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Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. Business Information, Profile, and History

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Company Perspectives:

The endeavour at Ranbaxy is to provide value. Value through pioneering work, research & development and quality pharmaceuticals across the globe.Ranbaxy keeps alive this endeavour as it steps into the new millennium, and reaffirms its commitment to the environment, the people and a healthier future.

History of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd.

Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. is the largest pharmaceutical company in India, and one of the world's top 100 pharmaceutical companies. Long a specialist in the preparation of generic drugs, Ranbaxy is also one of the world's top 10 in that pharmaceutical category as well. Yet, with India's agreement to apply international patent law at the beginning of 2005, Ranbaxy has begun converting itself into a full-fledged research-based pharmaceutical company. A major part of this effort has been the establishment of the company's own research and development center, which has enabled the company to begin to enter the new chemical entities (NCE) and novel drug delivery systems (NDDS) markets. In the mid-2000s, the company had a number of NCEs in progress, and had already launched its first NDDS product, a single daily dosage formulation of ciprofloxacin. Ranbaxy is a truly global operation, producing its pharmaceutical preparations in manufacturing facilities in seven countries, supported by sales and marketing subsidiaries in 44 countries, reaching more than 100 countries throughout the world. The United States, which alone accounts for nearly half of all pharmaceutical sales in the world, is the company's largest international market, representing more than 40 percent of group sales. In Europe, the company's purchase of RPG (Aventis) S.A. makes it the largest generics producer in that market. The company is also a leading generics producer in the United Kingdom and Germany and elsewhere in Europe. European sales added 16 percent to the company's sales in 2004. Ranbaxy's other major markets include Brazil, Russia, and China, as well as India, which together added 26 percent to the group's sales. Ranbaxy posted revenues of $1.18 billion in 2004. The company, which remains controlled and led by the founding Singh family, is listed on the National Stock Exchange of India in Mumbai.

Moneylending Luck in the 1960s

Ranbaxy Laboratories had its origins in the early 1960s when Ranjit Singh and Gurbux Singh, two employees of a Japanese pharmaceutical company operating in India, formed their own pharmaceutical preparations company in Amritsar, in Punjab state. The two merged their names to form the name for their company, Ranbaxy.

Through the 1960s, India's pharmaceutical market remained dominated by foreign drug makers. The domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing industry was limited in large part to the dosage preparation, packaging, and distribution of existing formulations. Like many Indian drug companies of this period, Ranbaxy linked up with a European pharmaceutical company, and began production in 1962.

Ranbaxy's owners sought additional financing and turned to a local moneylender, Bhai Mohan Singh. By 1966, the pair had built up debts to Singh of more than the equivalent of $100,000. When Singh, a native of Pakistan who had arrived in India at the beginning of that decade, came to collect, the Ranbaxy partners offered to turn over their company to him instead.

Singh agreed to the deal and launched the Ranbaxy family on the path toward building one of India's largest business empires. Under Bhai Mohan Singh, Ranbaxy initially maintained its course of preparing and packing existing branded pharmaceutical products for the Indian market. The entry of Singh's eldest son, Parvinder, into the company in 1967, however, set the company on a new course to become a fully independent pharmaceutical company.

Parvinder Singh had just graduated with a PhD in chemistry from the University of Michigan. The younger Singh's background in chemistry complemented his father's business flair. Yet Parvinder Singh himself quickly displayed a talent for business and was credited, in large part, with guiding the company into the ranks of the global pharmaceutical leaders.

Ranbaxy's good fortune came in 1970, when the Indian government passed legislation that effectively ended patent protection in the pharmaceutical industry. Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers were now able to produce low-cost, generic versions of popular, yet expensive drugs, revolutionizing the drug industry in India and in much of the world. The Singhs quickly took advantage of India's large, highly trained, yet inexpensive workforce, building up a strong staff of chemists and chemical engineers.

The company struck pay dirt early on, when it launched Calmpose, a generic formulation of the hugely popular Roche discovery, Valium. Released in 1969, Calmpose immediately placed Ranbaxy on India's pharmaceutical map. The company expanded quickly, and by 1973, Ranbaxy opened a new factory, in Mohali, for the production of active principal ingredients (APIs). This facility enabled the company to expand its range of generic medications and ingredients. To finance its growth, the company listed on the Indian Stock Exchange that year.

Ranbaxy's ability to produce generic medications at far lower cost than its branded competitors placed the company in a strong position for international expansion, especially in less developed markets. The company began its internationalization early on, launching a joint venture in Nigeria. That operation opened a production facility in Lagos in 1977.

Developing Research Expertise in the 1980s

Ranbaxy expanded its production at home as well, opening a new state-of-the-art dosage plant in Dewas in 1983. In 1987, the company became India's leading antibiotic and antibacterial producer when it completed a new API plant in Toansa, in Punjab, that year. The Toansa facility backed up Ranbaxy's plans to enter the U.S. market, and in 1988, the Toansa plant received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

Ranbaxy formulated a new strategy, that of becoming a full-fledged pharmaceutical company. The driving force behind the company's new direction was Parvinder Singh, who was named the company's managing director in 1982. Nonetheless, Bhai Mohan Singh remained in control of the company.

As part of its new strategy, Ranbaxy launched its own research and development center in 1985. The company also stepped up its marketing efforts, launching a new dedicated marketing subsidiary, Stancare, that year. By 1990, the company had a new product to sell, when Ranbaxy was granted a U.S. patent for its doxycycline antibiotic preparation. The following year, the company was granted a U.S. patent for its cephalosporin preparations, and the company built a new state-of-the-art facility for their production in Mohali.

A major milestone for the company came in 1992, when it reached a marketing agreement with Eli Lilly & Co. The companies set up a joint venture in India to produce and market Lilly's branded pharmaceuticals for the domestic market. At the same time, Lilly agreed to begin marketing Ranbaxy's generic medications in the United States. In this way, Ranbaxy gained widescale access, backed by the highly respected Lilly, into the world's single largest drugs market.

Parvinder Singh took over as head of the company--ousting his father in what was described as a family feud--in 1992. By then, Ranbaxy had grown into one of India's largest pharmaceutical companies on the basis of its generics production. Yet as pressure grew on India to begin enforcing international drug patents, the company itself appeared to have reached a crossroads--whether to remain focused on copying generic molecules, or to begin developing new drugs in-house. The company chose the latter, and in 1993 adopted a new corporate mission to announce its reformulated ambitions: "To become a research-based international company."

Global Branding for the New Century

Ranbaxy made good on its mission--by the middle of the next decade, nearly 80 percent of its sales came from outside of India. As a first step, the company launched a new joint venture, in China, backing its entry into that market with a production facility in Guangzhou. The following year, the company established subsidiaries in London, England, and in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1995, the company stepped up its U.S. presence with the purchase of Ohm Laboratories Inc., which gave the company its first manufacturing plant in that market. Ranbaxy then launched construction of a new and state-of-the-art manufacturing wing, which, completed that year, gained FDA approval.

This new facility enabled Ranbaxy to step up its presence in the United States, and in 1998 the company began marketing its generic products under its own brand name. That year, in addition, the company filed an application to begin Phase I clinical testing on its first in-house developed NCE. The following year, the company's NDDS efforts paid off as well, when Bayer acquired the rights to market Ranbaxy's single daily-dosage ciprofloxacin formulation.

Ranbaxy's international expansion continued as well, with the launch of marketing operations in Brazil. As the largest pharmaceuticals market in Latin America, that country was the cornerstone of the company's plans to expand throughout the region. Ranbaxy also expanded in Europe, with the agreement in 2000 to acquire Bayer's Germany-based generics business, Basics. The company also added production plants in Malaysia and Thailand.

Parvinder Singh died in 1999 and longtime righthand man D.S. Brar took over as company leader, naming family outsider Brian Tempest as company president. The new management team continued Singh's expansion strategy, opening a new manufacturing plant in Vietnam in 2001.

Ranbaxy also sought new alliances, and in 2003 the company reached a global drug discovery and development partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. That agreement called for Glaxo to handle the later-stage development process for Ranbaxy created molecules. The company's international expansion also took a major step forward at the end of 2002, when it agreed to acquire RPG (Aventis) in France, that country's leading generic drugs producer.

Ranbaxy's sales had by then topped the $1 billion mark, placing the company not only as the leader in India's pharmaceuticals industry, but also among the ranks of the world's top 100 pharmaceuticals companies. Ranbaxy also boasted a place among the world's top ten generic drugs producers. In addition, the company had advanced a growing number of its own NCE and NDDS molecules into clinical testing. The company's transition into research-based product development was seen as crucial as India announced its intention to enforce international drug patents at the beginning of 2005.

Ranbaxy appeared prepared to meet this challenge, however, and confidently set its sights on boosting its annual sales past $2 billion by 2007 and to more than $5 billion by the beginning of the next decade. International growth remained an essential part of that strategy. The company began negotiations for a major acquisition in Germany at the end of 2004, which was expected to be completed in 2005. The company also launched construction of a new $100 million production facility in Brazil. Meanwhile, Ranbaxy continued to increase its research and development budget, with the goal of generating as much as 40 percent of its revenues from its in-house innovations by the 2010s. Ranbaxy expected to remain India's drug leader into the new century.

Principal Subsidiaries: Basics GmbH (Germany); Gufic Pharma Ltd. (98%); Ohm Laboratories Inc. (United States); Ranbaxy (Hong Kong) Ltd.; Ranbaxy (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (56.25%); Ranbaxy (Netherlands) B.V.; Ranbaxy (S.A.) Proprietary Ltd.; Ranbaxy (UK) Ltd.; Ranbaxy Do Brasil Ltda.; Ranbaxy Drugs and Chemicals Company; Ranbaxy Drugs Ltd.; Ranbaxy Egypt Ltd.; Ranbaxy Europe Ltd. (United Kingdom); Ranbaxy Farmaceutica Ltda. (Brazil; 70%); Ranbaxy Fine Chemicals Ltd.; Ranbaxy France SAS; Ranbaxy Ireland Ltd.; Ranbaxy Nigeria Ltd. (84.89%); Ranbaxy Panama, S.A.; Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (United States); Ranbaxy Poland Sp. z.o.o.; Ranbaxy PRP (Peru) S.A.C.; Ranbaxy Unichem Company Ltd. (Thailand; 88.56%); Ranbaxy USA, Inc.; Ranbaxy Vietnam Company Ltd.; Ranbaxy (Guangzhou China; 83%); Ranbaxy, Inc. (United States); Ranchem Inc. (United States); Ranlab Inc. (United States); RanPharm Inc. (United States); Rexcel Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; Solus Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; Unichem Distributors (Thailand; 99.96%); Vidyut Investments Ltd.; Vidyut Travel Services Ltd.

Principal Competitors: RPG Enterprises; GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd.; East India Pharmaceutical Works Ltd.; Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd.; Cipla Ltd.; Concept Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; Khandelwal Laboratories Ltd.; Dabur India Ltd.


  • Key Dates:
  • 1962: Ranjit Singh and Gurbux Singh incorporate Ranbaxy to market pharmaceuticals in Amritsar, India, and borrow funding from moneylender Bhai Mohan Singh.
  • 1966: Bhai Mohan Singh takes over Ranbaxy in lieu of repayment of the loan.
  • 1967: Son Dr. Parvinder Singh joins the company, which begins producing generic drugs.
  • 1969: Calmpose, a Valium generic, is launched, becoming the company's first success.
  • 1973: Ranbaxy goes public and builds a new API chemicals facility in Mohali.
  • 1977: The company begins production in Lagos, Nigeria through a joint venture.
  • 1983: The company opens a dosage plant in Dewas.
  • 1987: The company builds a state-of-the-art API facility in Toansa in preparation for entry into the U.S. market.
  • 1988: The Toansa facility receives FDA approval.
  • 1992: The company launches a joint marketing agreement with Eli Lilly.
  • 1993: A joint venture is launched in China; a new research-driven NCE and NDDS strategy is launched.
  • 1994: The company opens a new research and development facility in Gurgaon, India.
  • 1995: The company acquires Ohm Laboratories in the United States and builds a new FDA-approved production facility.
  • 1998: Ranbaxy begins marketing its own branded drugs in the United States; the company launches clinical trials on the first in-house developed molecule.
  • 2000: Ranbaxy acquires Basics, Bayer's generics business in Germany; the company enters Brazil.
  • 2003: Ranbaxy successfully completes the first NCE phase I clinical trial; the company acquires RPG (Aventis) in France, becoming the leading generics manufacturer for that market.
  • 2005: The company launches a new $100 million production facility in Brazil.

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Company HistoryPharmaceuticals

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