An Indian entrepreneur with an international network of healthcare and diagnostic equipment companies has made a big bet on Miami-Dade County.
Mumbai-based Suresh Vazirani bought control IVAX Diagnostics in Miami in 2010 for about $15 million, changed the name to ERBA Diagnostics and expanded ERBA’s operations at its headquarters in Miami Lakes.
He later acquired two additional companies and is investing to make ERBA one of the key manufacturing and sales centers for his worldwide group of companies in India, Europe and the United States.
“This is a great place for our business, an excellent geographical location, since we can ship our products to customers in the United States and to international markets,” said Vazirani, executive chairman of ERBA Diagnostics and the founder/owner of Mumbai-based Transasia Bio-Medicals Ltd., India’s largest in vitro diagnostics testing company. “Since most of our products are not perishable, we can ship by road, rail and ocean freight.”
“This will be one of our four international centers of excellence,” he added while on a recent visit to Miami Lakes. “The others are in India, Italy and the Czech Republic.”
The name ERBA comes from the Latin word herba, which means grass, herb, greenery and suggests evergreen, said Mala Vazirani, Suresh Vazirani’s wife and executive director at Transasia, who has worked closely with her husband since they married a few years after Transasia was founded.
The former IVAX Diagnostics assets that now form the core of ERBA Diagnostics include Miami-based Diamedix Corp., which makes instruments and reagents to detect autoimmune and infectious diseases; ImmunoVision, a leader in producing antibodies and antigens for autoimmune testing and test kits; and Delta Biologicals s.r.l., which makes automated testing devices and diagnostic products in Italy.
Last year, ERBA acquired another company, Drew Scientific, a Dallas manufacturer of testing equipment for diabetes and hematology, plus reagents and other products. Drew also has a unit in the United Kingdom and a subsidiary called JAS Diagnostics, which makes reagents used in chemistry analyzers.
ERBA today consists of Diamedix, ImmunoVision, Delta, Drew Scientific and JAS, and is linked to other manufacturing units in Vazirani’s companies in Europe and India. These include Vazirani’s first company, Transasia, ERBA Mannheim, the holding company for the group’s international operations, and ERBA subsidiaries in Turkey, Russia, France, Italy and the Czech Republic. The group has operations in about 40 countries and distributors for its equipment and other products in 90 countries, Suresh Vazirani said.
In Miami Lakes, ERBA makes about 100 products, according to Kevin Clark, ERBA’s CEO, while Diamedix makes about 48 products. In putting together ERBA, Vazirani kept key personnel from companies that were acquired. For example ERBA’s CEO came from ImmunoVision, which he founded.
Miami Lakes is also used as an assembly and testing center for ERBA blood and diabetes testing machines made in Dallas at the former Drew facility. The units are shipped unassembled from the Dallas manufacturing center to Miami Lakes, where they are assembled, quality tested, packed and shipped to customers in the U.S. and overseas.
Customers for ERBA’s extensive product line include physicians’ offices, small and large hospitals and clinics as well as research laboratories and commercial labs. About 50 percent of ERBA’s production is sold in the U.S., the other 50 percent to international markets.