“Compliance, capability & speed to market are key factors”

Mentioned Mr Saurabh Gurnurkar, Executive Director of UQUIFA in an exclusive interaction with the BioVoice. Besides providing a peek into the company's latest activities in India, he also talked about business environment in India. Read on:

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Saurabh Gurunkar has been an active participant on the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) and FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) forums on sectors like pharmaceuticals, technology, and financial services.

Mr Saurabh Gurnurkar is the Executive Director of UQUIFA S.A, a company that manufacturers Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and has been in business for more than 80 years from its headquarters in Barcelona. 

Mr Gurnukar has been instrumental in driving the company grow to $110 mn from $ 55mn when the Hyderabad based pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals company, Vivimed acquired it in 2011. He aims to develop it to a  $200mn company by 2022. Here in this exclusive interaction with the BioVoice, Mr Gurnukar explains the company’s history and future in India. Read on:


Please tell us more about UQUIFA globally and in India? What have been your recent activities?

Saurabh Gurnurkar: UQUIFA is a Barcelona headquartered specialty Active Pharma Ingredients (API) manufacturer with focus on two segments. First is Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) where we work with big pharma and biotech companies. Second is the Generic API where we promote our own 45+ unique Drug Master Files(DMF)/ Certificate of Suitability (CEP).

We are a team of 750 across Spain, Mexico, Hungary and India. Last year we manufactured more than 1400mt of API across our large scale manufacturing sites in Spain and Mexico. Our 3 sites in Spain and Mexico are US FDA, EDQM, ANVISA etc approved manufacturing locations with multi-product manufacturing capability. In Hungary through our recent acquisition Soneas, we have R+D Labs and Pilot Plant capability targeted for better coverage of the Big Pharma/Biotechs in the CDMO sector.

In India, our operations centre around the 60+ strong R+D site responsible for new generic product introductions across Spain and Mexico. Apart from R+D, the India office also acts as originator for purchasing and supply chain efficiencies in India and the local business development in India market.

 How has been the company’s performance post acquisition by the Vivimed Labs in 2011? 

Saurabh: Since acquisition, our sales are up nearly 50% in € terms and our margins are improved significantly also given the sales growth and operating leverage.

What kind of services are you offering in India presently? 

Saurabh: In India, our operations centre around the 60+ strong R+D site responsible for new generic product introductions across Spain and Mexico. Apart from R+D, the India office also acts as originator for purchasing and supply chain efficiencies in India and the local business development in India market.

How do you look at the business environment in Indian market? What are the challenges and opportunities?

Saurabh: Compliance capability and speed to market are key factors for being a successful API supplier to global generic companies based out of India.

Depending on the situation, these can be classified as a challenge or opportunity. For us at Uquifa, we see both these variables as opportunity given strong compliance track record and also leveraging of Indian strengths through our India team to bring speed and efficiency.

Please share your future outlook for the company? What are your goals and strategy? 

Saurabh: We have a corporate target of reaching a sales level of €200mn within the next 4 years. This growth in sales is to be driven by organic initiatives such as scale up of new CDMO projects and launch of new generic pipeline. We will also continue to look for value additive bolt-on acquisition opportunities that will enhance our technology base or improve our access to certain markets.