Mauritius: Interview with Vincent Lagarde

Vincent Lagarde


Vincent Lagarde

Mauritius is a small country but has a huge potential. It is a country that has been able to reinvent itself by exploring new areas and new ways to be efficient and productive. Mauritius is indeed going through a transformation and the challenge now is to concentrate our efforts in preparing our human resources. We need skilled people, and for this we must focus on education. Investing in this area will be key to sustain the new economic pillars, as well as reinforcing the traditional ones. Mauritius, been a small country has the advantage, as a small boat, to be relatively easy to re-direct, adapting and re-orientating its efforts as needed. We must follow success stories, like New Zealand for example, another island that has managed to adapt its strategy in order to be successful.


In the last years, the health sector has evolved in a very significant way. The government has opened up to investors in order to have a proper development and has also focused on increasing the quality on the healthcare services. Up to date, the majority of Mauritian citizen counts with a private insurance, this is something 15 years ago was unthinkable. We now have new hospitals that operate under international quality standards and programs to ensure that every person in Mauritius has access to healthcare when they need it.


Natec Medical started in 1998 in Boston, USA. The reason of us starting in North America was a matter of credibility; we needed to start a company with a strong name, created on a consolidated market. At the same time we were creating a product that was ahead of the current medical progress; balloons for coronary arteries. In 2000, once the company was well established the new strategic decision was to move its operations to Mauritius, bringing with us our core values; ambition, passion and long term vision.


The reason for choosing Mauritius was simple; this is an island with many years of political and economical stability that counts now with quality infrastructure and international standards. These conditions represented a safe scenario that would also provide us with some strategic advantages. In terms of distribution for example, we are able to deliver to North America in about 96 hours, 72 hours for Asia and 48 hours to Europe.


Talking about our products, Natec Medical is the only company in the Indian Ocean to produce catheters and balloon dilation for the treatment of patients with cardiac and peripheral disorders. The company designs different product lines: the coronary range Filao and Tamarin Blue, as well as the Ebony for peripheral application and Tahina devicefor urology.Since 2012, Natec Medical offers a new service: the crimping (SealCrimp?). It is to affix a stent (a spring coil) on the balloon.


After 20 years of experience and thanks to the right environmental conditions in Mauritius, Natec Medical has been active in the development and production of PTCA (Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty) and PTA (percutaneous transluminal angioplasty) cathetersPercutaneous Interventional Decives, counting with the proper certifications regarding global quality parameters, sticking as close as possible to American regulatory standards and satisfying also European and Asian regulators. Natec Medical has been registered by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and some of our products are 510k certified. Up to date, the Tamarin (Natec PTCA balloon catheter) is the first non-American PTCA catheter registered in the FDA system, becoming the product reference for non-American companies to penetrate the US market. The company is also working on the development of a different branch line of products, creating lines of OEM high addvalue Services (Original Equipment Manufacturer), for cardiology, radiology, gastroenterology and urology.


Last year ANVISA (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária) came to Natec in Mauritius to do an audit in which we presented passed successfully positive results and we are now registered as a company allowed to sell catheters in Brazil. In our sector, quality is essential not only in the products but also in the services, this is why in Natec Medical, we try to best meet our customer demands, for which the company can customize the products by making the development from prototyping to finalof packaging, for example.



In terms of our international presence, our main markets are India, Europe, Africa and, the United States. and India. We are the number one company importing to India. Other countries we are interested to reach are Japan, Brazil, Russia and Canada. Natec Medical opened up an office in Hong Kong in order to set-up a joint-venture with a Chinese partner; Natec Asia Pacific. The creation of this strategic alliance will allow Natec Medical to have a preferential access to China with a solid local expertise in filing regulatory dossiers and extended market knowledge in this complex country. The product launching is planned for the end of 2015.


In the field of high-tech medicine, we must remain at the forefront, create strategic relations and get the right visibility. To do this, Natec Medical participates in exhibitions abroad. This year, it will be present in the United States and France as an exhibitor. (conference’s names?Compamed, EuroPCR, MedTec, LINC)


All these factors together have contributed to Natec Medical’s success story, resulting on a 30% organic growth per year for the last five years but it is important to remark the fact that this all wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the environment in which we are inserted; Mauritius.
The company is the result of a well-coordinated work, strategic decisions and a team of people that in every area put their hearts and soul to make a difference each day. But also, the country’s conditions have allowed us to create in Natec Medical an efficient set of operations conformed by a vertical and horizontal structure. We are a one-stop-shop partner that counts with all the elements we need in the supply chain, from the design to a finished manufactured product, thanks to the efforts of the government.


We are proud to have created a company that provides a service with a strong added value, in which we don’t only take benefit from society but also give back. Natec Medical is proud of its contribution to the Mauritian society in several aspects, in which we include woman empowerment, childhood care and support for diabetic patients.


Our final message would be directed to the international business community, to take the chance of visiting Mauritius and discover that this is a country with so much more to offer than pristine beaches and paradisiac resorts. It is a country that is prepared and willing to do businesses in different sectors and that will receive you with its arms wide open.