Eyeing Global Shores
Sudip Kumar Ghosh
Today there is no doubt about the fact, that India has emerged as an important power in today’s world in terms of the success of its entrepreneurs, and their aggressive ventures in terms of taking over large and famous companies all over the world, in every sector of business, be it in automobile, steel or pharma, IT or banking.
With the NSG waiver, India’s image in the global village has been further enhanced.
Today more and more Indian companies are going global and eyeing foreign shores either through strategic tie-ups or through mergers and acquisitions. And Europe and the US seem to be the most preferred destination. Reversing the trends of international investors flocking to India’s growing pharma sector, domestic players are foraying into the foreign market.
And not only the large companies are involved in these activities. I think, it has opened up new vista of opportunities for the domestic pharma companies in the SME sector too -obviously, if they can garner the courage and determination to lure the medium size companies in the US or Europe on a reverse act.
Presently, the Indian pharma industry is at an important juncture. It has all the potentials to emerge as a global leader. It can now boast of a host of homegrown pharma giants and even a few ‘Indian MNCs’. These giants are buying out companies in the US, Europe, Africa and even in middle-East nations of Israel, probably as a business strategy to create a channel between the Indian outfit and the overseas companies as a suitable logistics to make products available at a much cheaper cost to improve upon their bottom lines, while growing larger.
In the same breath I think, small and medium pharma units in India too may offer the same services for a relatively smaller company in the US or Europe, to source their products from here, not as a contract manufacturer, but as a joint venture strategic partner.
If the SSI sector in India is prepared to invest in the upgradation of their facilities and conform to the US-FDA regulations or EU specifications, they can go for global marketing, with a strategic joint venture partner from overseas. The overseas partner has to be made to share part of the investment as a token of long term commitment.
If the proposed partner has any patented product that can be marketed in India through the existing promotional & distribution network of the domestic company, it can also be expanded to suit the potential of those products.
Since the fixed capital investment in pharma industries is lesser compared to other core sector industries, to be in a position to have whole range of products, it can definitely be a reasonably workable proposition for the overseas partner. In India, the greatest advantage is that most of the APIs are locally available at very reasonable price. Besides, we are now exporting Pharma manufacturing plant & equipment to developed countries for their low price and high quality standards.
Most importantly, India is a treasure house of quality human resources. Large pool of highly qualified people are available in every technical field, including highly skilled working hands, who are comparable with the best on earth, yet are not very expensive.
Today, the whole world has developed the confidence that they can count on India for providing them safe, effective and affordable medicines. I am sure that even amidst all the challenges faced by the Indian Pharma Industry it will continue to meet its objective of “affordable medicines for all” and also continue its pursuit of “going global”.
(The author is Managing Director, Life Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd., Kolkata)