Albert David Limited: Aiming to cross the Rs. 200-crore mark
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in Indian economy. Estimates indicate that market for pharmaceuticals in India has strong potential for increased growth from 2008 right through to 2023.
Such a scenario has attracted most of the global giants of the industry to enter the Indian market and vie for their share of the pie. This has resulted in fierce competition in the pharma sector.
So the domestic pharmaceutical companies in order to sustain and grow in this global environment have focused their energies on some key areas like developing world-class production facilities conforming to the latest regulatory norms, strengthening their marketing effort and increase their spending on R&D activities.
Kolkata’s leading pharma company, Albert David Limited has realized the nuances of operating in this competitive era and charted out its future growth strategies accordingly.
Elaborating on the future strategies to EXPRESS PHARMA, Kamal Prasad Mundhra, Executive Director, Albert David Limited said: “we have zeroed on few therapeutic areas on which we plan to concentrate in the next couple of years.” Firstly, we want to consolidate our position in these areas and then move up the ladder.
As a part of its consolidation efforts, the Company has invested to the tune of Rs. 52 crore in modernization-cum-expansion of its existing manufacturing units in the country.
Albert David has manufacturing facilities in Kolkata, Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and Mandideep in Madhya Pradesh.
“We hope to complete the entire exercise by the end of the current year. The existing facility at Kolkata has been upgraded to meet the international benchmarks and we will soon go in for US-FDA approvals. We have invested to the tune of Rs. 25 crore in our Kolkata plant”, Mundhra said. The work on the project is on the last phase and commercial production will commence shortly.
‘After completion, the parenterals (SVP) unit at the Kolkata unit will be one of the most advanced facilities in the entire Eastern region’, claimed Mundhra.
Secondly, we have gone for major upgradation and expansion at our facility in Ghaziabad. The large volume parenteral unit at our Ghaziabad plant is now capable of producing 5 crore units per annum using the latest Form-Fill-Seal (FFS) technology. The SVP facility (FFS Technology) has been put for production of water form injection and ophthalmic range of products.
We also plan to upgrade our production facilities at the Mandideep factory where the company produces medical disposable, he added.
The Company will acquire significant strength in production of oral solids, liquids, ointments, LVP & SVP parenterals and medical disposables once the proposed modernization-cum-expansion programme is completed.
“In this age of globalisation, Indian pharma companies cannot afford to remain a mere spectator. To face the challenges of the ‘new’ economy, we need to produce quality products and for that we need to upgrade our manufacturing facilities to global standards. Those who think differently will be wiped out by competition sooner or later,” he said.
Albert David manufactures and markets a wide range of pharmaceutical finished dosage forms for different therapeutic segments, medical disposables and a wide range of IV fluids.
The Company is operating in major therapeutic segments like neutraceuticals, NSAIDS, anti-bacterials, anti-ulcerants, neurotropics, placental extracts, small and large volume parenterals, dermatological products and disposable syringes and needles.
The Company’s net turnover touched Rs. 158 crore in the last financial year (2007-08) against Rs. 141 crore netted in 2006-07.
“In the current financial year, we are eyeing to cross the Rs. 200-crore mark”, Mundhra said.
Mundhra said: “To survive and grow in this competitive era, it is not only important but imperative for the domestic pharma companies to develop new molecules and launch new products and increase their product offerings.”
In another significant development, the Company has decided to focus more on some fast-growing therapeutic areas and enter new areas having high business volume and growth potential. The major areas where the Company plans to focus are gastroentrology, gyanaeocology, herbals, paediatrics and opthalmology. Nutraceuticals will be another thrust area of the Company.
Mundhra said the new product patent regime has thrown up new opportunities for the existing players. Now Indian pharma companies having strong sales and marketing infrastructure can enter into contract-marketing, co-marketing, exclusive marking rights (EMR) alliance with a domestic pharma giant or a MNC. This will also open avenue for export growth in the overseas market. “Keeping this in mind we have strengthened our marketing initiatives in the country”, he said.
The Company is also open to the idea of entering into a contract-manufacturing agreement with a domestic giant or a MNC at a later stage to optimally use its idle capacity. But nothing has been firmed up yet, he said.
Elaborating on the R&D efforts of the Company, Mundhra said: “Research & Development has been carried out to develop and design new products with maximum therapeutic values on a regular basis and improvement in quality of the existing products.”
Steps have been taken for further development of nutritional supplements, gyanecological products and ophthalmological range of products.
As part of its modernization-cum-expansion programme, the Company has upgraded the existing R&D facilities at its manufacturing facilities specially in Kolkata.
Albert David has also set up a dedicated R&D team for further development of its six-decade old flagship product, ‘Placentrex’. The team consisting of eminent scientists and research scholars is working at its R&D center in Kolkata. The Company is a leader in human placental extract therapy.
“We have also strengthened our R&D efforts by entering into ‘Industry-Academia Partnership’ with leading research institutes of the country. The Company is presently engaged in such programmes with the Department of Biotechnology of Calcutta University and Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, a CSIR research institute”, he said.
Albert David is also concentrating on promoting its brands. “Today some of the products of the Company have emerged as the leading brands in the country. Within two and half years of its launch, ‘ACTIBILE’-the Ursodesoxycholic acid tablet has become a very popular brand and so is ‘EVICT’, the Lactulose Solution,” he added.
“Exports will remain to be a key driver for growth for the Company in the coming years,” Mundhra added. “Our target will be to capture a sizable market share in the ASEAN nations mainly in countries like Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia and major African nations like Kenya, Uganda, Sudan in the coming years.”
To strengthen our presence overseas, we have set up a full-fledged marketing office in Myanmar managed by a team of well-trained field staff, marketing officials and headed by a Country Manager. The Company’s exports were to the tune of Rs. 15 crore in the last fiscal.
The Company plans to launch new brand extension products soon. Steps have been taken for development of some new formulations in the Ointment & Dietary Nutritional segment. Albert David plans to introduce Alamin SE, Amino Acid, Mono-Ammonium Glcyrhizinate in injectable form. It also entering into the field of Opthalmic Solution/Eye Drop in LDPE containers.