Albert David—on a growth trajectory

Albert David—on a growth trajectory

Kamal Prasad Mundhra, Executive Director, Albert David reveals future growth plans and focus areas of the company to Express Pharma

In this era of global economic uncertainties, Kolkata based pharma company, Albert David has ‘strengthened its armoury’ to maintain its growth trajectory. Elaborating on the future strategies, Kamal Prasad Mundhra, Executive Director, Albert David said, “We have zeroed in on few therapeutic areas on which we plan to concentrate in the next couple of years.” Today everyone has realised that 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. So, we have invested huge amount on modernising our manufacturing facilities. Now our manufacturing facilities are second to none and conform to the latest quality regulations, Mundhra said.

As part of its long-term plans, the company has invested to the tune of Rs 52 crore in modernisation-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. The existing facility at Kolkata has been upgraded to meet international benchmarks and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals. “The parenterals (SVP) unit at the Kolkata unit is one of the most advanced facilities in the entire Eastern region,” claimed Mundhra.

Secondly, the company has gone for major upgradation and expansion at their facility in Ghaziabad. The large volume parenteral unit at the 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 for 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 has acquired significant strength in production of oral solids, liquids, ointments, LVP and SVP parenterals and medical disposables. 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 and disposable syringes and needles.

The company is a part of the GD Kothari Group of companies having diverse interests in textiles, machine tools, tea plantations, chemicals, salt processing, paper, healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

The company’s net turnover touched Rs 158 crore in the last financial year (2007-08) against Rs 141 crore netted in 2006-07.

Mundhra said, “In the current financial year, we are eyeing to touch the Rs 200-crore mark.”

He added, “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 marketing 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 in the new SVP facility at Kolkata. But nothing has been firmed up yet, he said.

Elaborating on the R&D efforts of the company, Mundhra said, “R&D 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.

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.

“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 Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia and major African nations like Kenya, Uganda, Sudan in the coming years.”

The company’s exports were to the tune of Rs 15 crore in the last fiscal.