Corner offices vacant in pharma industry

The consolidation and steady growth witnessed in the over Rs 90,000-crore domestic pharma market have led to openings in top leadership roles with at least three drug companies on the lookout for CEOs. Pfizer, Baxter and Meiji Pharma are all looking to fill the top slots at their domestic operations, industry sources said. This is even as Hyderabad-based Aurobindo has appointed Sanjeev Dani, the former Ranbaxy executive VP, as COO.

Meiji Holdings of Japan, which closed the $290-million acquisition of domestic company Medreich this year, is scouting for a person to head its operations here. The transaction will help the Japanese company to expand its play in the global generic drugs sector, since the Bangalore-based mid-sized contract development and manufacturing firm has tie-ups with global drug majors. Medreich, with six manufacturing facilities in India and a unit in Europe, reportedly clocked revenues of $175 million in FY14, with 80 per cent coming from exports.

A global restructuring at healthcare firm Baxter will also lead to a vacant slot of a person to head the operations in India, an industry expert said, adding the existing country head, Anish Bafna, is moving to a regional role. An email sent to the company remained unanswered. Under the restructuring, Baxter is divesting its biotechnology operations into a publicly traded company to focus on its core medical technology business. Baxter’s global revenues are over $16 billion.

Mayank Chandra, managing partner, Antal International, a global executive recruitment firm, said, “Mergers and acquisitions are happening in the pharma and healthcare (CRO, medical devices, etc) sector, leading to big shifts. The domestic pharma market is pegged at Rs 90,000 crore and existing players are in an expansion mode as regards their product portfolio, and are also inclined to add new molecules. Hence, they look for people with an upgraded technical background and successful track records. Right now, companies are actively seeking pharma leaders who have experience abroad and are willing to relocate to India. This includes not just PIOs (persons of Indian origin) but also expats. Definitely, the consolidation has helped make a big shift in leadership roles across disciplines.”

Drug MNC Pfizer India, too, is still on the lookout for a country manager to head the operations here. Many in industry circles are surprised that the position has not been filled in the last couple of months. The company, which clocked a turnover of over Rs 1,800 crore, had announced in June that it will appoint a new India head, with current MD Aijaz Tobaccowalla being offered a global role with the parent. Industry experts told TOI that the company may be looking at an “outsider”, as against its usual practice of appointing a company veteran.

This story appeared in Times of India on August 27, 2015 and quotes Mayank Chandra, Managing Partner, Antal Lucknow
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Founded in 1993, Antal International is a global Executive Recruitment firm with 120 offices in more than 30 countries We work with professional and managerial talent worldwide. works with many of the world’s most successful and ambitious employers. In January 2007 Antal International established the first office in India, which led to the opening of 38 offices in 14 cities. In 2013, Antal named Joseph Devasia as its Managing Director for Antal International Network, India – the man who brought Antal to India 9 years ago. Antal India today has 100+ consultants working across offices in India filling more than 3000 assignments at the mid – senior level. Antal India today has offices specialising in various industries like FMCG/CD, Ecommerce, IT, Pharma, Auto, Engineering, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Construction, Retail, Oil & Gas, Aerospace, Defence. Clients: Over the past 22 years, Antal has worked with over several thousand clients making 60,000 placements. Antal extensive network of offices and deep market expertise is what sets Antal apart from its competitors. To know more about us – www.antal.com

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