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The Indian Pharmaceutical Industry
The record of the Indian pharmaceutical industry is virtually unmatched in the annals of the Indian industry because the growth has been explosive. Today the aggregate production of bulk drugs and pharmaceuticals will be around Rs.32,000 crores and what is striking is that the exports from this industry is more than 40%.

The most significant aspect of the Indian pharmaceutical industry is that at the time Independence the foreign manufacturers had stranglehold on the market but today the Indian manufacturers have turned the table with the market share close to 75%. In fact India is now the fifth largest producer of drugs and pharmaceutical after USA, Japan, Europe and China.

Indian companies manufacture 85% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) required by the country and account for 90% of the pharmaceutical exports. The Indian pharmaceutical sector has made the country self sufficient in almost all the 300 essential drugs through indigenous process technology. The pharmaceutical industry employs close to 30 lakh people and more than two third employed are highly qualified in areas like research, quality assurance, pharmacy & chemistry, engineering, business and technical managers.

More than 100 companies have government recognized research and process development laboratories and foreseeing challenges of the product patent regime post 2005, many Indian companies have already entered the competitive arena of new drug research. Several companies have achieved significant results in research on new drugs, new drug delivery systems, products from bio-technology and herbal medicine. Indian companies have already secured FDA approvals, filed patents in USA, European Union and several others important destination countries where business potential are huge.

Today, out of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the country 6 of them are 100% Indian companies. Similarly out of the top 10 brands in the Indian market 6 of them are again of Indian origin. One has to appreciate that this is by no means a small achievement by an Industry which is still in its adolescent stage.

The Pharmaceutical Engineering and Machinery Sector
During the 60's and 70's the pharmaceutical industry mostly imported machines from Europe for their processing and packaging needs. We are all familiar with big names like Aeromatic, Glatt, Fete, Manesty, Kilian, Hofliger & Karg, Hassia, Sparkler, Stunk, Zanasi etc. who are all very well known for the technology in their respective fields.

But the mid 70's saw the country going through a severe shortage of foreign exchange and therefore the Indian government introduced very high import duties and restrictive import licensing policies. This forced all the pharmaceutical companies to encourage some Indian engineering enterprises to manufacture machines locally. This was perhaps the only route for the pharmaceutical industry to enhance production and cater to the growing demands of the domestic market.

This was a great opportunity for the Indian small scale engineering companies to provide machineries to the pharmaceutical industry and thus a scenario was created whereby 100's of machinery manufacturers mushroomed to cater to the needs of 1000's of pharmaceutical companies over a period of time.

Thanks to the Indian engineering entrepreneurs and today these people have made Indian pharmaceutical manufacturing cost much lower than even Bangladesh not to talk of Europe and USA and this was made possible due the huge savings on capital investment of plant and machinery besides cheap technical manpower costs.

Looking at the capabilities of Indian engineering companies many international machine manufactures have joined hands with some Indian companies which has helped the Indian pharmaceutical industry to procure further improved Indian made machinery at a price almost one fourth or one third the imported technology.


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