7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Business News

Drugs firm eyes Bahrain plant

MANAMA: Cadila Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest privately held pharmaceutical companies in India, is exploring partnerships for a manufacturing facility in Bahrain, the company's chairman and managing director Dr Rajiv Modi told the GDN in an exclusive interview.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the 'Diaspora Engagement Meet' at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence and Spa.

Headquartered in Ahmedabad, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, the company is a major manufacturer of generic drugs with a turnover of nearly $200 million and revenue growth rate of around 30 per cent year-on-year.

Dr Modi said the company was keen to not only sell its pharmaceutical product basket in Bahrain and the wider GCC region but also start manufacturing in the region.

Bahrain, he said, because of its competitive cost and ease of doing business advantages was top of his list of locations where a plant could be set up.

'We are scouting for partners with strong local presence and credentials in the industry or allied activities.'

The company has already got approvals from Gulf Central Committee for Drug Registrations for many of its drugs.

'Indian pharma considers the GCC a high growth market because the governments here are opting for increased generic substitution, there is a large demographic with high purchasing power and an increase in the burden of lifestyle diseases,' he said.

According to him, there was a lack of awareness in the region about Indian made quality generic drugs, which were much cheaper than their branded counterparts.

India is believed to be the third-largest exporter of active pharmaceutical ingredients and exports are expected to amount to $25 billion by the end of the year.

'The manufacturing facilities of Cadila Pharmaceuticals conform to the most stringent international norms,' he said.

Dr Modi said exports contributed about 30pc of the company's revenues with the rest coming from its home market.

He said the company's core value proposition is to produce innovative drugs at affordable prices.

'Polycap (for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases), Risorine (for treatment of tuberculosis) and Mycidac-C, the world's first active immunotherapy for lung cancer, are three innovative drugs that we have developed.'

The pharmaceutical market in the Middle East and North Africa is currently estimated at $25bn.

Even as the global market for generic drugs is expected to see annual growth of about 6pc annually, the Mena market is forecast to grow at about 15pc over the next 10 years, analysts have said.

The pharma company is also open to joint ventures and partnerships with Bahraini and GCC investors wanting to enter the lucrative Indian market, he said.

The company was started by Dr Modi's father in 1951 in a rented house with a capital of $400.

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