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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20435

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Magazine

Karmali N
India's Pharma Kings Are The Country's Big Winners
Forbes 2012 Oct 25

Full text:

India’s pharma kings, the ones who get their fortunes from generic drugs and increasingly too branded ones, are having a great year. As a group the 10 tycoons among India’s 100 richest who get their fortunes from pharmaceuticals are worth $25.7 billion, up $6.07 billion. That’s two-thirds of the entire increase in wealth for the 100 richest overall.

Among these winners are the year’s biggest dollar gainer and the biggest percentage gainer. Heading this pack is Dilip Shanghvi of Sun Pharmaceutical who saw his fortune soar to $9.2 billion, adding $2.5 billion to his wealth since last year, making him the biggest dollar gainer for the second year in a row. He enters the top 5 for the first time ever. Wockhardt’s Habil Khorakiwala, this year’s biggest gainer in percentage terms; re-enters the billionaire ranks as his fortune jumped nearly three-fold to $1.8 billion. He’s overseen a dramatic turnaround of Wockhardt whose market cap had plunged to $140 million three years ago. Vaccines maker Cyrus Pooonawalla, named by Bill Gates as one of the world’s 7 vaccine heroes, is also richer by $1.1 billion. His Serum Institute makes about a billion doses of low cost vaccines that it sells in 140 countries.

These pharma kings are benefiting from an industry that’s enjoying double-digit growth. McKinsey & Co predicts that India’s pharma market will grow to $55 billion by 2020. No surprise that multinational firms which at one stage had packed up and left citing poor prospects, are once again flocking to reenter. They are reportedly wooing some of these pharma billionaires to sell out. Billionaire brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh set the trend when they sold their family’s pharma biz to Daiichi Sankyo in 2008 for $2008 (they are excluded from this list as their fortune is now tied to healthcare). Two years later Ajay Piramal did an even bigger deal in 2010 when he sold his domestic formulations business to Abbott Labs for $3.7 billion; he and brothers Shyam & Hari Bhartia who are both up this year, are excluded from this list of pharma billionaires as they get part of fortune from diverse sectors.

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Two people who notched up modest gains of $250 million each: Cipla’s Yusuf Hamied, a champion of affordable medicines who caused a stir this year by slashing prices of three cancer drugs and claimed to Forbes Asia that he has done more humanitarian work than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett; Desh Bandhu Gupta of Lupin whose daughter Vinita is leading a charge into the US market and was given Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award for Maryland. In Hyderabad, Murali Divi of Divi’s Laboratories, a contract manufacturer for big pharma, is worth close to $1.5 billion, up by $440 million in the past year.

Nine of the ten pharma fortunes on the list are up, the only exception being Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon who faced a setback when her Biocon’s deal with Pfizer unravelled and the company’s shares tumbled. Looking ahead, it can be safely predicted that these fortunes are on track to keep rising.

Rank Name Net worth Gain

#5 Dilip Shanghvi $9.2 billion $2.5 billion

#20 Cyrus Poonawalla $3.3 billion $1.1 billion

#25 Pankaj Patel $2.5 billion $100 million #27 Desh Bandhu Gupta $2.35 billion $250 million

#30 Yusuf Hamied $2 billion $250 million

#33 Habil Khorakiwala $1.8 billion $1.17 billion

#39 Murali Divi $1.49 billion $440 million

#43 K.Anji Reddy $1.39 billion $40 million

#61 Glenn Saldanha $1.03 billion New, replaces dad (family fortune is $225 million higher than a year ago)

#92 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw $625 million -$250 million

Total $25.7 billion $6.07 billion


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