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The $18 billion GE Healthcare division is bullishly looking at India. John Flannery, Global President and CEO of GE Healthcare, said that India is one of the third largest markets in terms of growth.

As for someone who headed the India business, John believes that he had a stronger appreciation of the Indian context. But now, as the global CEO, he has an enhanced view of how India can contribute to the global markets.

At the launch of the GE’s first healthcare accelerator five.eight, Flannery spoke to YourStory about their India plans and growth. The programme will focus on startups post Series A funding. The team is looking to fund up to $5 million per from GE Healthcare, for the accelerator programme.

John Flannery, CEO and President, GE Healthcare Global
John Flannery, CEO and President, GE Healthcare Global

YS: How would you define the India market for GE Healthcare’s global business?

John: As a market, India is extremely important to us. We believe that the ideas, processes and solutions that are developed in India can be taken to different parts of the globe. In that sense, India is in many ways the lynch pin of our global strategies and growth. Our technology centre is an unbelievable resource for engineering talent and science. Whatever you think of India now is going to grow substantially for us going forward.

YS: How different is the Indian healthcare ecosystem when compared to the globe?

John Flannery: We challenge the notion that India has a long way to go. In many ways, we see the Indian healthcare business, where the know-how is very far ahead, very creative and adaptive to situations that are not in their country. India is ahead in innovation, creativity, deep-in-technology and know-how.

Don’t underestimate how progressive India is. I tell a lot of our US customers if you want to see the future of healthcare, you have to go to India.

YS: With five.eight what kind of startups are you looking to attract?

John Flannery: There is a lot of things we can do to make healthcare more accessible, more affordable and by bringing in the required change in the products. And this isn’t just about India, but across the globe. We are a big company, but are a small part of the answer to the overall issue of healthcare. This meant we needed much broader answer structure and connectivity to the people on ground. With startups, we saw incredible ideas on grass-root levels, with unbelievable ideas that were springing out of every nook and cranny of the world and many of them in India

This got us thinking that we could pair some of our resources and work towards helping these things spark and come to life and make impact.

YS: How different and similar are the India and China markets?

John: China and India have huge population. Most parts lack basic healthcare. Both countries have large physical territories. The government involvement in China is substantially higher and has a more driven approach, and the money pumped into the healthcare system is higher. The private sector in India is much more dynamic and India is more of a market animal.

YS: What do you think of the Indian startup ecosystem?

John Flannery:

India has entrepreneurial drive, energy and fearless dedication. Now there is a higher level of confidence. Indian entrepreneurs have a nose for what’s going to work, what’s the issue. Indian entrepreneurship works strongly with creativity and Jugaad. They might not be consistent with norms, but Indian entrepreneurs work around several innovative ideas and challenges that the market has.