick started its own in-house R&D department in 2012 to develop & manufacture these import substitute products. “The objective is to save our country’s valuable foreign exchange by providing local solutions of the international standards and earning foreign exchange for the country by exporting these products to rest of the world. We aspire to be a one-stop-shop for any hearing screening/hearing diagnostic products,” asserts Tarlochan.

"Our entry-level Screening & Clinical audiometers are very much comparable with any international audiometers, but made available at a much lesser costthan the imported ones"

His goal sounds even more ambitious considering the fact that only a handful of manufacturers worldwide are into this product line. “Our entry-level Screening & Clinical audiometers are very much comparable with any international audiometers, but made available at a much lesser cost than the imported ones, but a bit more than the average Indian range,” divulges Tarlochan.

The heavy investments it had been pouring on its R&D since 2012 came into fruition by 2016, giving it indigenously developed products. Embarked on this new avatar with a much needed totally new software for the Italian Diagnostic Audiometer, Labat Asia introduced its own Free Field Audiometer and Visual Reinforced Audiometers in the same year, followed by the production of Screening & Clinical Audiometers in 2018. In fact, its recently launched Diagnostic Audiometer developed with the cutting-edge technology has much more advanced features than the Italian make. Today, standing tall as an affluent manufacturer, importer and exporter of a wide array of hearing screening and hearing diagnostic equipment, Labat Asia exports its products to the countries of Thailand, Italy, UAE, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Nepal and Vietnam as well.

The Indomitable Team
These accomplishments are made possible by its R&D department consisting of B.Tech and M.Tech engineers, who are spearheaded by an industry veteran who has garnered over 30 years of experience from all around the world (U.S., Singapore, Israel and Japan). Labat Asia has its own building (approximately 8000 sq.ft. and has an expansion scope for another 1500 sq.ft.), which houses a well-laid training hall and a growing team of 35+ people spread across the departments of Commercial Support, Exports, Accounts, Customer Support, Sales Support, HRD, Production, Service & Calibrations, Supply Chain & Purchase and R&D. Leaving no angles uncovered, the company has deployed a team of experts to perfect the aesthetics and designs of the products as well, as its target audience span across the globe. Not just a fly-by-night manufacturer, Labat Asia supports its customers with a nation-wide service & sales network consisting a mix of its own employees, freelancers and dealers.

A CRISIL rated & CRISIL verified company, Labat Asia is in the advanced stage of acquiring CE/ISO certifications, following the footsteps of its parent organization Labat International which holds ISO
13485 and CE certificates. The product rolled-out by Labat Asia on February 2019 in Bangalore has received tons of positive buzz. The countless eager enquiries have boosted the company’s confidence in producing more high calibre yet affordable products in the audiology segment.

Having already completed four out of the six types of products required in the hearing diagnostics equipment line, Labat Asia’s R&D team is currently working on the remaining two. The firm is launching a Paediatric AABR in June 2019, which will be followed by some more products of its own in the next few months. The company expects to complete the full range of products by the end of 2020 and emerge as the first Indian company and second in Asia to have this complete range.

With these innovations, the company that is currently growing its revenue at a healthy rate of 20 percent annually, foresees to reach a turnover of about Rs.250 crores by 2030. In future, Labat Asia intends to manufacture import substitute products in India and targets to tap the entry level segment with its basic Screening & Clinical Audiometers and the matured markets & exports with its advanced level diagnostic audiometers. The company has the same plans for other products in pipeline. “We use SMD components that have very low tolerance, within 0.1 percent. This ensures very little chanceof changing its working characteristics and thus avoid re-adjustments, frequent service/calibration visits (Lesser visits result in lesser expenses, lesser travel resulting in reduction in carbon footprints) and better profitability,” explains Tarlochan.

The Noble Roadmap
The company aims to produce zero defect products by using the latest technologies in order to ensure lesser wear & tear of the devices resulting in lesser personal field visits. Labat Asia also intends to educate & train customers on product installation and usage through YouTube channel videos. Meanwhile, it would also keep an eye on ensuring an economical price tag, since it would lead its customers to pass-on the benefits to the end customer; thereby making the hearing health care more affordable. With such a noble roadmap, Labat Asia seems set to make a huge positive impact and place India on the global map for the complete range of high calibre audiometry products.

Key Management
Tarlochan Dev, Founder & Managing Director
A self-motivated, responsible, hard-working, extremely positive and honest individual, Tarlochan is the driving force propelling Labat Asia to greater heights with his business development & customer relationship building expertise. A first-generation entrepreneur with over three decades of experience in the Healthcare & Medical equipment industry, he is one of the select few with a true grasp of the fundamentals of the industry. With deep love towards Mother Nature, he protects the environment, plants trees, runs tree plantation drives, and even motivates people around to keep physically & mentally fit.

Mohali (Punjab)
‘Best Emerging Medical Equipment Company in Punjab’ by Times Cybermedia Group