Mankind to take on pharma titans with new growth strategy

Mankind Pharma, known for its over-the-counter (OTC) sexual wellness products, is poised for an ambitious image makeover. The New Delhi-based company, which makes products such as Manforce condoms, is beefing up its field team to expand the overall business. The company is also looking for potential acquisitions or merger deals, and growth opportunities abroad, says a top official. “The common perception is that we are an OTC company. But the value of our OTC business is less than 10 per cent. When people hear Mankind, they think of Manforce. But Manforce is hardly 1-2 per cent of our business,” says Sheetal Arora, Marketing Director of Mankind Pharma. Exponential growth The company, which started with ?70 lakh seed capital in 1995, has grown exponentially to touch ?2,800 crore in sales last fiscal. It is aiming at ?3,400 crore in the current fiscal. Not short on ambition, the company aspires to become the third largest drug maker in the country in five years. “We are not likely to be number one due to things such as Ranbaxy and Abott deals. But we intend to be the third largest by 2018. Without these acquisitions, we would have been number 1,” Arora says. In April this year, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries announced the acquisition of Ranbaxy Laboratories. A few months later, generic drug-maker Mylan Inc bought Abbott Laboratories’ branded specialty and generics business in developed markets outside the US. Acquisitions on the cards Mankind Pharma is also looking for growth opportunities. Arora says the company is on the lookout for any pharmaceutical company that it could acquire or merge with itself to grow its size. While Mankind’s last fiscal sales stood at ?2,800 crore, companies such as Ranbaxy and Cipla raked in over ?10,000 crore during the same period. Besides a potential acquisition, the company is also banking on its vast sales force of over 10,000 people. It has recently inducted a new field force of about 1,000 people. For a company whose strategy has, to a large extent, been focused on marketing its medicines to general physicians, the role of the sales force is very important. The company is likely to spend about ?100 crore annually on training and “motivational” exercises for this human resource, almost as much as it intends to spend on research and development (R&D) over the next couple of years. Getting their medicines on prescriptions from top doctors of leading hospitals such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Apollo is another target. Going abroad Arora says Mankind Pharma is also keen to tap growth opportunities abroad. It already has a presence in Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Philippines, and is planning to enter Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, Kenya, Uganda and Kazakhstan in six months. The ultimate aim, though, is the US and Europe.