Sun Pharma Aims To Gain Market Share, Preserve Cash Amid Pandemic
Employees enter Sun Pharma’s corporate office in the Andheri suburb of Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Amit Madheshiya/Bloomberg)

Sun Pharma Aims To Gain Market Share, Preserve Cash Amid Pandemic

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Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. aims to gain market share in all verticals it is present in amid challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, a top company official said.

"Our endeavour will be to gain market share in each of our business by doing better. Despite the near-term uncertainties related to Covid-19, we hope to be able to do better consistently," Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi said in an analyst call.

The drugmaker, which has presence in around 150 countries, caters to various various segments like psychiatry, anti-infectives, neurology, cardiology and oncology, among others.

Shanghvi said the company is also looking to protect supply chain, ensure optimum utilisation of its factories and work closely with vendors to ensure continuity of supply, while at the same time continue to focus on improving productivity throughout.

In times of Covid-19, the Mumbai-based company also looks to focus on cash preservation and finding a way to reduce the overall debt for the company, Shanghvi said.

"You will see that the total borrowings have come down by almost $400-plus million (about Rs 3,000 crore) in one year. And we will continue the same focus on reducing the overall debt," he said.

On company's plans to expand its domestic business, Kirti Ganorkar, head (India business), said the the drug firm is in the process of expanding its field force in order to increase its reach.

"We want to expand (field force) by 10%. Out of that, 7-8% we have already achieved, so that we cover a large number of doctors and we cover some of the territories, which we have not covered," he said.

At the same time, the company also wants to build new brands and turn its existing brands into mega brands, Ganorkar said.

"We want to introduce new products ahead of the competition. And we want to make products available in supply chain. So looking at all these factors, long-term will help us to increase our market share," he said.

Things were going in the right direction, but Covid-19 pandemic has put a new challenge for the company, he said.

On company's growth plans in the U.S. generics business, Chief Executive Officer (North America business) Abhay Gandhi said the drugmaker has a pipeline of 98 abbreviated new drug applications and five NDAs.

"So the pipeline is strong. On pricing, we still see pressure, and we don't see that abating in the near term or even in the mid term. So we keep hoping, but I haven't seen that happening," he said.

On Japanese business, Shanghvi said the company continues to look at opportunities to invest in the country.

"The first priority and focus for us, of course, would be to launch Ilumya (used to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis) once it is approved in Japan and for which we would be creating a significant organisational capability," he said.

Besides, the company will continue to look at attractive opportunities, where it can leverage effectively existing presence and look at opportunity to grow the business, Shanghvi said.

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