‘We export products to countries in all major continents’
Charak Pharma is one of those rare ayurvedic medicine manufacturers who is welcomed in overseas markets as well. Dr Ram Shroff, Director, Charak Pharma reveals more about their export policy to Sachin Jagdale
Regulatory authorities in developed countries are always wary of ayurvedic products citing the presence of heavy metals in them. How have Indian ayurvedic product/medicine manufacturers responded to this allegation? Have they changed any aspect of their operations to counter this allegation?
Ayurvedic companies have responded to this challenge by shifting to herbal extracts instead of raw herbs in the formulations. In addition reputed ayurvedic manufacturers like Charak are employing advanced analytical techniques like chromatography and spectroscopy to detect and control heavy metals in the raw materials and finished products.
What are Charak Pharma’s efforts to meet the expectations of overseas customers?
Charak Pharma is geared to meet the unique regulatory requirements for many overseas markets. This regulatory preparedness combined with an ability to customise products as per consumers needs makes us well positioned to utilise the increasing opportunities of overseas markets for natural products.
Is there any alternative to the use of heavy metals in ayurvedic medicines? If not, how do you convince foreign markets about the importance of these metals in the medicines?
Countries which have some knowledge of basic ayurvedic principles are more open to the logic of including specially processed mineral ingredients in these products. In other countries, we try to substitute the mineral ingredients with herbal ingredients which provide similar effects.
Changing the quantity of heavy metals in the medicines as directed by overseas customers will change the medicinal properties as well. How have you addressed this problem?
We make our customers select products where heavy metal problems will not arise. In some cases we create special formulas for overseas market without heavy metals that have proven efficacy and safety in scientific clinical trials.
What difficulties did Charak Pharma face while exploring export markets?
The biggest difficulty is the limited awareness and lack of regulatory recognition for ayurveda in many export markets.
Can you name the overseas markets where we could find Charak Pharma’s products and name some of your most popular brands in this category?
Our products are currently exported to countries in all major continents. You can find our products available in Ukraine, Kazaksthan, Kenya, Ghana, Greece, Sri Lanka and many other countries. Kofol is one of our popular brands overseas.
Do you think collaboration between ayurvedic medicine exporters will make the export of ayurvedic products easier?
Collaborative efforts towards lobbying for greater recognition of ayurveda by foreign regulatory authorities will definitely yield significant benefits for all ayurvedic companies in the long term.
What are the new products in your exports pipeline?
We are developing a new range of products that will comply with emerging regulatory norms and consumer preferences across many countries as per feedback received from our business associates.
What will be your strategy to achieve your export targets in the next few years?
We plan to meet our targets by starting business in many new countries by aggressively building our network across the world using exhibitions, delegations and personal references. In addition, we are also making investments in our existing markets to support the efforts of our business associates. We also plan to launch new export oriented products.