Girish Arora, Founder and MD, Alniche Lifesciences shares the company’s plans and strategies to expand the business and increase profit margins, with Usha Sharma
Give us details about Alniche Lifesciences and its ongoing activities
Alniche’s path to success commenced in 2007, and within one decade of its operations, it achieved ambitious milestones. With a strong product portfolio, both domestic as well as those licensed from global pharma, Alniche fulfils the unmet needs of patients in the areas of nephrology, critical care, gastroenterology, dermatology, advanced wound care and neuro-psychiatry.
Recently, the company ventured into manufacturing with EffiKasia Lifesciences. Why did you take this step?
Alniche has been acing through its ventures since its inception. Adding to the list is a recent initiative – EffiKasia Lifesciences. The newly established state-of-the-art manufacturing unit is aimed at manufacturing pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and cosmeceuticals. With our growing sales across various therapy-verticals, there has always been a need for back-end integration by setting up our manufacturing plant. EffiKasia is established with the mission of manufacturing for Alniche and as a reliable contract manufacturing organisation. With this initiative, Alniche plans to increase its profit margins and push top-line by expanding sales operations for exports in semi-regulated markets. Additionally, with our own manufacturing setup, the company plans to compete in the institutional tender business thus setting up a new revenue vertical.
EffiKasia Lifesciences is involved in manufacturing pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and dermatological products? Which of these are going to get greater focus and why?
Globally, healthcare is shifting towards prophylaxis and the role of nutraceuticals is getting established as an extended vertical of the pharma and wellness industry. Thus, we decided to venture into this segment for manufacturing and marketing various top-of-the-line nutraceutical formulations both in the domestic and exports markets. Moreover, with increasing awareness among the masses especially the younger generation, the use of dermatologicals and cosmeceuticals is increasing exponentially. We shall be formulating differentiated skin and hair care product range.
Presently, which are the therapeutic segments you have tapped? How many products have you already launched? How many more are in the pipeline and by when are they likely to hit the market?
Currently, Alniche is present in six therapeutic segments namely Nephrology, Critical Care, Gastroenterology, Dermatology, advanced wound care and neuropsychiatry. We have more than 350 products in the market which belong to various therapeutic groups.
Alniche is a pioneer in conceptualising and commercialising many novel product concepts in India to enrich product portfolio, like:
- Ketoanalogue range in sachet limiting the intake of fluid for patients with kidney impairment by reducing pill burden
- Auxisoda – enteric-coated tablets preventing GI irritation, Research and patented products (Complipro and Ezepro – Ready-To-Drink Protein Formula) in collaboration with DPSRU. Wetfast MD – Mouth dissolving lozenge reducing the overload of fluid in CKD patients.
- Entasafe – a unique combination of pre-probiotics and minerals to control the adverse effects of long-term use of PPIs.
To promote the ‘Make in India’ concept and encourage Indian researchers to come up with novel technologies and products, Alniche has formed an R&D alliance with Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University (DPSRU), Government of N.C.T. This affiliation of industry and academia promises to augment further development of new products enabling innovations to meet the medical needs of the Indian population.
To facilitate improved healthcare, Alniche is driven by the vision of bringing novel products across various therapies and being the preferred partner of Global Lifesciences Organisations’. These companies include Alliance (UK), FzioMed (US), Adhezion Biomedical (US), Mastix (US), Biovite (Australia), PT Dermozone Pratama (Indonesia), J W Life Science (Korea), Dongkook (Korea), SK Plasma (Korea), Senquin (Netherlands) and Mellow Hope (China).
Next in the pipeline is therapy differentiation and ground-breaking product concepts which are to be engineered in collaboration with various global companies.
How are you enhancing your capabilities in the pharma R&D space?
For any life sciences organisation, R&D is a fundamental aspect, as it is crucial to the long-term success of the pharma industry and the wider lifesciences sector. 10 per cent of Alniche profits are spent on new formulation development and R&D initiatives. The key objective here is to develop effective formulations not only for diseases that are prevalent globally but also for diseases that are specific to India and other tropical countries, thus contributing towards the creation of a healthier world.
Tell us how COVID -19 has changed the paradigm of pharma marketing and what are your strategies to communicate about your brands to healthcare professionals?
2020 became a year targeted with the crisis followed by the global health pandemic. Alniche, being a leading life sciences brand in India, responded by offering its exclusive Critical Care range inclusive of the COVID-19 treatment, supportive and immunity booster therapies, CurCutop tablets (Patented Immunity booster), Vitamin C injection, Ulinastatin injections, Thymosin Alpha 1 injections, Favipiravir tablets and Remdesivir injection.
Implementing the right marketing strategy with the right set of portfolios for the right target audience is the focus for Alniche. A well designed scientific marketing strategy to repetitively engage with the doctors kept us ahead of competitors. This involves various programmes like organising CMEs, Symposia, Web hosting, Teleconsultations, Disease info and management, advocacy development, Newsrooms, Latest Therapeutic regimen journal Release, Practice support and decision enhancement tools and few others. Each therapy is promoted by a different team thus bringing the required Positioning focus with minimal overlap.
Adapting to the latest requirements of society in healthcare and technology are the key principles of today. Both being complicated worlds with dynamic natural products has resulted in Alniche’s enhanced efforts to promote its brands by employing various digital media techniques like e-mail marketing, web posters and disease-specific promotion on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Quora.
Will digital marketing be the way forward?
With an expected billion network devices and millions of Indians hooked to the internet, we can expect India to ride the digital age with innovation and be the benchmark for the world. The digital age brings its own set of unique challenges and success that will help the companies take benefit of this technology to market their services and brands to the target audience