Leaders from the Indian pharma industry came together to discuss and debate on pertinent issues faced by the sector at the event
Lakshmipriya Nair – Mumbai
The India Pharma Week 2016, organised as part of CPhI and P-MEC India 2016, kickstarted with the 2nd Pre-Connect Congress held at Hotel Westin, Mumbai on November 17-18, 2016. Leaders from the Indian pharma industry came together to discuss and debate on pertinent issues faced by the sector on the first day of the Pre-Connect Congress.
Welcoming the delegates, Yogesh Mudras, MD, UBM India, the organiser of the show, spoke on how CPhI and P-MEC have evolved over the years from a three-day exhibition to a marquee show spanning a week. He also spoke on the various activities planned for the delegates across Mumbai as part of the India Pharma Week, to mark the 10th anniversary of CPhI and P-MEC India 2016. He said, “The India Pharma Week is a melting pot of ideas and a wholesome knowledge sharing avenue through which our flagship pharma event, the CPhI & P-MEC goes beyond the realm of a wall-bound show to one with considerable intellectual value addition. It provides key stakeholders a chance to interact, align, partner, learn, share as well as identify key opportunities unfolding in the developed as well as emerging markets. With a focus on the pillars of business, knowledge, leadership, innovation, recognition and networking, we at UBM India are honoured to be the catalysts of change in the pharma industry – equally supported by the doyens and innovators from the sector.”
Rutger Oudejans, Brand Director – Pharma Portfolio, EMEA gave the keynote address and spoke on the objectives of the event. He spoke on the growth of the Indian pharma industry and highlighted its potential to take a leadership position in the global arena. He also gave a preview of the topics which would be addressed during the day.
The first panel discussion for the day was on an interesting topic, ‘Exploring conventional and unconventional avenues to enhance pharma export potential for India’. Moderated by D Roy, Former Deputy Drugs Controller (India), CDSCO, MoH&FW, Govt of India, the session’s panelists comprised Milind Joshi, President, Global Regulatory Management, JB Chemicals; Satya Karm Punia, Founder and MD, Camus Pharma; V Prasada Raju, Chief Scientific and Strategy Officer, Granules India and Rakesh Mehta, Sr VP & Head-Global Sales & Marketing – API, Sun Pharmaceuticals.
Adherence to superlative quality standards, extensive IT adoption, leveraging the potential in herbal and cosmoceutical sectors, reducing India’s dependence on APIs, international collaborations to export technical know-how, promoting indigenous manufacturers, urging cohesiveness between industry and government were some of the measures recommended by the panelists to enhance exports in India’s pharma sector.
‘Mergers & Acquisitions – Driving force for Indian Pharma Sector’, was the next topic of discussion. The panelists for this session were Ranjan Chakravarti, Former Head Global Pharma Business, Ranbaxy Laboratories; Jatin Lal, Head Mergers & Acquisitions, Piramal Enterprises; Sanjay Singh, Partner, Deal Advisory M&A, KPMG India; and Bhupender Saggu, Pharma Specialist, Thomson Reuters. The session was moderated by Ranga Iyer, Former MD, Wyeth India.
The discussion revolved around the slack in M&As in the Indian pharma sector. The panelists deliberated on various reasons which have hampered M&As in the industry with cases in point. The global sentiment for Indian pharma compnaies, role of regulatory amendments in hindering M&A activity, challenges in integration post M&As etc. were taken up during the discussion.
The third panel discussion was on ‘Biosimilars – The next big thing?’. The panelists for this session — Kanchana TK, Director General, OPPI; Sharad Tyagi, MD, Boehringer Ingelheim; and Dhileep Krishnamurthy, Chief Scientific Officer, Zhejiang NHU Company gave an overview on the current scenario in this arena as far as India is concerned. They also shared their insights on the various measures needed to leverage the potential in this sector. Recommendations included revamping current guidelines to improve patient safety and drug efficacy, encouraging innovation in biosimilars, cultivating a culture of innovation and making the country’s IP more secure. The experts opined that these measures need to be implemented on priority to encourage growth in biosimilars.
Quality Compliance – A cultural pre-requisite or external obligation, another pivotal topic was addressed by the panelists in the next session. CT Renganathan, MD, RPG Lifesciences; DG Shah, Secretary General, IPA; Ashok Bhattacharya, MD, Takeda Pharmaceuticals; Sanjit Singh Lamba, MD, Eisai Pharmaceuticals and Sireesha Yadlapalli, Senior Director -Strategic Marketing & External Affairs, USP were the panelists for this discussion.
The discussion revolved around cost of compliance vs cost of non-compliance, the need to become more quality conscious and the measures to ensure adherence to quality. Hiring and training the right talent, investing in technology, creating leaders who walk the talk were the recommendations offered by the panelists.
‘Make in India’ – A Pharma Perspective was the final panel discussion for the day. Moderated by Parizad Elchidana, Independent Director & Former MD, Apotex Pharma; the sessions panelists were Srini Srinivasan, Managing Director, Hospira Healthcare, Amit Sanghivi, MD, Shaily Engineering Plastics, Sudhir Nambiar, President Research & Technology, and G Munjal, MD and CEO, Ind-Swift.
Corporate presentations from West Pharma, Finar and UL India were also part of the first day’s agenda. The first day of the Pre-Connect Congress ended with closing remarks from Rahul Deshpande, Group Director, UBM India.
The second day of the Pre Connect Congress also had a line-up of interesting events such as ‘The Women in Pharma-Power Breakfast’ session to address the fact that despite advancements, women still comprise only 15 per cent of the total workforce in the Indian pharma industry. Women who have broken the glass ceiling in the pharma sector such as Samina Vaziralli, Executive Vice-Chairman, Cipla; Dr Anurita Majumdar, Sr Medical Director & Global Established Pharma Medical Lead, Pfizer; and Dr Rashmi Hegde, Director – Medical, Abbott, were part of the power breakfast. The India Pharma Awards, an endeavour to recognise pharma industry stalwarts, were also held on the second day.
Thus, the India Pharma Week, got off to a great start. A CEO Round Table, Pharma Leaders’ Golf etc were some of the other interesting activities lined up for participants at the CpHI & P-MEC India.