Tuesday, September 25, 2007


India's passion is Bollywood/films and cricket. Both met for a common cause at Johanessburg Cricket World Cup 20-20! The Indian team delighted every Indian by winning the World Cup. Shah Rukh Khan was there in South Africa with his son Aryan to cheer the Indian team led by skipper M S Dhoni.

India’s passion is cricket

Indian popular passions revolve around bollywood/films and cricket. The sporting passion – the popular game of cricket - is played in three formats: test cricket (can last up to 5 days), one-day cricket (each team plays for 50 overs; a result of the match is within a day), and the new fancy Twenty-Twenty. Each team in this new format - that has been included for Asiad - plays for 20 overs each. It is fast, intense, and requires a lot of physical and mental effort. Thus India’s passion, CRICKET has three formats – 5 day test matches, the one-day matches, and Twenty – Twenty (the new format that has captured the cricketing world’s imagination).

Indian ethical Pharma industry’s product lines

There are several ways to categorize the Indian Pharma ethical market. One interesting way of categorization proposed here is based on the product characteristics and growth potential of three sub-markets. These sub-markets are compared to the three cricketing formats:

a) the allopathic ethical formulations Indian Pharma market is like the test match
b) the herbal ethical formulations Indian Pharma market is like the one-day cricket match
c) the biotech formulations market is like the Twenty Twenty cricket series.

Allopathic ethical formulations Pharma market

Indian Pharma industry has three product categories just as cricket has three popular formats. The five day cricket test match is the biggest cricket format played for five days. Playing test cricket requires stamina, concentration for longer time spans, and staying power. The same are the allopathic Pharma formulation market characteristics – one requires arduous working to make a mark given the fierce competitor activity. The attraction is that the Indian Pharma market has a significant big allopathic formulation market (it is almost Rs. 28000 crores). 25% of this allopathic pharma formulation market is the antibiotic-anti-infective market and another 25% is the gastrointestinals market (which mainly includes drugs for acid peptic disease and electrolytes…). The rest of the allopathic ethical Pharma market includes the emerging segments such as neuro-psychiatry, derma, asthma management, arthritis management, and the cardiovascular-diabetes (cardiometabolic disease) management segment.

The ethical herbal formulations Pharma market

Akin to the one-day cricket match, here is a fast growing, attractive, popular, and evergreen segment – the herbal segment. The herbal market is bright. In fact, this 2004 report from The Times of India states:

The Indian herbal health care segment seems to have swallowed a vitamin pill. The segment grew at a rate of 12 per cent last year, and there is no immediate sign of the momentum slowing down, with an expected growth rate of 20 per cent this year. The domestic herbal market has now crossed the Rs 5,000 crore mark, and is set to reach further heights this year. Herbal exports from India is worth Rs 450 crore, whereas even a decade back the amount was barely Rs 100 crore. This may not be a huge sum when compared to the Chinese herbal exports market which is worth Rs 2,000 crore; but the sheer potential of the Indian herbal companies should make people sit up and take notice.

The attractive growth of the domestic herbal market is reinforced by a global herbal trend as per World Health Organization (WHO):

THE green consumer is coming of age. The demand for medicinal plants is increasing everyday and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has projected that the global herbal market will grow to $5 trillion by 2050 from the current level of $62 billion.

The biotech formulations Pharma market

The darling of the Pharma market is the biotech market that is attracting a lot of attention and investments. In fact…

As per the Economic Times, dated 16.6.2007, on page no. 5, the Indian biotech industry has crossed the 2 billion dollar mark. The exact amount is 2.13 billion dollars in total revenues in FY2007 (April 2006 to March 2007). There was a 31% growth over FY06’s 1.6 billion dollar revenues (Rs. 6521 crores). Exports from this sunrise sector for the FY07 stood at 1.2 billion dollars (Rs. 4937 crores) showing a good growth of 47%.

The high growth of the biotech segment is largely due to the policies of the Govt., entrepreneurial interests and the strategic investments by the private equity and venture capitalists.

The most important reason for a buzz in the biotech segment is the fact that India has a bright chance of being a major player in the global biogeneric segment. As per Economic Times 22.9.2007, p.no.5; US govt. is preparing to usher in the first generation of biosimilars. In five years, biotech drugs will represent 25% of the total pharma market. Seven major biotech molecules are facing patent expiry before 2010. EPO (erythropoietin), human insulin, interferons, and granulocyte colony stimulating factor are the attractive markets. India is said to be on the threshold of scripting a success story in the field of global biosimilars just as it has been very successful in the global bulk drugs market and chemical formulations market.

The Indian Pharma market beckons

As per the Economic Times dated 19.9.2007 on page no. 4, India is emerging as a global powerhouse in the pharma business with a robust domestic industry. As per CII and Assocham, the turnover is expected to treble in 2015 and reach the Rs. 80,000 crore mark. As of now, the domestic sales is Rs. 31,600 crores and exports is Rs. 21,200 crores (the export figure includes bulk drugs and formulations). The R & D spend is Rs. 2210 crores.

Opportunities in the above three segments of the Indian Pharma market

The allopathic Pharma formulations market is crowded, with an estimated 20,000 manufacturers/marketers. It is a crowded segment with over 70,000 brands. It is a segment characterized by brand clutter. The segment has well entrenched players.

The herbal Pharma formulations market is the smaller fast growing and popular format. The segment is not crowded, and the herbal space though popular has not caught the fancy of many a company. One rich feature is that the products in this segment are evergreen and are less susceptible to product obsolescence. However, this segment is in need of scientific standardization of extracts, a proper ecosystem for supply of raw herbal extracts, and the herbal or herbomineral preparations need robust clinical studies to win the prescribers’ favor. This segment lends itself to brand building. One can seemingly go on marketing this range endlessly as product obsolescence is a rarity here.

The soft power nature of the herbal segment makes the market even more evergreen and very attractive.

The biotech formulations Pharma segment is the hi-tech segment. This is like the Twenty Twenty cricket segment, special skills are required. One needs to have a modern and aggressive mindset to manage business here. This is a highly capital intensive industry. The biotech formulations Pharma segment is futuristic – but you need deep pockets.

The allopathic Indian Pharma formulations market is well mapped by market research agencies. However, there is a lacuna in the market estimates of herbal and biotech segments although their worth is high and prospects are very bright. The Indian Pharma market beckons…take your pick!

This is my 47th blogpost, please do read all of the earlier blogposts including by clicking older posts. They are worth reading. Thanks.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Chak de, India (means Go India Go!) has caught the imagination of moviegoers in India and the Indian Diaspora. Moreover, corporate India and B schools have taken up to Chak de, India with great gusto. There are lessons in leadership. There is a rare joie-de-vivre. Chak de, India is not just about women’s hockey – it is about a leader-coach making ordinary people do extraordinary things. It is about inspiring the team and inducing passion for the game and winning. It is this spirit of Chak de, India that is the hot button of the movie.

India is on a winning spree on the Pharma wicket too. Indian Pharma field was an importer of medicines, during the time of independence (1947) and today self-reliant India is a net exporter of pharmaceuticals. Today, traditional Indian healthcare science is gaining momentum too. Ayurvedic Liv 52 is the numero uno pharmaceutical product of the Indian Pharma market. (The Economic Times, front page on 12.9.2007 announced rather cheekily, AHEM! LIV 52 CLIMBS ATOP DRUG CHARTS.)

Indian soft power in marketing themes

It is said business is marketing and marketing is business. The major component of Indian Pharma market is allopathic. The success of Indian Pharma industry is based on reverse engineering under the umbrella of Indian Patents Act, 1970. However, enduring marketing success is possible by banking on the soft power of India.

What is soft power?

The soft power of a country rests primarily on three resources: its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority.)

Soft power is a great product and service differentiator. Even the giants of global Pharma industry cannot match the way Kerala serves the world through Ayurveda (soft power component here is Ayurveda). In fact, the solidity and depth of success of companies like The Himalaya Drug Company comes from the fact that they have banked on the soft power of India. The successes of companies like Himalaya are not easily replicated. The milestones achieved by such companies and the depth of business is matchless as their business journey is based on an indelible cultural theme of Indian society. In contrast, the successes of Indian global Pharma companies like Ranbaxy, Nicholas Piramal, Cadila, Mankind… are notable but on shifting sands. The point is there is a product obsolescence factor in manufacture and marketing of allopathic products. But the natural based products can seemingly go on forever, they are dependent on brand building activities. Thus, with soft power based products and services we have an enduring business model. Product obsolesence is a rarity. The business journey of the large companies in India is lacking in the soft power component.

Is it impossible for Indian Pharma companies to use SOFT POWER?

It is possible to use soft power by Indian Pharma but what is apparently lacking is an appreciation of playing on the soft power theme and the corporate will to use soft power in business processes of Indian Pharma companies. This is vital since this soft power differentiator is not available with competing companies from advanced countries.

Is use of soft power a rocket science?

Obviously not! All it requires is back up by scientific trials in modern metaphors and language; presenting traditional themes in modern terms. Brand building is the second most important aspect for using soft power in business processes. Brand building will involve a unified signage, logo, color, font …

Dr. Kishore Patwardhan’s efforts to contemporize the soft power of India

Dr. Kishore Patwardhan is a young dapper MD in Ayurveda – a part of the faculty at Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi. While he is gaining popularity as a good teacher he is also pursuing Ph D and has made a great effort in contributing to Ayurveda by way of a book with an original and interesting perspective. Dr. Kishore Patwardhan’s effort is laudable, as he has created a compact easily readable book demystifying the concepts of Ayurveda and has presented the same with reference to modern medicine. It is a grand effort to present the soft power of India in a relevant way.

I sincerely recommend this book to all healthcare professionals in the world – particularly for those in marketing of natural pharmaceuticals.

Let us remind ourselves that there is a great appreciation for natural medicine in modern medical practice. Saw palmetto and silymarin are international best seller medicines. Moreover, modern day anti cancer vincristine and vinblastin have their origins in Ayurvedic Vinca rosea alkaloids. That is an example of soft power from India.

Please click here for contacting Dr. Kishore:


You could also contact Dr. Kishore at: patwardhan.kishor@gmail.com

The book penned by Dr. Kishore Patwardhan:

Human Physiology in Ayurveda

Here is how you can buy the book online:


Or you could contact Dr. Kishore at (for purchasing the book)


The publishers of this book:


I am also happy and proud of Dr. Kishore

Dr. Kishore happens to be my wife’s cousin (to be specific: Dr. Kishore is the eldest son of my wife’s father’s elder brother. Dr. Kishore’s father is retired Prof. Of Kannada, Shri Dharmasthala College, Ujire, and he too is an author of repute in Kannada. So Dr. Kishore is a chip of the old block!). Dr. Kishore is happily married to Dr. Medha (a dermatologist) and they live at Varanasi with their bubbly baby boy Satvik. Their photos are at the top of this blogpost.

Kudos to Dr. Kishore on his contribution to the soft power of India.

Thanks for reading this blogpost. Please read all other posts, including by clicking on OLDER POSTS as they are all worth it. Thanks once again.

Monday, September 10, 2007


The above is the google moble phone that can play a vital role in rewriting the delivery of healthcare. Read below...

The goal of every business activity is to enhance relationships with existing customers and get new customers. This is a well known fact. To strengthen such an approach, companies normally expand and augment their product and service offerings and thus strengthen customer base.

The concept of end-to-end healthcare solutions

It is important to ask oneself some questions such as which industry are we in? Are we in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals or in the business of offering healthcare solutions? Remember the classic case study where the railroad industry forgot it was in the transportation business rather than in the railway line business. Today, a better opportunity for business is available if a pharma company defines itself as a healthcare solution provider rather than a mere supplier of pharma active substances.

For eg. Wockhardt has a practical and sagacious approach of being a company offering augmented products and services. Their presence in the hospital segment and pharma active ingredient manufacturing business has helped create an ecosystem to offer end-to-end solutions.

Can Google Health help offer better end-to-end solutions?

One of the greatest possibilities will be the offerings from Google Health that can revolutionize healthcare in both advanced countries and emerging markets.

a) Let us imagine Google Health partners with healthcare providers, clinics, and hospitals to offer digital medical records storage. This means if I am a regular out-patient of Wockhardt Hospital for my diabetes management, my medical records, including diagnoses, images, and prescriptions will be stored through the hospital at Google Health. Using my password I can access my entire life’s medical records at the press of the button and use it for second opinions etc. If my e-mail messages can be stored in sites such as G mail then why can’t my medical and health records be stored in secure sites of Google Health?
b) The dawn of a facilitative Google Health medical and health record storage offering can lead to a new field called Google Health Analytics. This refers to a field which works on anonymous medical and health records data mining. Imagine what a great contribution to humanity. On the internet one can analyze health issues and cull important medical facts on the disease patterns and researchers can gain insights from a huge repository of case studies for betterment of human health. Of course, certain security issues are there that need to be worked out.

Biocon and end-to-end solutions

Biocon has an unique approach in marketing its insulin based products for diabeticians where it is partnering with the healthcare providers in the diabetes management ecosystem and offering its products at the right place and the right price.

Integrated approach to healthcare will get a boost

If Google Health plays a pivotal role in organizing human medical and health knowledge on the internet, the plethora of studies, clinical information and case studies will lead to the collapse of silos such as ayurveda, siddha, Tibetan medicine, Chinese Traditional Medicine etc. An integrated healthcare approach will evolve that will deliver better value to patients.

Google, end-to-end healthcare solutions and the most persuasive technology on earth

The most persuasive technology is the mobile phone. Please click here for more on this: CLICK HERE. Google with its mobile phone can create a new era of healthcare through its solutions.

For eg. I receive a message through Google Health and the Google phone from my physician that my appointment is due today. The sms will be sent in my doctor’s name and a Pharma brand will be its sponsor.

When I open my medical records, ads relevant to me would open up.

Google can also sms me messages that encourage desirable behaviors such as quitting smoking and anger management that will improve my health status.


To summarize in the above citizen marketing activism, we observe that Google Health has the wherewithal to organize a grand new era of healthcare just as it has contributed to a grand era of the information age. Pharma companies should believe that there are in the business of providing healthcare solutions to patient’s problems rather than in manufacturing and marketing active ingredients. This end-to-end solutions approach for healthcare will help provide impetus to revenue flow of pharma companies. And in the Indian context, one sees Wockhardt well placed to achieve this. Himalaya too can create an end-to-end healthcare solution approach in the herbal wholistic field.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Peter Drucker has described a business enterprise in a very interesting manner – a business enterprise is a social organ that provides goods, services, and jobs to society, and makes a profit. One of the most important bellwethers of a business is the venture capitalists and private equity investors. When PE investors or angel investors pick up a business to invest in; their decisions are not guided by mere financial figures and projections. As Mr. Moritz of Sequoia Capital says: “we look for founders and management teams who are enthusiastic and passionate about a product or service that is addressing a very large market”. ‘So the trick is to look for a combination of markets, managements, and products’ he reiterates. Mr. Moritz adds that ‘Often one has to imagine an emerging market while taking the investment decision’. Mr. Moritz is the one who has funded Apple, Cisco, Google, and You Tube. So we observe it is not just financial figures that guide decision making. And as Peter Drucker’s definition would suggest, the social aspect of a business too is very important. After all, business is about people, it is people who do business with people. Relationships are fulcrums of businesses – both internal relationships and relationships with external entities and individuals.

Among various emotions, that guide business activities, FEAR AND GREED are very common. The fear of losing one’s status in the market guides companies to desperate marketing measures. The greed arising due to some freak or solitary success drives companies to take very adventurous decisions often causing damage. However, one emotion that often guides companies to unimagined heights is PASSION.

Here are some examples of passion-at-work:

a) The launch of The Himalaya Drug Company, Bangalore took place in the Himalayan forests when the founder Mr. Manal took to commercializing folk medicine. In fact, it was his passion to explore the traditional heritage of Indian medicine that aided him in launching the world’s first antihypertensive – SERPINA. It was not mere economic reasons that drove the maverick in him to look for commercializing herbal remedies. It was a passion for herbal pharmacy that launched The Himalaya Drug Co.
b) John Mack’s passion for pharma marketing is at display when we see his enormous enthusiastic involvement in activities beyond VirSci to the Pharma marketing forums. There is no strict commercial logic for his avid involvement in blogging and forums – it is more of his passion for pharma marketing that is at work here. Perhaps, there are spinoff economic benefits for him but that is a result of his passion.
c) When Jamshedji Tata took upon himself to invest in power, steel, and indigenous scientific talent, it was pure passion for his country’s industrial development that was at work. Otherwise why was the necessity for him to take pains and build a caring industrial empire? It was passion based on certain clear values.
d) Dhirubhai Ambani was the real change agent of the Indian business firmament who carved a great busines empire that created the booming share bourses of India.
e) When Ramanbhai Patel shed his role as a teacher of Pharmacy to don a pioneer Pharma industrialist’s role it was again passion at work.
f) FRLHT is a contra organization that is hard at work in Bangalore for reviving folk medicines – people sacrificing to work out strategies to fit the ancient therapies in a modern context – this is pure passion play.
g) The Swami Vivekananda Yoga Kendra (a deemed university) is led by a chemical engineer who has sacrificed a lucrative career in America, and picked up Yoga development as his passion.
h) Google, Apple- ipod, and Microsoft (in its early stage) were passionate about their work and the net result is that they are global leaders in respective fields.
i) Just log on to http://www.trusted.md/ , http://www.curinghealthcare.com/ and http://www.diabetesmine.com/ , and you will see PURE PASSION at work. The quality of output reflects their zeal, enthusiasm, and passion.

In the modern Pharma context we see lots of activity and a high hunger for sales – but what are the business drivers – LOVE, PASSION, GREED, OR FEAR?

Unless there is a revivalism in the global Pharma industry for passion as a driver business sentiment, as we see at in workplaces such as Google, it will be inevitable that passionate people from Google Health and other ventures start taking the front seat in driving the future of healthcare while other core healthcare companies will be quiet followers.

What drives work at workplaces?

Workplaces and professional work are driven by four emotions – LOVE, PASSION, FEAR and GREED. Love is what drives Sri Sri Ravishankar, Mata Amritanandamayi, Satya Sai Baba and their like in their worldly activities. Passion is what drives, Mr. Narayan murthy of Infosys and Mr. Azim Premji of Wipro. Fear and greed also drive people to work. The business results of people working with passion are always superior and create benchmarks.

What is passion?

Passion is an intense emotion that drives human activities.
Is PASSION the fifth P of marketing?

Marketing is an ever growing field and there have been a number of thoughts on expanding the list of 4 Ps. The other Ps suggested include people, physical evidence, process, packaging, publicity among other Ps. Here is an interesting thesis to include PASSION - as the fifth P of marketing. This blogger has the bright idea that passion is indeed the fifth P of marketing - please click here: http://cincom.typepad.com/simplicity/2005/11/the_fifth_p_of_.html And it seems to be right, ask Sequoia Capital and Mr. Moritz!
This is my 44th blogpost - and the picture is that of Mr. Moritz. I am sure you have enjoyed this blogpost. Please do read all other blogposts including by clicking on OLDER POSTS. Please enjoy. Thanks.