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.
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.