Aiming for top rank, Godrej enters vaccine protection

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) Refrigeration major Godrej on Monday entered the vaccine protection micro sector, with an aim to reach the top spot in the refrigeration space in India.

The company, in association with Sure Chill Technology of Britain, launched four models of refrigerator units that keep vaccines and blood for donation at an optimum temperature of four degrees Celsius even without power for 10 days.

“Although we have just started our journey in this segment, we are backed by organisations like Unicef, WHO and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who are promoting this technology,” said Godrej Appliances’ executive vice president Kamal Nandi.

“We are already working on models that will deliver last mile services to citizens which includes transportation of these vaccines to medical sub-centres, primary health centres (PHCs) and community health centres (CHCs),” he said.

The move assumes significance as it could ramp up Godrej’s revenues to a significant figure as there are 1,48,366 sub-centres, 24,049 PHCs and 4,833 CHCs functioning in the country, according to data available from the health ministry.

Nandi took over as the business head of the appliances section of Godrej replacing George Menezes in mid-2014 and had since promised to help Godrej improve its share in air conditioners and refrigerators business in the country.

The company, which is the only one to have a technology transfer agreement with Sure Chill to develop and manufacture these refrigerators, will also export the units to neighbouring markets covering SAARC and MENA countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and UAE, among others.

Commenting on the launch, Nandi said: “Leveraging our core capabilities in the cooling space and our deep understanding of Indian conditions, we have been able to increase the holdover time of the vaccine refrigerators by 30 percent,” he added.

The refrigeration units will be shipped with a built-in voltage stabiliser and spike guard to take care of voltage fluctuations common in developing countries like India.

“To ensure superior performance of the vaccine refrigerator, an early intelligent warning system has been installed. Our 57 years of existence in the cooling industry coupled with extensive service network in the country positions us to deliver quick and reliable service to this critical healthcare business,” he added.

Godrej Sure Chill will be available in two model variants — 100 litres: priced between Rs.1.35 lakh and Rs.1.5 lakh; and 50 litres: priced between Rs.65,000 and Rs.75,000.

According to the WHO, one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease preventable by vaccination and 151 million vaccines, valued at around $750 million, are lost annually due to improper refrigeration in developing countries.

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