Materia Group interviewed George Kaimis, CEO of GJK Healthpharma services LTD, dedicated to improving the quality of life with innovative, top quality products and services in the sectors of health and beauty. Materia Group met him to evaluate the FrailSafe solution but also see what potential it could have for his business. Given his interest in the silver economy, Mr. Kaimis is a shareholder in a rehabilitation clinic for older adults in Cyprus and his company trades diagnostic devices for older adults, such as blood glucose meters and test strips.
Would you share with us what qualities does a vendor for health products and services look for in a new product to incorporate it to his/her product range?
This question has more than one answers. Every company, every merchandiser if you wish, has a different outlook of the market and a different philosophy. For instance, you can have a merchandiser who is a “cost-leader” and looks for the lowest cost product available in order to have a very broad customer market. On the other hand, you can have the “premium-leader” who is looking for unique and innovative products and services and aims to get exclusive trading rights in order to have a competitive advantage. A third category is the merchandiser who focuses on the before, during and after-sales of a product.
Do you think that the FrailSafe system would interest someone in your field?
This product would be of interest to somebody who is already working in the field of health services for older adults, i.e., by trading medicines or devices and tools for physiotherapists, etc. The merchandiser will look for something that fits in their range of services and interests but their own profile is an integral parameter as well. For example, a cost-leader will most probably avoid something that is unique, innovative and has a high-cost, especially since this is the first time such a product is entering the market. On the contrary, a premium seeker will be highly interested in such a product as it will offer a competitive advantage for them. In general, there are 5 factors which guide the inclusion of a product in a merchandiser’s range of products: a) the cost/price, b) the innovation (if the product offers a monopoly or not), c) the number of competitor products in the market, d) the relevance of the product to their existing business, but not always as a company might decide to vertically reformulate their product range or expand (i.e., in case a specific field becomes congested with competitors), and e) if the company has the budget or the technical expertise to handle technical issues and maintenance of the new product. All these factors constitute criteria for choosing and also, pricing a new product before including it into the service range. Because the manufacturer might sell a product at a specific price but the merchandiser has to take into account the costs for selling, transporting, marketing, and offering after-sales support of this product and also the human resources needed, in order to estimate its final price and its implications for the market.
You mentioned innovation as a key piece of criteria in choosing new products for some merchandisers. Do you think that the FrailSafe system is innovative?
Yes, it is a very innovative system. As a matter of fact, I was wondering why it has not been produced and made available on the market yet by large manufacturers in the field. If a merchandiser chooses to include this product in their services it would increase the number of sales as they would enter the market with a competitive advantage. If they made a thorough study of the sustainability of this product and service, then their business would be very profitable. This product offers the opportunity for somebody to become an innovation-leader in a field that is still undiscovered, meaning that there are no similar services and products offered. In this system’s exploitability and marketability, sales potential plays a significant role, but also, the manufacturer’s price in comparison to the number of potential customers. These two parameters define the number of sales,. For example, I would ask myself: “With this product, do I have a base number of 10 or 100 sales?”. Then you would also have to consider the sales process to decide on how to appropriately design a strategy for this product. Who do I have to reach to increase my sales? Doctors, clinicians or consumers directly? How complicated would the promotion be? Will it be easy because people need this solution or not? Then one has to think about support services. For example, what if an older adult or a family member needs help with a device? Should I establish a help call center and what kind of professionals would I need there? So, I have to carefully think about all possibilities and scenarios. What I would choose for such a device would be a low-cost one-off payment to purchase the device and a higher cost for services. Also, upgrades for software and hardware should be offered free of charge or at a minimal cost. You should also think about offering a guarantee period.
Do you have any concerns regarding the FrailSafe system?
Well, my target group is vulnerable so I would be interested to know what would happen if for some reason this device does not work properly at some point. For example, if the fall detection system fails, because devices and people make mistakes at times, is there any second and third backup plan to detect the fall? Also, I would be interested to know if the product is patented and how. For example, if I choose to trade this innovation how many years of exclusive trading do I have before other competitors start offering similar products? So, this is called a barrier to entry. The more sophisticated a product is, the more difficult to be replicated, and the more certifications it has, the lower the barrier for the merchandiser and higher the motivation. Also, a very important part of the process of testing, marketing, certifying and patenting a product are the Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) available. These people are well-known and respected professionals and clinicians who could test the system and offer a testimony on its utility and benefits. In my opinion, it is an excellent strategy to offer the product to KOLs free of charge to test its benefits and endorse it. Their opinion will automatically work as marketing for this product. This process can also be done pro-finalizing and commercializing the product.