Indian pharma companies are readying to themselves with market build-up strategies in the South East Asian region. This is even as countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines are wooing Indian pharma companies to invest in manufacturing facilities in the region.
The key driving factors are tax incentives, lower labour costs, government support and reaching untapped markets. The imminent trends in the South East Asian region are the opportunity for contract manufacturing and demand for life style disorder drugs along with medicines for chronic conditions and infectious diseases.
Indian companies face stiff competition from local companies in the South East Asian region on cost and quality. Regulated regions like the US and EU will now look at these markets for contract manufacturing to source much of their drugs. So Indian pharma companies this region find it a challenge to export. In fact the entire South East Asian region does encourage Indian companies to market their products. Those companies with existing registrations or with novel drugs will be able to make headway in this region, Gurudatta GG, chief executive officer, Estima Pharma Solutions told Pharmabiz.
Vietnam too is competitive in manufacturing with a presence of 400 local companies here. Other countries like Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos are proving their capability. Though countries like Indonesia and Malaysia are self -sufficient, some imports are possible and may woo Indian pharma companies if they want to set up manufacturing bases here, he added.
Since contract manufacturing is coming up in a big way in Vietnam, it is worth taking a chance for any Indian company which wants to set up a base here. With the waning interest of the US and EU on imports from India, it will make considerable business sense to focus on the South East Asian region, he noted.
The renewed aggression to enable growth for Indian pharma in South East Asia has also led Estima Pharma which is a leading consultancy, to set up a base in Vietnam.” We will take the total responsibility in terms of technical infrastructure and identifying the related skilled workforce too, if companies invest”, said Gurudatta.
Going by the developments in the pharma sector in the South East region, there are possibilities of high quality Indian workforce to be employed in many of these facilities. The promising prospects for pharma industry has seen the evolution of venture capitalists and private equity in the region. There is no dearth of manpower but they need to be honed with adequate skilling. The best part of the region is the globally regulated production facilities. Recently Estima also successfully enabled a MHRA audit for a facility in Vietnam, said Gurudatta.