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Bayer looks to double workforce in India; targets to be among top 10 by 2015

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Friday, March 12, 2010, 19:04 This news item was posted in Featured, Industry category and has 0 Comments so far.

Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Germany’s largest pharmaceutical company is planning to double its sales force in India as part of its strategy to make Asia an important market through making huge investments in the region, reports said.

Over 20% of Bayer’s healthcare division’s 2009 sales were generated from the Asia Pacific region.

Bayer Schering Pharma is currently one of the largest pharmaceuticals suppliers in China.

As of now, Bayer’s business in India is focused majorly on its CropScience pesticides unit. In the next 4-5 years time Bayer wants to be among the top 10 pharma groups in India by 2015.

Bayer aims tripling its workforce and a sixfold increase in sales in Vietnam by 2015.

The company also targets to become one of the top three pharmaceutical groups in South Korea by 2013 by increasing its staff by 20%.

Despite serious layoffs in the developed markets, an increasing number of  pharma multinational companies (MNC) from Europe and the US are planning to bolster their workforce in India. Big Pharma, which is incurring steady losses in the major markets, see the emerging pharma destinations like India as valuable hedges to offset their setbacks.

Of late, Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD), one of the world’s leading syringe suppliers, has announced its plans to add nearly 100 people its India team each year.

Becton Dickinson is proposing significant expansions in the manufacturing operations. The company is planning to transfer 10 manufacturing lines of IV catheter from Sweden to India.

The company has also plans to expand its marketing operations as well by adding more workforce, reports said quoting senior official from Becton.

Becton Dickinson has been operating in India since 1997. Currently India accounts for $100 million of its global annual income.

Becton’s Indian business had grown 20 per cent two years ago. It currently sells 80-90 per cent of the company’s global product portfolio in India, except for the high-end medical diagnostics.

Employment opportunities are worldwide, tough to come by right now. Unable to cope with the recession heat, drug giants may be drastically cutting down their staff everywhere else. But it is exactly the opposite what pharma MNCs are doing in India.

Pharma sector employment opportunities better as Aventis, GSK, Merck looking fill hundreds of jobs in field & marketing.

Aventis Pharma Ltd, the Indian arm of the French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis, which has been operating in India for several years, suddenly turned aggressive about the Indian market. Now they want to fill jobs and augment Indian sales force by 700-800 in the next couple of years.

Sanofi-Aventis will consider all possibilities including acquiring a local firm to consolidate its presence in the country to realize the goal of positioning itself in the top five league, he said.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is another leading European pharma major looking to hire in India. The world’s second largest drug company plans to bolster its field force by employing at east 200 people. GSK India, which currently has 2,250-strong sales and marketing team, wants to enhance its field-force support in its vaccines, oncology and other speciality segments, the company said recently while announcing quarterly financial performance in India

GSK India’s net profit for the three months ended December 31, 2008 more than doubled over the net profit clocked in the corresponding period last year, due to Rs 119 crore exceptional items from the sale of shares and other income from investments, a one-time gain, a company spokesperson said.

For the year ended December 31, 2008, GSK Pharma posted a net profit of Rs 576 crore compared with a net profit of Rs 537 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. It clocked a total income of Rs 1,708 crore for the year under review against Rs 1,621 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Recently, GSK Chief Executive, Mr Andrew Witty said that the company planned to cut medicine prices in poor countries and invest about 20 per cent of its profit from such markets into healthcare infrastructure.

Merck Sharpe & Dohme Pharmaceuticals (MSD), the Indian subsidiary of the world’s fifth largest drug firm Merck Inc, is another case in point of pharma MNCs looking at expansion and new job openings in India.

Merck, which exited in India markets decades ago fearing IP back lash due to an increasingly pro-generic regulatory climate, is now back in India with big plans.

MSD Pharmaceuticals wants to be one of the five top players in India by 2015 as it sees the IP environs improve following India’s adherence to Product Patent regime since the beginning of the year 2005.

Already in a hiring spree, MSD is looking to strengthen its marketing teams adequate to fulfil its requirements.

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