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PharmaConnect 2018 held in New Delhi

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The conference provided an excellent knowledge sharing and networking platform to a gathering of over 250 professionals from the logistics and pharma industry

PharmaConnect 2018, a pharma logistics conference was held recently in New Delhi. The one-day conference saw major players of pharma industry, logistics industry, regulatory bodies, airline companies and cargo terminals come together with an objective to create a knowledge sharing and networking platform.

Dr K Bangarurajan, Joint Drugs Controller of India and PK Gupta, Chairman, Confederation of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry (CIPI) were present as the Chief Guest and the Special Guest on the occasion. They inaugurated the conference with a lamp-lighting ceremony along with Satish Lakkaraju, CCO, Agility Logistics; Yashpal Sharma, MD, Skyways Air Service; Smiti Suri, Publisher, Surecom Media and Ajit Suri, Director, Surecom Media.

Dr Rajan addressed the audience and gave an overview on CDSCO’s activities and touched upon various aspects of the industry. He also recommended meaningful collaborations with pharma associations and highlighted the potential of airways to transform pharma logistics for the better. He advised logistics service providers to engage in dialogues with manufacturers to reform the sector. He further informed that the CDSCO is constantly revising the rules and regulations of the Drugs and Cosmetics areas for improvements.

Gupta elaborated on how essential it is to ensure efficacy of drugs and ensure drug safety. He also explained about the ideal storing and transportation conditions and spoke on temperature control and over methods to improve the logistics sector.

The conference also had four panel discussions which touched upon various pivotal facets of pharma logistics and supply chain.

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The first panel discussion was on the role of LSPs in the growth story of Indian pharma industry. It also revolved around innovative practices, evolving strategies and methods to enhance the operation of pharma logistics. The expert panel for this discussion comprised Xavier Britto, Chairman, Indev Logistics; V Raju, VP, Avvashya, CCI; Jasmine Singh, CBRE South Asia; Babette Desfossez, First Counsellor, Customs Attache, Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium; Bimal Jain, Independent Tax Practitioner; Vickram Srivastava, GM – GDSO, Zydus Cadila; Soumyakant Dwivedy, Head – Supply Chain, Becton Dickinson and Manas Sahoo, VP Supply Chain, Fresenius Kabi. The panelists urged the need for innovation in logistics, whether it is tracking, packaging solutions, or distribution models. They pointed out that there is a lot of opportunity to use multi modal ways of logistics. Invest in infrastructure development to leverage opportunities, was their advice. They highlighted that even ice creams and chocolates have better supply chains than drugs. A major takeaway of the session was that anybody who can come up with innovative solutions for logistics has great business opportunities.

The second panel discussion was on the importance of supply chain integrity, end to end visibility and time factor in pharma air cargo shipment. This discussion focussed on supply chain blind spots to increase safety, improve quality and enhance reliability and examined the relevance of risk identification and risk management with respect to timely delivery of pharma products. It also explored the strategies to develop India as a life science hub in coming years and emphasised on the need to improve last mile distribution through full end-to-end supply chain collaboration. The panelists in this session were Manoj Singh, Senior VP and Head – MIAL; Shankar Iyer, Head of Cargo, Africa, Middle East and India, Lufthansa Cargo; Adarsh Kumar, Co-founder and CEO, TagBox Solutions; Ryan Viegas, Head of Logistics, TEVA Pharmaceutical; Yogesh Lawania, GM – Supply Chain, Biocon.

In another interesting session, experts and veterans of the pharma logistics industry deliberated on the measures to keep cold chain logistics cost in control for maintaining competitiveness of pharma products and to manage fluctuations in demand for temperature-dependent drugs. Vipan Jain, COO, DCSC; Satish Lakkaraju, CCO, Agility; Sameer Varma, Director, ColdStar Logistics; Kiran Gubba, CEO, Gubba Cold Storage; Ashwani Singh, Head – Global Procurement, Piramal Enterprise and Surendra Deodhar, Assistant VP, Reliance Life Science were the panelists for this session. They spoke on myriad issues ranging from latest innovations and rising technological trends in logistics of pharma through cold chain to simulation technology and virtual cold chains. They also touched upon a crucial issue – controlling the cold chain through the last mile and the role of cloud in enabling it.

The last panel discussion touched upon the importance of IoT for streamlining of pharma supply chain and cost optimisation. The panelists in this session were tackled many aspects connected to the subject including ways through which IoT has been facilitating pharma supply chain, convergence of IoT, continuous monitoring and lane aualification; role of IoT in avoiding health hazards during pharma transit and technological trends in life science logistics in India and overseas. Ramesh Mamidala, CEO, CELEBI; Sandeep Chatterjee, Senior Manager, Deloitte; Sukhwinder Singh, Senior VP, Blue Dart Express; Samir J Shah, Partner, JBS; Mahesh Trikha, Chairman, Argus Global; Amrinder Singh, Associate Director — Supply Chain, Dr Reddy’s and Gopalkrishna, Hetero Drugs.

Foster McDonald, CEO, Cold BOX Express; Harsh Kumar, Co-founder, Cogoport; Srinivas Cherukupalli, Principal Research Scientist, Dupont; Gunjan Sachdeva, Senior General Manager, Panasonic and Ibrahim SIPAHI, Cargo Development Specialist, Turkish Cargo also gave engaging presentations in between panel discussions. India Air Cargo Handbook 2018 powered by CARGOCONNECT magazine was also released in the gracious presence of all guests and delegates in the conference.

The conference was a good platform to learn, meet, interact and explore new growth opportunities and newer business avenues in the pharma industry.

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