Varnavas Varnava, the founder and director of Biotronics, highlights the importance of diversification when operating in a small market, as well as discloses his future plans for the company and the competitive advantage that makes Biotronics the partner of choice for leading medical technology companies, aiming to venture into the Cypriot market.
As the founder of the company, could you introduce the main activities of Biotronics to our readers?
Biotronics was founded in 1991 and we have been growing over the years, earning recognition from our suppliers and partners with several awards – including the fastest growing company award for several years. I founded Biotronics after an extensive experience of 15 years, working in the Greek market as a biomedical engineer. My initial aim was to make Biotronics the partner of choice for the distribution and marketing of laboratory and medical devices in Cypriot market. Biotonics mainly focuses in the distribution, application and technical support of laboratory equipment, medical devices and life science-diagnostic systems, providing hi-tech solutions to hospitals, universities, research centres and the pharma industry amongst others.
More specifically, Biotronics has three main divisions and areas of expertise. Firstly, we are experts in analytical laboratory equipment. In pharmacopeia, we focused on quality and R&D sections, in food labs mainly we focus on food safety and composition and in the academic sector we focus on research labs. Our second business line is about providing total solutions to life science and diagnostic laboratories. Finally, our third segment covers the needs for specific medical instrumentation and supplies for hospitals, clinics and physicians’ labs.
All three business lines are equally focused in the public and private sector.
From our very first steps, we had excellent partnerships with leading brands of the global market, such as Sysmex, the pioneer and leader in haematology analysers globally, which owns the major market share internationally. Along with Sysmex’s leading technology we managed to acquire and maintain since 1994 100% market share on haematology analysis business of public clinical laboratories and 70% overall of Cyprus’ market clinical laboratories.
Another exceptional partner of ours, since the first day of our establishment, is Waters USA, the leading manufacturer of chromatography and mass spectrometry systems, that provides ‘the science of what’s possibleTM’ to the analytical and life science laboratories. We are proud to say that Waters systems are installed in all of the key analytical and research laboratories and cover most of the needs of the most prominent pharmaceutical industries in Cyprus.
Furthermore, for over 15 years, we are the official distributors of GE Healthcare for the Life Care Solutions, with which we achieved an excellent market share through our extensive installed base of the latest technologies and systems, especially for anaesthesia, ventilation, cardiology and maternal infant care, in most hospitals in Cyprus.
Of course, we have several other well-known and very reputable partners in these three lines of business. We are extremely proud of our professional collaborations and partnerships. Most importantly, we are very proud because throughout the years, many top manufacturers and international companies have entrusted us with their products and the main reason they continue this cooperation with us is our reputation and our well-established professional approach and support of our customers and stakeholders.
Last but not least, another vital factor for our growth is that we are financially healthy and we do not rely on bank loans in order to operate uninterruptedly. Thus, during the economic recession and the bail in 2013, we did not encounter significant loses, despite our slight decrease in our turnover, which was expected, due to the circumstances of the market. By 2017 we came back much stronger with a total growth of 22 percent, only with usual business, in comparison to 2012 results. That was an excellent success and a milestone for the whole team of Biotronics.
With the upcoming changes in the healthcare environment, from GeSY to the independence of hospitals and the FMD, what are the challenges and opportunities Biotronics envisions and what is your strategy to become a winner in the new environment?
Nowadays, we constantly come across to more challenges than in the past due to these market changes. This reality is because of the financial recession, but also because of the whole socio-economic environment and structure in Cyprus. Taking into consideration the rapid changes in the global and local market, we keep expanding our knowledge and adapting in order to maintain our successful performance. Cyprus is a very small market and therefore for ambitious organizations like Biotronics, which aim to continue growing, it is essential to find various ways to achieve that goal. Indeed, we cannot concentrate on only one product or business line, as the market is saturated and limited. In order to maintain our successful upward trend, our strategy is to enlarge and diversify our product portfolio, whilst being focused on the directions we have laid from the very beginning and we know very well. We of course do not want to lose the sight from our strategic priorities. Biotronics has decided therefore to focus on its three existing main product and business lines by bringing more high-tech solutions in the upcoming years.
I should also stress that, de facto the scientific and healthcare sector, is a market where every year we have more innovative technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases, which constantly replace older technologies. For this reason, our strategy is to be constantly updated in order to be among the firsts who will bring these innovative solutions to our clients in Cyprus. Having in our side our trustworthy partners, and by gaining the trust of more leading manufacturers of the healthcare sector, we are confident that we will manage to overcome these challenges and turn them into great opportunities
Regardless of which of the above sectors and product lines, we should also keep in mind that the main growth driver of our business, responsible for over 60 percent of our turnover is instrumentation. For that reason, we seek to constantly provide an excellent after sale support, since this is of outmost importance for our customers. Time in the healthcare sector and our partners is indeed very critical. We are partners to the largest pharma manufacturers in Cyprus and to the biggest private hospitals, where is absolutely mandatory their quality control systems or their operation theatres accordingly, be up and running and functioning properly 24/7. Therefore, it is crucial to have immediate and experienced after sale service, to ensure their efficient operation. For this reason, 40 percent of our team is constantly being professionally trained and certified and is being focused on providing immediate excellent after sales support. Our customer’s needs and interests are our own priority. We focus on the fundamentals and we care for every detail. This competitive advantage is one of the main differentiators, making us a trustworthy partner for the industry.
Your company has developed a strong network of international partners. As you are aiming to widen your product portfolio, what makes an ideal partner for the Cypriot market?
The main reason that we maintain a strong and long-lasting partnership with our business partners is the fact that we are 100% focused on what we are doing. We have a very good knowledge of our market, we thoroughly understand our clients’ needs and we know how to fulfil these needs. We are well positioned in the market, and this achievement had enabled us to work more efficiently. Even during challenging times, we have never given up and did not even let go any of our team members during the crisis. We are focused on moving forward by having a clear strategy. Our passion and enthusiasm for work guides us to continuous development and improvements to achieve excellent business results for the benefit of Biotronics, our people and our partners.