Dr. Sudhir Srivastava is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of SS Innovations International (SSII). I had a conversation with him at the Investment Masters Symposium in Las Vegas about his company, his firm’s technology, and his dream for the future of affordable healthcare. The following is an edited transcript of our interview. You can view the full version on the MoneyShow YouTube page HERE, says Mike Larson, Editor-in-Chief at MoneyShow.
Mike: “Doctor, how are you?
Dr. Srivastava: “Very good. How are you?”
Mike: “Very well, very well. I hope the show is going well for you.”
Dr. Srivastava: “Oh yes, it was absolutely wonderful, and thanks for the opportunity.”
Mike: “Absolutely. Nice to be a part of this. It seems like people are very interested in robotic surgery as a topic in general. So, why don’t you talk a little bit about what is it that your company does and what is your involvement with them?”
Dr. Srivastava: “So firstly, we are completely committed to developing a very advanced robotic system of the latest generation with very different features, better features, more advanced features, and at a very cost-effective level in terms of the pricing.
“Ultimately, this will benefit many, many more patients not just in India but around the world because there is uneven distribution in relation to the current technologies, mainly because of the cost and the steep learning curve.
“So, if you look at the global scene, I think there is a real need for a different system that will surpass existing ones. Not only that, but what we are doing is creating a system that is multi-specialty. That means everything from mouth down to pelvis and soft tissues – and all the specialties including cardiac on top of that.”
Mike: “Somebody who doesn't come from the medical industry, they probably have heard of the Da Vinci. They know a little bit about the company that invented it. What is it that your company does differently? What is the new technology that you’re able to bring to market now versus what’s been out there on the market before?"
Dr. Srivastava: “Sure. So our system, first of all, is technologically different at every level. We have also developed a proprietary technology whereby you can take any of these images, diagram images that are in the hospital system in relation to the patient, and you convert them literally on the fly into a 3D model or a hologram.
“You superimpose that, and what it does, it basically gives you the entire anatomy inside, and you can slice, dice, or rotate to match your surgical views. It will make you very precise.
“Or if you take the example of a kidney tumor where you are trying to save half of the kidney, you know exactly where the tumor is, so you can get a clean margin and at the same time, save as much kidney as possible or different structures. You have all this in front of you and it will make the procedure safer and faster because the hesitation is gone.
“3D Vision also makes the procedure safer and faster, and the tableside team knows exactly where to go, so accidents don’t occur. The learning curve is reduced, ultimately translating into quality outcome.
“Then finally, our robotic arms and carts are modular. Each arm is mounted separately on a cart and these are motorized, so you can use three, four, or in our case, up to five arms. Nobody else has a fifth arm possibility. So essentially, it is different at every level. And in terms of the specialty, it will do everything the Da Vinci does and more.”
Mike: "Excellent. Could you briefly let our viewers know where you are in terms of the regulatory approval process with the Mantra system?"
Dr. Srivastava: “Yes. In India, we already have been approved by what is the equivalent of the FDA called CDSCO. This is the second year we’ve been approved. We also have an export license and ISO 13485, which is an international standard for medical devices. We also have a program in UAE from the Ministry of Health.
“We have initiated the approval process both for the European CE as well as US FDA approval. Now, there are also, just to point out in terms of the market opportunity for SSI, 122 countries globally that either accept the Indian approval or minimum registration requirements based on the technology and, you know, validity and safety, etc.
“So, we have huge access. We definitely will go to Europe, but it’s a time factor. Right now, the good thing for SSI is that we have a built-in huge population base that we can offer our system.”
Mike: "While you’re trying to build a successful company, you're also trying to really have a mission right? I mean, this has been your dream I believe.”
Dr. Srivastava: “Yes. What I say is, ‘Made in India for the world’ first of all. Secondly, there is a humanitarian side to it. You know, I had a wonderful personal life in the US, and left to really chase this vision so that we can decentralize excellence and democratize health care.
“Again, we all know that it is a right, not just a privilege for rich economies or rich people. There’s no reason that patients should not get the best possible care, and since cost is the factor, we have addressed that.”
Mike: “Excellent. Well, doctor, I really appreciate your time today. I hope you enjoy the rest of the show.”
Dr. Srivastava: “Thank you.”
Disclosures: SSII is a paid advertiser of MoneyShow. This transcript has been edited for clarity and length.