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‘Growth in business activity initiated us to expand our activities in India’

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Gattefossé group, a global provider of excipients and innovative formulation technologies for enhancing drug delivery, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in India and has recently opened a technical centre of excellence in Mumbai. Sunil Bambarkar, Managing Director, Gattefosse India, reveals the company’s growth plans to Usha Sharma

How much was invested in setting up the technical centre? How did you manage to arrange the funds?

Sunil Bambarkar

We have invested Rs 3 crores in the technical centre and was funded by our own resource of Gattefosse India (P) Ltd.

Why did you decide to set up a technical centre of excellence in India? What are your expectations from it? And how are you planning to work in line with it?

Our strategy to undertake projects with reference to commercial viability led us to fulfill our business objectives and thus achieve a good sync of our technical and business goals. Subsequently, growth in business activity initiated us to expand our activities in India which led to the establishment of our technical centre of excellence. It has been established to address formulation development needs for customer projects and in-house global technical requirements. It is a FDA approved laboratory to facilitate the use of APIs in pharma formulations. The technical centre delivers services pertaining to use of Gattefossé excipients in pharma dosage formulations and personal care formulations.

These include the following:

  • Customer projects: Resolving the queries raised by customers regarding use of Gattefosse excipient in the formulation and undertaking projects in lab.
  • Internal projects: Evaluating novel innovative applications for Gattefossé excipients in various formulations
  • Collaborative projects with academia.

What research works did you plan to conduct in the centre? Do you have plans to scale up manpower? If yes then how many?

  • Pharmaceutical laboratory: The laboratory consists of an area dedicated for development of solid orals, topical and rectal dosage forms. It includes the following areas:
  • Oral solid area: This is a dedicated facility for development of solid oral dosage forms and is well equipped with all the necessary equipment for formulating the same.

These include the following:

  • Tablet compression press (ELIZA PRESS 200 Motorised with IPPC and AWC facility)
  • Jacketed Rapid Mixer Granulator (Saizonizer mixer granulator Cap – 10 L)
  • Octagonal blender of 5, 2 & 1 litre capacity, GMP Model
  • Vibro sifter (VSFT – 300 Single Deck) GMP Model
  • Co-Mill, GMP Model
  • Hot air oven for drying the formulated granules
  • Various IPQC equipment, namely hardness tester, disintegration time tester, tablet friability tester, electromagnetic sieve shaker and tap densitometer
  • Pharma demonstration area: This facility is dedicated for conducting in – house microemulsion, suppository and topical workshops and developing small scale topical and suppository formulations
  • Personal care laboratory: This laboratory offers formulation development for personal care projects. Various workshops demonstrating Gattefossé’s expertise in developing cosmetic formulations and illustrating the sensorial benefits offered by our emulsifiers are conducted here. Prototypes as proof of concept are developed using Gattefossé ingredients so as to suit the native requirements of Indian customers. Texture showcase enumerating the sensorial facets of prototypes developed using Gattefossé ingredients are conducted for customers.

We also offer ready-to-use prototype formulations that are developed taking into consideration the regional psyche and needs of Indian customers. These kits include: Moisturising cost-effective kit; fairness kit; anti-ageing kit; sun care kit; emullium mellifera regional kit. Currently, there is a team of six professionals working in the application lab. With increase in business, we can always increase the support.

How will the new facility enhance your business portfolio?

The newly opened technical centre delivers services pertaining to use of Gattefossé excipients in pharma dosage formulations and personal care formulations.

Besides pharma excipients, the company also offers excipients for nutraceutical and veterinary segments

Yes, we also offer nutraceutical and products for the veterinary segment. These are at a very nascent stage of growth.

How profitable are these two segments and how much business does the pharma sector add to the company’s balance-sheet?

The pharma segment adds up to 75 – 80 per cent and the personal care segment adds up to 20-25 per cent of the total turnover.

The company has a wide range of applications for the pharma segment mainly for oral, topical, rectal and vaginal, however, in India the rectal and vaginal segment is still at nascent stage. How do you see this as a promising business prospect?

Yes! This is a very promising segment and the pharma industry needs to focus on these segments. However, the route of administration has a mental block with Indian patients, hence it takes a significant amount of time for growth, compared to our neighbouring countries.

What business strategies did you plan for the next one year?

We will focus on oral solids and topical in the pharma segment and skin whitening and lightening products in personal care.

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