Express Pharma

We envision being a leading global dermatology company in India in next 10 years

Menarini India has a presence in the dermatology and primary care segments in the Indian market with its own brands. Recently, the company decided to increase its focus on the dermatology market.Girisan Kariangal, MD, Menarini India, shares more details about the directional shifts underway in the company's business strategy, his vision for accelerated growth, plans for the Indian market and more, in an exclusive interaction with Lakshmipriya Nair

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Menarini India recently announced its foray and focus on the dermatology segment in India. Is the company changing its strategic direction in India? Is it looking at diversification as its growth strategy?

Menarini was always present in the dermatology sector, and it continues to be a core therapy for us. Until recently, we were directly marketing our products in other therapy areas also including primary care, gastroenterology, urology, pain management and respiratory. However, with effect from July 2021, we have entered into a marketing and distribution agreement with a leading Indian company for the promotion of these products in India. With this change in strategy, Menarini India will significantly step up its focus to build the dermatology portfolio and to establish an aesthetics segment through the launch of our Global Relife portfolio. To widen the reach of our cosmetic segment, we are well-positioned to leverage the digital and e-commerce platforms with direct-to-consumer plans in the pipeline.

What is the dermatology market outlook in India for the next five years? What makes it a lucrative market?

As per the IQVIA prognosis report published in September 2021, the dermatology market is forecasted to grow in double digits and increase its market share within the pharma market. The numbers of dermatologists is relatively less, and are more located in the metros and tier 1 cities, making it easier and affordable to reach out to them. Moreover, the patients’/consumers’ say in the choice of treatment is much higher and we could leverage the digital media to educate them and increase their awareness. Dermatology becomes an interesting market for Menarini considering the innovative global product pipeline that we have from the Relife portfolio, which we would be launching in India. In the past, Menarini’s partnership model has been highly successful across Europe. Initiating the same model in Asia-Pacific, we will partner with other global dermatology companies that are not present in India and bring their innovative products to the Indian market. Through this, we believe Menarini would be able to cater to medical needs and help patients and consumers lead a better quality of life with confidence.

Can you please elaborate on the other priority areas of growth at Menarini India in the near future? What are the market factors prompting these decisions?

Menarini aims to strengthen its dermatology portfolio in India that will offer international innovative solutions for overall skin health. Menarini India will seek to expand its product range by collaborating with leading formulation vendors to launch line extensions and will continue to build capabilities to consolidate within the dermatology segment in both RX and OTC space so that we are able to establish ourselves as a ‘Partner of Choice’ for the leading global dermatology companies. In the next few months, Menarini India will continue to expand its aesthetic franchise with the launch of Definisse fillers and Definisse Free Floating threads and the dermatology franchise through the launch of innovative global skincare products that include a sunscreen with a novel patented technology, hair serum with unique proven ingredients and an acne scar serum specially formulated for the Indian skin.

What are the changes you would seek to implement as Menarini India’s MD? What will be your strategy to decide on which segments to back and which to drop?

The immediate priority would be to communicate about the new strategy and vision to all the employees and get them aligned and excited to be part of this journey. I plan to bring an infinite mindset within the organisation whereby each employee can walk in as an individual and contribute to their fullest. The strategy would be to strengthen our existing key segments namely scar management and hyperpigmentation and make a strong entry into aesthetics and haircare segments, which are expected to grow faster than the dermatology market.

Where does India fit into Menarini’s global vision? Any big tie-ups or investments, in the offing?

As we continue to position ourselves for growth in the Indian market, our focus on dermatology is a testament to Menarini’s commitment towards investment and growth in our well-diversified dermatology portfolio in India. Dermatology is a cornerstone of Menarini India’s brand promise, to invigorate lives through our products and services. Given our globally acclaimed, patient-centered and science-based approach to dermatology, we envision being a leading global dermatology company in the country in the next 10 years.

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