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Novo Nordisk in tune with govt’s new ‘Innovate in India’ theme: Vikrant Shrotriya

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Saturday, February 18, 2023, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Union government is keen to position India from being the ‘pharmacy of the world’ to ‘Innovate in India’ and this resonates with our effort to focus on novel treatment access for diabetes, which we have been doing for the last 20 years in the country, said Vikrant Shrotriya, managing director, CVP, Novo Nordisk India.

In sync with the company’s 100th global anniversary, Novo Nordisk too is working to contribute through innovation, investment in healthcare R&D and improving employability, he added.

Noting that the company has been committed to providing better medicines for communicable diseases, Shrotriya said, “Our footprint is strong to bring out quality products driven by strong research. We are among the few large companies to carry out research in India. In fact, after our commercial business wing, it is the R&D arm which is among the largest in Novo Nordisk India. We are engaged in over 23 trials which are now in Phase III. These are carried out across 300 medical centres in India. From our portfolio, there is hardly any drug product which has not gone through a clinical trial in India”.

Speaking to Pharmabiz on the sidelines of the company’s centenary celebration, Shrotriya said that India cannot be ignored even if it accounts for a miniscule 1 percent of the global market opportunity by merely tapping 19 per cent of the 40 million diabetics in this country. For us India is now the fulcrum of our clinical research business. There is talent and technology which is driving the global data analysis. We envisage a once a week insulin. Research is underway in stem cell technology, mRNA-interface technologies and smart insulin.”

Globally, Novo Nordisk employs 54,400 people across 80 countries. Its India operations has 4,500 workforce of which 3,000 work in the company’s Global Business Service (GBS) engaged in knowledge processing to work around patents, R&D, medical writing, regulatory affairs and ITES. India’s GBS is one among the largest globally for the company which has similar units in Copenhagen, US and China.
India is a country of numbers with a growing population, rising diabetics and a large pool of medical expertise. Based on this, it is important for us to size-up to keep pace with the growing demand for new treatment options. We are keen to control diabetes but with the urbanization and genetic disposition, we do not expect this lifestyle disorder to be controlled very easily in the near future. Therefore, it is critical for the company to access every nook and corner of the country for which human resources are needed to ensure the advocacy of diabetes continues with the support of our products. This definitely calls for continuous expansion of teams, he said.

Over the last two decades, the company has grown from 20 to 4,500. Now India accounts for 8-10 per cent of the total workforce. Our multiplication of employee base is significant and hiring is a dynamic process. It would not be surprising if Novo Nordisk India workforce base will double over the next 10 years. In the immediate future, expansion of personnel will be to support our interests in obesity. Likewise in Novo Nordisk GBS too there would be an obvious expansion of human resources, said Shrotriya.


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