Marconi expands high-end CT role in Japan and India

April 26, 2000

A marketing agreement between Marconi Medical Systems and Shimadzu will give Marconi a high-end CT system to add to its assortment of products, while enhancing its distribution channel in Japan.Marconi also announced acquisition of the remaining 50% of

A marketing agreement between Marconi Medical Systems and Shimadzu will give Marconi a high-end CT system to add to its assortment of products, while enhancing its distribution channel in Japan.

Marconi also announced acquisition of the remaining 50% of its India joint venture with Network Ltd. of New Delhi, which will now focus exclusively on Marconi products. The company plans to market mid- and high-end CT systems to luminary sites at the medical colleges in each Indian state, according to its Asia/Pacific vice president, Larry Miller.

“Although India is a large country, it is one of our smaller markets because we don’t sell used or refurbished equipment (there),” Miller said. “We’ve established a service organization there for the installed base, and this will grow as we sell high-end products.”

Miller said the company has had a medical presence in Singapore for the past century. Marconi operates a distribution network in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.

“With the Asian devaluation (in 1997) our business fell off dramatically,” he said. “But now we’re seeing business picking up, particularly in Malaysia and Sri Lanka. We sense a real buoyancy in Southeast Asia and we expect business to pick up there as well.”

Marconi has a wholly owned Australian subsidiary with a large installed base and a large service organization, Miller said, as well as offices in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.

The firm plans to offer integrated imaging and information systems in Asia, along with its traditional imaging hardware.

The agreement with Shimadzu gives that company high-end CT and the opportunity to compete with Toshiba, according to John Barni, Marconi’s vice president for CT.

“They have basic spiral (CT), but not multislice, low-tier, or mid-tier. We wanted to be aligned with a good imaging partner over there,” Barni said.

Marconi tried in the 1980s to break into the Japanese CT market under the Picker name, not very successfully, according to Miller, who said Shimadzu initially rebuffed their proposals. Marconi then set up a joint venture marketing arrangement with a Japanese distributor.

Finally, two years ago, Marconi began negotiations with Shimadzu to market MR systems, Miller said, and Marconi ended the venture with the other distributor so they would have a single-market relationship.

The Mx8000 multislice CT scanner will be labeled with the Marconi name, as will the nuclear medicine products. MR products will carry the labels of both companies. Marconi will support training and marketing. The company imports some Shimadzu x-ray tables and components to the U.S.