Elder Pharmaceuticals, a mid-size generic company from India, may boost its current sales force by recruiting around 1,000 sales and marketing professionals in the two months, reports said.
The newly recruited field staff will be mainly deployed to sell drugs in India’s fast emerging rural markets and tier 2 and tier 3 cities across India.
Elder Pharma believes the real growth potential lies in the rural and semi-urban markets, which the company expects to grow at about 15 per cent annually.
Elder Pharma already has a rural division Elvista. Elvista looks after the rural and semi urban markets of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra, Bengal and Bihar and certain areas in South India.
Elvista, however, aims to penetrate upto new 1,500 villages, with population of below 40,000, 300 villages with population of 40,000 to 1,00,000 and over 75 peripheral villages and towns around Mumbai Metropolitan region.
Elder Pharma also plans to reach out hospitals, nursing homes and private healthcare institutions in rural and semi-urban areas.
Elder would launch nearly a dozen new products in this financial year in India.
Currently Elder Pharma has a staff strength of nearly 3,300 people in India. Out of this, about 2,700 professionals are in marketing and sales.
Elder, which has been rated as the fastest growing pharma company in India during 2009 calendar year by ORG IMS market survey, has a product basket of over 350 products in various therapeutic categories including women’s healthcare, pain management and lifestyle diseases.
Recently, Daiichi- Ranbaxy said it was planning to boost its sales team by 50% by hiring about 1,500 marketing executives to focus on India’s rural areas.
Ranbaxy, which currently has a sales team of nearly 3,000, would augment its marketing force to penetrate deeper into the rural markets, reports said.
The company will hire regional managers and area managers by July besides massively recruiting medical representatives to focus on smaller cities and towns.
Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Germany’s largest pharmaceutical company also announced its plan to double its sales force in India.
Over 20% of Bayer’s healthcare division’s 2009 sales were generated from the Asia Pacific region.
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) also has 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.
Pharma sector employment opportunities better as AstraZeneca, Aventis, GSK, Merck looking fill hundreds of jobs in field & marketing.
AstraZeneca, the Anglo-Swedish drug maker, is planning to double its workforce in India in the next two years.
The company also has plans to strengthen its cardiovascular franchise -one of AstraZeneca India’s key focus areas — through launching at least 7-8 products. The new product line would include India specific generics, as well.
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.