We are focussing on being no.1 in India

A little-known entity till recently, Mankind Pharma is now one of India’s fastest-growing pharma firms. The firm’s success was initially built by its focus on rural India. Started in 1995 with the aim to serve the suffering humanity, within a span of a decade, the company has achieved what certain companies would achieve in a lifetime. The company is backed by a rich experience in the oharma industry. Its core strenghts are its 6000 plus medical representatives and an extremely strong distribution network. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a lot of changes. And thats not it because a lot more is yet to happen. But amidst the cut-throat competitions, the pharma giant is espousing new strategies to sustain its robust growth and become the number 1 pharma comapny in India! B&E: From its inception as a dream with an initial capital of `5 million, Mankind Pharma has turned into a mammoth worth more than `10 billion today. What were the past 15 years like? R C Juneja (RCJ): After quitting Lupin in 1984, I went on to start a company named BestoChem. It was a family run business and both my brothers Rajeev and Girish were a part of it. The company was doing fairly well till 1994 but in 1995, one of my brother took over it. Coupled with my experience in the pharmaceutical industry, I along with my brother Rajeev and nephew Sheetal started Mankind Pharma Limited. During the initial days, we started investing in western parts of UP. We were headquartered in Meerut and clocked revenues worth Rs.4 crores in the first year itself. Some pain killers were part of the initial product line up. Soon we also came up with antibiotics. B&E: How did you manage R&D initiatives in your initial days? RCJ: R&D requires a minimum capital of `10 crores at an initial level to start with. We got our products manufactured through contract manufacturers under our brand name. But we have come a long way since then. When we launched Mankind Pharma, we were having around 10-12 products in our basket. Today we have over 200 products. B&E: How has the brand evolved over the years? Have you created sub segments products? Which are the most lucrative? RCJ: We are today ranked no. 1 in terms of prescriptions/doctors/month PAN India. Apart from Mankind Pharma we have six sub divisions namely Discovery Mankind, Life star Mankind, Future Mankind, Vet Mankind, Magnet Mankind and Special Mankind (for OTC products). Mankind Pharma is obviously the most lucrative as it is has been in the industry for 15 years. We are very optimistic about Discovery Mankind, Life Star Mankind is doing fairly well, Future Mankind is on an expansion spree and covers 2/3rd of India in terms of geographical reach, Vet Mankind and Special Mankind are also catching up fast. B&E: Over the past two years, you have suddenly increased your advertising expenditure. Are there any particular reasons? RCJ: For the initial 13 years, we concentrated on penetration. Our 6000 medical representatives went to doctors all over the country and we were completely over Doctor's prescriptions. That still remains our core strength till date. Then we started working on Manforce Condoms which became a runaway hit. This encouraged us to go for more promotions. We believe in advertising only products which we think need to be advertised like Unwanted-72, Manforce Condoms. We have allocated a budget of `50 crore for advertising while `28 crores has been invested so far in R&D this year. B&E: What is the current outlook at Mankind Pharma? RCJ: In a highly competitive industry like pharmaceuticals it is necessary that you have a highly motivated sales force. For that we ensure that our medical representatives get variable incentives that are best in the industry. What really drives us is that our sales force visits doctors on a regular basis. They are trained not just to sell the product but to establish a relationship built on trust. In today's competitive market you need to give incentives to the retailers to promote your product and to make your product available because of the competition being throat cutting and massive. My people even visits the doctor's to maintain a good relation with them as well as it works one or the other way. We already have eight plants and as part of our expansion plans we have a ninth plant coming up which is under construction. It would probably be ready by 2011. A total of Rs.100 crore has been invested in this plant. We are also coming up with an R&D center in Manesar, Gurgaon which would be functional by January 2011. B&E: What plans do you have in the export domain? RCJ: Our export targets have been very minute. In fact we have just forayed into the export domain. With respect to exports we are only present in Sri Lanka, Philippines and Vietnam. India is a huge country and we believe that there is a lot that is left to be done on our home soil. Once we achieve our Indian aspirations, we would target SAARC and CIS Countries. B&E: You have projected a revenue of `3000 crore for the year 2015 and given your growth story till now, it looks easily achievable. When do you plan to become the number 1 pharmaceutical company in India? RCJ: We are trying our level best and focusing on becoming the number 1 company in India. We basically like to move forward with the market trend. Throughout the world, global pharma companies are finding it difficult to sustain their growth as patents are expiring. To make things even worse their pipelines have almost dried up and the cost of coming up with a new molecule is exorbitantly high. In such a scenario they are looking up to India to acquire companies here. We believe that by working hard, we can definitely achieve the number 1 position. B&E: What kind of opportunities does Mankind Pharma see in India? RCJ: India is a huge country and the per capita consumption is only `400 per annum per person. From all the metro cities we are expecting sales of around `45000 crores this year. If we were to categorise, then 25% of the medicines are being consumed by big towns while 72% of the medicines are consumed by 1/3rd of India's population and the rest 28% by 2/3rd of the population. As per our calculations, 72% of the pharma medicines are consumed by the 67% of the population whereas the rest only consume near about 28%. Pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest growing markets in India and this is precisely the reason why global pharma companies are willing to pay a premium to acquire Indian companies. Amidst all this, we believe that we can perform better because we have what it takes to succeed.
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