Plastic surgery catches on
( 2003-12-15 09:21) (China Daily)
With China's first plastic beauty Hao Lulu still in the media limelight, Avner Raz, president and chief executive officer of Lumenis - the world's leader in aesthetic and medical laser equipment - brought his company's latest product to Beijing last week.
The United States may be the biggest market for cosmetic surgery in the world, but the Asia-Pacific area is the second.
As proof of that, Raz, now in his third visit in six months, has brought his company's latest product, Lumenis One, into China. This is the only market outside the United States where the product has been introduced.
"China is so big and Chinese people are becoming more and more aware of the necessities of using such equipment," Raz said.
Take Hao's example. The Beijing woman has been undergoing a 200-day-long marathon duckling-to-swan series of surgeries at the Beijing EverCare Cosmetic Surgery Hospital and Clinic.
Lumenis provides the clinic's equipment.
Raz expects his company's sales in the Chinese market to double in the next three years.
Zhai Qiying, the US company's executive vice-president who has been taking charge of the company's China operations, is even more ambitious, hoping sales will multiply by three during the period.
This year, the company is expected to reap US$26 million in China, according to Zhai.
That will represent a 30 per cent rise from last year.
Zhai's confidence is based on the fast growing number of consumers who are paying big money to make themselves look better and younger.
Industry analysts say the cosmetic surgery industry has progressed dramatically in China in recent years.
Statistics from the China Plastic Cosmetology Committee show there are more than 10,000 medical institutions carrying out procedures throughout the country.
Revenues of about 2 billion yuan (US$240 million) have piled up since procedures were first offered in the country.
That explains Raz's frequent visits to China and the company's move to introduce its latest product into the Chinese market last week.
Lumenis' major global rivals such as Candela from the United States, have also entered the Chinese market.
The just-concluded Third World Congress of International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology in Beijing also gathered the world's experts and top equipment producers in this field.
"If you look around the world for your future market, you will get China and the Asia-Pacific area," Raz said. "China, Japan and the Far East are our biggest potential markets."
The United States is still the world's largest market. Raz's company hits about US$150 million in sales there every year. But Asia-Pacific is the second largest one.
Raz said if his company's sales in China reach US$50 million a year, Lumenis will set up plants in China to manufacture the equipment as local production can make customer service easier and cheaper.
"Sales of US$50 million will be enough for us to make a determination to produce the equipment here," Zhai said.
The company also plans to introduce laser equipment into China's dental market.
The company entered the Chinese market in 1991 and has established eight offices in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
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