‘Bengal Pharma has all the potentials to regain its leadership position’
A seasoned entrepreneur B K SARKAR, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PARKER ROBINSON PVT LTD. took some time off from his busy schedule to share with EXPRESS PHARMA about the opportunities and possibilities of the pharmaceutical industry in West Bengal and the future growth plans of the Company.
The global pharma industry has been changing at a very fast pace throwing up new challenges everyday. This fast changing scenario is driving strategy shifts in the global pharmaceutical industry. As a result there will be huge opportunities for developing nations like India, which has proven pharmaceutical capabilities.
Besides, as the level of education has risen over the last few years, people have become much more conscious about their health and well being and are relying more and more on modern medicines. These will certainly push up the consumption of drugs in the country thus opening new opportunities for Indian pharma companies.
However, the domestic Pharma Industry has to gear itself up to face the strong external and internal challenges. Large international pharmaceutical companies have realized the importance of India as an emerging market and are accordingly setting up their own facilities in India or entering into strategic alliance with Indian players to utilize the cost advantage. These have posed new challenges to the domestic companies specially to the SSI sector.
Commenting on the West Bengal pharma industry, it is true that the pharma industry in the state has lost its leading position to its western and southern counterparts. We suffered, as we could not cope up with the rapid pace of advancement. Other domestic companies surged ahead because they invested in technology, in their human resources and R&D efforts.
But today the scenario has changed completely. To be globally competitive the Bengal pharma companies too have reoriented their strategies. Inspite of the financial burden a sizable section of the Bengal pharma companies have upgraded their manufacturing facilities conforming to the revised regulatory norms.
These pharma companies too have started exploring new avenues, venturing into new markets and are introducing new molecules. Efforts are also on to strengthen their marketing initiatives. But this is not enough. The existing players have to toy with newer ideas to grow in the coming years.
The State Government too has a very important role to play in the revival of the pharma industry in the State. It should play the role of a facilitator. New pharma units should be offered attractive incentives and proper infrastructural facilities to set up their manufacturing facility in the State. The Government should be more pro-active to the needs of the investors.
Commenting on the R&D initiatives of these companies, Sarkar said Bengal has a huge pool of well-trained human resources and houses some of the leading research institutes of the country. These companies are working closely with institutes, like IICB, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology of Jadavpur University, etc. But more such industry-academia partnership programme will help in the growth of the West Bengal pharma industry.
To sustain and compete in this competitive era, the local pharma companies need to put much more emphasis on their R&D initiatives.
The Bengal Pharmaceutical Industry is definitely at a crucial juncture but at the same time it has all the potential to regain its leadership position. I sincerely believe that despite all the problems the Bengal Pharmaceutical Industry will definitely gear itself up to meet the challenges of global competition.