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Interview
 
January 16 , 2016
Dermozone has stormed into India with MedCare Ozonated Olive Oil. According to the company, this is the best solution available presently to cater to wound and bacteria elimination. Further, research suggests that in Asian and African countries, up to 80% of the population relies on traditional medicine for primary health care needs. In countries like South Africa, Brazil,

Argentina, Mexico, and Chile, the awareness is higher and people are aware about the function of ozonated olive oil. K S Dharshan, chairman & CEO, Dermozone, goes into the details in an email interaction with Nandita Vijay. Excerpts:

Provide us a snapshot of your company and the success so far.
Jakarta, Indonesia-based Dermozone, is globally recognised for its wide range of herbal skincare products, especially its flagship brand: MedCare Ozonated Olive Oil, primarily used for the treatment of acne, fungal infections, dry skin, insect bites, athlete's foot, eczema, blisters, carbuncles, diabetic wounds, burns, cuts, wounds and vaginal thrush.

We constantly research to develop a range of skin products. There are many skin products globally, but our products are created differently. First of all, skin is a gift from God and is the biggest part of the body that requires intensive care and attention. Secondly, we want to create safe and efficacious  products with a judicious mix of right ingredients, advanced technology and know-how to ensure that the end-product is beneficial to the skin.

We have seen huge success in Indonesia and other countries. All our good production practices  ensure our customers are provided only with the  best. The R&D took 14 years, and the product has been in the market for two years  and available in 21 countries worldwide. There is an increasing demand across markets particularly the US, Europe, Australia, India, Japan, Indonesia, Africa and Russia.

How has MedCare brand of Ozonated Olive Oil fared in the UK, USA, Japan, Russia, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Australia and Dubai.
In these countries  the awareness is higher and people are more aware about the function of ozonated olive oil and we’re performing very well. For instance, we have been selling in the UK for six years and the awareness of the product’s efficacy is higher. We are confident about achieving similar success in India.

What are the factors that led your company to enter the Indian market with this MedCare Ozonated Olive Oil?
MedCare Ozonated Olive Oil is the best solution available presently to cater to wound and bacteria elimination.

India is the largest country globally faced by  diabetic ulcers, which are major problems for medical practitioners to treat. MedCare Ozonated Olive Oil will solve this major issue here. Another reason is lack of consumer and health awareness. Research suggests that in Asian and African countries, up to 80% of the population relies on traditional medicine for primary healthcare needs.

MedCare has its focus on the Indian wound care market, which is valued at  Rs 521 crore. This is a competitive market with the availability of a wide range of products and at varied price points. The contribution by MedCare to heal Diabetic foot ulcers is  a huge growth opportunity because India accounts for 40 million diabetics and by 2025 this number will swell to 70 million.

The other related skin problems are acne, dry skin, crack heels, are attributed to increased pollution and unhealthy eating habits, which is prevalent in India and is similar to other countries. As per Reports, as of 2014, India along with China, Australia, Japan and Brazil are expected to serve as a new revenue pocket for the wound care market which is expected to reach $18.3 billion or Rs 1210.9 crore by 2019.

Provide us the details of the patent for this product.
MedCare Ozonated Olive Oil is a unique compound created when olive oil is subjected to changes through a process called Ozonation for which we hold the IP. This unique product is what Ozonated Olive Oil carries, with an increased efficacy stimulating the function of enzymes associated with your skin. This fastens the regeneration period of your skin when applied on cuts or wounds, also cures many skin infections in no time and many more benefits. This patent applies worldwide.

What is the competition for the company in this space?
Dermozone is in a league of its own. Instead of competing with others in the industry, we are setting the pace, creating unique products and profiting from lucrative new markets. We feel that we are better off searching for ways to gain uncontested market space than engaging in traditional competition. MedCare can treat and resolve almost any kind of skin condition.

In terms of discounted pricing, at Rs 1,400 for a 40 ml tin how do you see this being a key enabler to drive your revenues, which you estimate at $22 million in three years?
The product pricing is considered as cheap compared to operations and wound maintenance by medical practitioners. In India, wound shaping will cost approximately Rs 5 lakh, whereas for a major  wound, a person needs only 8-10 cans of MedCare, 40 gram which costs Rs 14,000. Also, Rs 1,400 was an introductory price. The current price is Rs 2,200.

Is this an over-the-counter or ethically promoted product? What is the reason for you to opt for online sales when you have an office setup in Bengaluru?
MedCare would be initially available only online through its India website. The simple reason being increased Internet availability to a larger population, mostly people logging on and choosing Internet retailers to supply right  at their doorstep! This huge growing market is predicted to exceed 40 million by 2016 in terms of number of digital buyers in India. Indians are comfortable buying high priced goods online.  We are also looking at that segment where 35% of online sales will be influenced by women by 2016. For B2B we have a separate site only catering to such bulk orders.

Online sites also help to keep track of the customer who purchases the product and also give them a facility of online chat to provide a personal touch to selling the product. We have set up the office in Bengaluru to do direct sales to hospitals and doctors, and managing the logistics and product fulfilment.

Wouldn’t this product need a trial by consumers who want to purchase it?
Before we actively sell the product on the website, we already sold to doctors and the recommendations will be used in the webstore to introduce MedCare to public.

MedCare has been selling in the UK for the past 6 years through www.thefinchleyclinic.com. The other countries that are selling MedCare have already gone through the trial and consumers are confident about the product. As far as India is concerned we are going through a clinical trial also which is in process.

For dermatology conditions like eczema, psoriasis among others, which need a medical prescription, how would you tackle if patients purchase it online and have an adverse skin reaction or don’t find relief?
The results given by MedCare are faster than prescribed medicines. We are selling it online because the product is safe. If they contact us it will only for purchasing more products.

Provide details on Dermozone products.
Dermozone products consist of 19 products in 8 categories. These are Body balm 5 variants in 2 packages 100 ml & 170 ml in Fruity, Green Forest, Peach, Vanilla, Velvet and Blackberry. Body scrub blackberry one variant of 100 ml, Face scrub blackberry in 100 ml pack, Lip balm, Massage oil in 100 ml & 250 ml, Scalp line in 100 ml, Elbow, knee, and foot balm in 30 ml  and MedCare available in packages of 1,2,3 & 4 pcs of each 40 ml.

All these products are well functioning for skin. The ozonated olive oil combined with essential oil and other natural ingredients create an overall extraordinary experience.

How do you see the growth of cosmetics and derma care in India and global markets?
It is estimated that at a CAGR of 12 per cent about 18.8 crore people suffer from skin disease in 2015. The prevalence of skin disease in India is 10 to 12 per cent of the total population with eczema and psoriasis being the major contributors. Due to pollution, ultraviolet light, and global warming, photosensitive skin disorders like tanning, pigment darkening, sunburn, skin cancers, and infectious diseases are increasing at a faster pace. A one per cent reduction in ozone leads to a two to four per cent increase in the incidence of tumours and ulcers.

The other factors of growth are due to increase in awareness and growing income levels, demand for more quality products and brand-conscious consumers, together with  the ability to tap the rural and the urban population who are getting habituated in using herbal skin care products.

Indians are  seen to have knowledge about skin health. The concern is also increased due to more problems appearing in dermatology science. India has been considered as the second-largest economic market, which will give a fair chance to Dermozone to grow.

What are the key trends and challenges  in this space that are expected to drive growth?
Natural ingredients and modern development in skin preparation enable Dermozone to always follow the growth of needs of the Indian people. The challenge is for companies to create the trend and adapt the new technology. There is a need to sustain a continuous effort of innovations which shall be the key driver to rapid growth.

In your opinion, how receptive are venture capitalists  and private equity players to fund startup cosmetic and derma companies in the South-East Asian region?
My view is that they are being very receptive. Speaking for Dermozone, we would be looking around for investment to increase our ability to support our R&D, information technology operations, recruit the best talent in the industry and expand our operations all over the globe.

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