Award-winning Australian respiratory device maker AirPhysio expands in India

AirPhysio's CEO Paul O’Brien is hopeful that big changes are occurring in the health industry in India which in turn will open opportunities for Australian businesses.

Award-winning Australian respiratory device maker AirPhysio is growing exports to India since launching its product in February 2022.

AirPhysio, short for Airway Physiotherapy, makes hand-held respiratory devices that help people with limited lung capacity to clear their lungs and improve breathing.

AirPhysio’s co-founder and CEO Paul O’Brien told The Australia Today, “Next week is going to be very big for us as we inaugurate our India office.”

“If you look at India as a big country, you may find it difficult to navigate but you just need to segregate the right sectors (states) to make it all easy to do business.”

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In April 2022, AirPhysio won the India–Australia Business and Community Alliance Awards for Small and Medium-sized Enterprise of the Year.

AirPhysio (Twitter)

The company started in 2015 and its expansion comes as Australia’s new trade agreement with India is set to reduce tariffs on Australian-made medical devices.

AirPhysio’s device looks just like an asthma inhaler and it requires people to exert positive airway pressure as they exhale and is therefore becoming popular with athletes for improving breathing capacity.

Mr O’Brien further said that India is a great opportunity for MedTech.

“Exporting medtech to India is becoming easier. Before the pandemic, duties and taxes added approximately 42% to the value of a shipped AirPhysio device. This includes opportunities for ‘allied health’ services, products and medical devices.

In the next two years AirPhysio plans to export 60,000 devices every year. Which has the potential to go three-fold if the plans for the local manufacturing unit are achieved.

Medtech experts believe that Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement will help to open up India’s target health market of about 200 million people in India to Australian manufacturers.

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Paul O’Brien, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of AirPhysio (Image source: supplied

O’Brien adds:

“It will reduce import tariffs from 42.5% to 7.5%. This will make it easier for distributors to sell high-quality medical devices in India.”

O’Brien is hopeful that as Indians are open to fresh ideas in personal health, big changes will occur in the health industry in India which in turn will open opportunities for Australian businesses.

India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal with his Australian counterpart Don Farrell on the sidelines of #IPEF (Image source: Piyush Goyal – LinkedIn)

AirPhysio along with its local Indian partner and a local distributor is following a go-to-market strategy by selling directly to customers.

O’Brien observes:

“Our partner listed the devices on Amazon and began selling 6–8 devices per day. This B2C (business to consumer) approach showed that we had a potential market.”

AirPhysio with the help of Austrade and Investment NSW officials in India and Australia is able to export over 3,000 devices and is now present in more than 100 countries, including North America and Europe.

The company has also begun working with the MGM School of Physiotherapy based in Mumbai to help with long-term respiratory complications.