Forbes India Conversations: From Globalisation To Glocalisation

Forbes India, in association with BNP Paribas, held the second session of the Forbes India Conversations: The Thought Leadership Forum, on January 16, 2018, bringing together senior business leaders to share their insights on ‘The Future of Globalisation’. Forbes India Editor Brian Carvalho was in conversation with Crisil’s MD & CEO Ashu Suyash; Umang Vohra, CEO of Cipla; Annaswamy Vaidheesh, vice president, South Asia and MD, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals; Vikash Mittersain, chairman and MD, Nazara Technologies; and Joris Dierckx, country head of BNP Paribas for India. ‘Glocalisation’, they unanimously said, is the emerging trend even as natural barriers to globalisation are being demolished rapidly. Some also said that one does not need scale anymore to generate efficiencies. Excerpts:

Brian Carvalho: In today’s world, globalisation appears to have many counter buzzwords. Among them are protectionism, nationalism and de-globalisation. What is the state and fate of globalisation today?
Ashu Suyash: Those who do not see any benefits raise the issues. The issues are emotional and not really rational and we all know that anything which starts off emotionally, appeals to everybody, including the rational people. The reality is that when you get to the halfway mark, risks and the negative impact of going back outweigh the challenges of going forward. What’s driving the pushback is that the benefits of globalisation are uneven. But nobody wants to do business only in a [particular] country. Even a domestic business has aspirations outside because the pool is so much larger, and that alone allows leaders, politicians and people to step up their game.

Technological advancements are linked to this issue. To me, the noise around protectionism and job losses is really whether technology is invading our space and people are losing jobs. I don’t think economies and companies are geared and ready for the whole technology wave.

Umang Vohra: Globalisation can be linked to goods, services and credit, but I am unsure if that is how the world is going to operate in the future. I don’t think so. Interconnectivity in the world has escalated. Therefore, the definition of globalisation ought to change from goods and services and possibly credits.

Facebook has about 1.6 billion subscribers. India’s population is 1.3 billion, China is another 1.3-1.4 billion. I look at interconnectedness as being at an all-time high in the world. Ashu, you brought out a great point on technology; I think we underestimate the impact that interconnectedness and technology will have on globalisation. I don’t think companies of the future with high market valuations and customers will necessarily be people with huge tangible assets on the floor.

Vikash Mittersain: I personally think globalisation is an old word already.We need to move on to something called glocalisation; there is going to be no reversal of globalisation. We are too far down that path. For products like ours, which are games, we do a lot of localisation—choosing the language, the way it is operated and the way we work. A product is the same, but the approach is local. The best way to do a ‘manufacturing globalisation’ is to have a local company, licence a product to them and manufacture it locally under the same brand.

Carvalho: So, globalisation may apply very well to a company like GlaxoSmithKline Pharma?
Annaswamy Vaidheesh: Technology is going to move to such an extent that all the barriers are going to be lost between different countries… of course, there will be antibody responses from various quarters which is what we are seeing in the form of Brexit. I see that more as an antibody response. I think that will all settle down. Globalisation per se has reached a different dimension. It’s no longer the same dimension as we used to talk about in the past. It’s a different world that we live in.

Carvalho: Joris, probably the French pride is similar to the English pride of not allowing an American company to come in…
Joris Dierckx: Oh, I am not sure, but General Electric bought a part [power and grid business] of Alstom right?

Carvalho: [France] did reject Brexit at the end of the day, right?

Dierckx: A lot has already been said, but I think that France is at the forefront; I agree with everything that has been said. It [globalisation] is irreversible because it has gone far. The next phase of globalisation will probably be more ideation and also allowing smaller operators, in services or manufacturing, to provide local needs or specialised needs… through technology, those ideas can flow much freer. I can only see that increasing.

Vaidheesh: There are couple of things that generally do not allow globalisation to happen, typically religion, culture, and the so-called tribal attitude of various countries. I think that was actually preventing globalisation from happening for a long time, but with the youth having access to technology, they are going to bypass these barriers. Today, you don’t need to go [through the religious route] because they are all gaining access online through their mobile phones—in their personal space you can reach out to them and communicate through your gaming—like one of my friends who is in Stanford… they are developing games for health, for children to consume food.

Mittersain: It is happening for health and for education, so almost everything is lending itself to games. I get several requests….

Vaidheesh: I think the natural barriers to globalisation are about to get demolished. Now those things may or may not exist.

Carvalho: But we have seen this wave of nationalism and the code of the Trumpism. Is this preservation of national interests? We are seeing probably not a similar wave, but a slightly different kind of wave of nationalism here, of Indianness. So, we will have a Baba Ramdev versus Hindustan Unilever or maybe a J&J or GSK. Can both coexist, should they or will they coexist in such a market?

Mittersain: That is glocalisation in my opinion. It is global in nature, but it also local in nature.

Vaidheesh: No, if you look at even earlier days, there was Hindustan Unilever versus Nirma. I think these are the essentials of operating in different markets… you find some number of local companies which compete with multinational firms or even China. For example, Baidu now competes with Indian companies.

Suyash: To answer your question, it will coexist. That does not mean it will be harmonious all the time. It will mean that global companies will localise and local companies will globalise because for both, to serve the broader world is more important as it is the larger playing ground; nobody likes a small playing ground. McDonald’s, for instance, created a different SOP [standard operating procedure] for India finally, as did Domino’s and you have the paneer and chicken tikka versions. Similar patterns are seen across other regions of Asia.

Carvalho: There is one more aspect: Something which we saw 10 years ago, a massive phase of asset-heavy consolidation… Hindalco’s acquisition of Novelis was one of the last of its type; that was how we saw globalisation then. Has that changed? There are acquisitions taking place, but how has that asset-heavy strategy kind of changed over the last 10 years with technology playing a role and with companies getting more connected?

Suyash: I would give Crisil’s example. We were set up as an Indian company, floated by institutions, but at present, 65 percent of Crisil’s revenue comes from global companies and clients based and serviced in the developed markets. This is an asset-light strategy. I would say algorithmic style intellectual capabilities are critical because we are an analytics firm. Now did we plan it that way? No. So to me, it was asset-heavy in the past, because that was the end of what I would call the industrial revolution. The new industrial revolution is happening as we speak and it is cutting-edge formulation technology because consumers of today are not satisfied with the average. They want the best, be it the gaming industry, the banking industry, the pharma industry or the food industry… in the food industry, globalisation is not acquisition—it is acquisition of some chefs.

Dierckx: There is also a potential counter-revolution where technology allows [you] to go away from the big centralised systems to much more decentralised types. You don’t necessarily need the scale anymore to generate efficiencies.

Mittersain: [To Suyash]: You are talking about asset-light or asset-heavy. Our company actually has zero assets and owns nothing. We only own the IT and developmental capabilities, that are also not our own. For a company of our size, we have only 100 people whereas our turnover size should be [equivalent to] 1,000 people, so it’s all outsourced. We just do the ideation and the last mile. Wherever we can find the centres of excellence for that product, we create those and that’s where the revenues come from. I believe that even manufacturing should be asset-light. There is no point in putting up plants. There is enough manufacturing capability available around the world. You get it made anywhere to your specification. You control the quality, you control the design and ship it wherever you want. That’s where globalisation and glocalisation comes in. I mean why does one need a huge investment to increase the turnover by putting up a plant? That is old thinking.

Vaidheesh: That’s true even in pharma. In fact, even the government should say: ‘You guys come in—I will give you money to do research in India for drug discovery and will syndicate your risk and the patent. The company should give it free to India and the rest, you take it to the world.’

So, instead of breaking the patent, India can create a patent. That’s the way the government should start thinking.

Suyash: All this thinking around patents promotion, by setting up these innovation labs and incubation hubs, is interesting. There is a huge need in the standardised vertical called the old economy because this lends itself so naturally to it, but it is not yet on the policy agenda, but I would vote for it.

This article originally appeared in Forbes.

For more such blogs follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn.

Read it now

Humane Approach To Health Care

It’s been a week of accolades for scientist and chairman of Cipla, Dr Yusuf K Hamied, who received the Indore Management Association Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018 last Friday. “It was attended by 5,000 management students and 1,000 business executives, and was really quite impressive,”he said, when we spoke.

Dr Yusuf K Hamied (third from right) receives the award.

The Cambridge-educated Cathedral-schooled Hamied celebrated for his philanthropy especially in Africa, where his decision to sell AIDS medicines at a highly-subsidised cost has saved millions of lives, as expected, made a strong case for a humane approach to healthcare.

“The right to live should not be contingent on the ability to treat. We need to provide essential, affordable drugs to safeguard a stable and healthy environment, not only in India, but wherever needed in the emerging world,” he’d said in his address.

“Of the seven billion people living on our planet, 6.2 billion live in the emerging and developing world. Healthcare is guaranteed to only 10% of the world’s population. One in three do not have access to even basic medicines. In Asia and Africa, this goes up to 50%.” Shifting his gaze specifically to India, Dr Hamied, son of the late nationalist KA Hamied (a close associate of the Mahatma), said, “We now require another national objective, a dream in which every Indian citizen can have a decent quality of life. As the educated elite of our country, all of us should pledge our fullest cooperation and support to fulfil this task of prioritising healthcare. We must be accountable to our future generations. They must not look back and accuse us for not doing what our conscience demands.”

Unsurprisingly, his big picture humanitarian approach has won him many an admirer, and no surprises then that almost immediately after his IMA recognition, Dr Hamied, who divides his time between Europe and India, picked up his second lifetime achievement award of the week yesterday, this time from a business newspaper. Slated to be in the country till mid-March, it is safe to assume there will be at least a couple more before the high-flying Padma Bhushan recipient flies out.


This article originally appeared in Hindustantimes.com


For more such blogs follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Of Patents and Patients

Pharmaceutical giant Cipla’s archive is worth emulating for all legacy companies. This diarist toured it last week and was surprised to see the effort gone into chronicling the company’s eight-decade-long journey.

A visitors’ book from 1939, signed by both Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel; a 1939 photograph of a Cipla-monogrammed van, against the Great Pyramid of Giza; a photograph from August 15, 1947, with founder Khwaja Abdul Hamied and Dr Yusuf Khwaja Hamied, current non-executive chairman, as a child, celebrating with the staff.

Cipla founder Khwaja Abdul Hamied with son, Dr Yusuf Khwaja Hamied. Pics/Bipin Kokate


There are also letters, telegrams, brochures, photographs of the labs, catalogues, tins that contained Calcima ACD (calcium tablets), an inhaler from 1993, and paraphernalia from Dr Yusuf’s world-famous HIV/AIDS offer of providing medicines for less than a dollar a day in 2001: all of these have been pieced together from different sources.

MK Hamied, non-executive vice-chairman and Dr Yusuf’s brother, tells us,

“A few years ago, several factors such as the generational change in promoter leadership, new emerging business trends, the changing Indian and international pharmaceutical scenarios, etc, prompted introspection. The general desire in the promoter family was to ensure that Cipla’s rich legacy was not lost. Cipla’s story is in many ways the story of Indian pharma. Work on building the Cipla Archives repository and accumulating material, starting with oral histories, commenced in 2015.”

Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in 1939

Samina Vaziralli, executive vice-chairperson and MK’s daughter, says,

“For me, as a third-generation Ciplaite, the Cipla Archives is the custodian and record-keeper of the rich past, present and future of Cipla. It serves as a daily reminder of the might of our legacy and the need to watch against resting on past laurels, and as motivation to keep moving onwards and upwards. In the current business atmosphere, I believe corporate archives provide that extra competitive edge. [They] demonstrate pride in the company’s legacy, but also prove that we treat our legacy with the seriousness and sense of responsibility it deserves.”


This article originally appeared in mid-day.com


For more such blogs follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

In Remote Villages, Surprising New Measures Save Children With Malaria

Malaria quickly kills toddlers. But rapid diagnostic tests, a new suppository drug and bicycle ambulances can buy enough time to get stricken children to hospitals.

During malaria season, children who live in remote villages are at tremendous risk. When parasites transmitted by mosquitoes swarm into the brain, the disease can kill within 24 hours.

Often parents do not realize quickly enough how close a toddler is to death. More than 90 percent of malaria deaths are in children under five years old.

Now, after 13 years of effort, a set of stopgap measures to keep youngsters alive long enough to get them to a clinic has been developed. Initial testing suggests the measures can dramatically cut death rates; in one pilot project in Zambia, they dropped by 96 percent.

The most important new element is artesunate delivered as a soft rectal suppository. Artesunate is the drug that hospitals inject into children in mortal danger from malaria infections of the brain. The new version comes in a form that can be given by a village health worker or even a parent.

Rectal administration gets the drug into the blood quickly and avoids the possibility that the child will vomit up the medication. Ideally, each two-dose box kills enough parasites to buy six to 12 more hours for a child to reach higher-level care.

The World Health Organization endorsed the idea of artesunate suppositories in 2005, but it was not until February that a version finally won full W.H.O. approval. It is made by Cipla, the Indian pharmaceutical company that in 2001 became the first to make inexpensive generic H.I.V. drugs for Africa.

A second artesunate suppository, by another Indian company, Strides, was approved in June.

Other advances that help save children with malaria include rapid diagnostic tests, training local health workers to recognize the disease and a fleet of bicycle ambulances.

The test gives a diagnosis in minutes with only a finger-prick drop of blood.

The ambulances are metal carts about six feet long and four feet wide that can be made in a local welding shop and attached to most bicycles. A mother and child can ride flat or sitting, and the cart can navigate dirt tracks too narrow for cars.

(Motorbike ambulances have been rolled out in India for use in roadless mountain areas and cities plagued by traffic jams, but they are wider and more expensive.)

The multipronged program was tested during the 2017-2018 malaria season in a Zambian district where villages could be up to 10 miles over dirt tracks from any formal medical care.

It dramatically cut child mortality rates, and in April the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released a video describing the program’s success.

An analysis released in August calculated that deaths were 96 percent lower than they would have been without the combination of suppositories, ambulances, test kits and extra training.

(The comparison was imperfect, because the 2017-2018 season in the analysis appears to have been more severe than the previous season, and local clinics were well prepared in advance. Still, only three children died, which was far fewer than local health officials had seen before.)

The pilot project was supported by the Medicines for Malaria Venture, a partnership founded in 1999 to pursue new malaria drugs, and Transaid, a British charity that works to improve transportation in poor countries.

Donald G. McNeil Jr. is a science reporter covering epidemics and diseases of the world’s poor. He joined The Times in 1976, and has reported from 60 countries. 


This article originally appeared in The New York Times

For more such blogs follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

A first in Morocco: CIPLA MAROC opens an inhaler manufacturing plant in the Rabat region for an investment of 60 MDH

Inaugurated by MM. Anas Doukali and MM. Moulay Hafid Elalamy, the plant will produce 1.5 million metered-dose inhalers annually

Rabat, Morocco, October 13, 2018: Cipla Maroc, subsidiary of the leading global pharmaceutical company Cipla Ltd, today announced the official opening of its manufacturing plant for metered-dose inhalers in Ain Aouda in the Rabat region.

A total of 60 million dirhams have been invested in this project. This is the first time that an industrial unit of this kind has opened in the Country.

The ceremony took place in the presence of Mr. Anas Doukkali, Minister of Health, Dr. Y.K. Hamied – Non Executive Chairman of Cipla, Mr Niravkumar B Sutariya, Second Secretary, Embassy of India in Morocco, Mr. Christos Kartalis – Executive Vice President- Emerging Markets and Europe of Cipla, Mr. Ali Sedrati – General Manager of Pharmaceutical Institute & Mr. Ayman Cheikh Lahlou – General Manager of Cooper Pharma, as well as representatives of local authorities and the national pharmaceutical industry.

Spread over a total area of 4,000 square meters, the Cipla Maroc plant offers an annual production capacity of 1.5 million HFA metered-dose inhalers. Around fifteen references will be manufactured on the site, and eleven will be distributed for the first time in Morocco.

The Cipla Maroc industrial unit is built as per the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as European and American regulatory authorities. The facility received regulatory approval from the General Secretary of Govt on 18th of June 2018.

“We are proud of this addition to our manufacturing footprint, a first for the region. With this, we not only strengthen our manufacturing, but also ties between Morocco and Cipla. This factory will leverage Cipla’s well known expertise and experience in the respiratory inhalation segment to help patients in Morocco and the neighbouring regions in keeping with our purpose of Caring for life.”

Christos Kartalis – Executive Vice President- Emerging Markets and Europe of Cipla Said

“Cipla, Phi and Cooper have made a smart distinctive investment in Morocco in the inhaler technology that is a first for the country and region. This would allow to reduce significantly our imports of this technology and it would improve our value added product’s offer for the exports markets”

Mr. Ali Sedrati – General Manager of Pharmaceutical Institute & Mr. Ayman Cheikh Lahlou – General Manager of Cooper Pharma added:

About Cipla Maroc:

Founded in 2015, Cipla Maroc is a joint-venture between the Cipla Ltd, headquartered in Mumbai (India), and its Moroccan partners Pharmaceutical Institute and Cooper Pharma It focuses on the production and marketing of pharmaceutical products of the highest quality.

About Pharmaceutical Institute

Establised in 1988, The Pharmaceutical Institute (PHI) is a national laboratory with Multinational standards. It manufactures its own range of generic medicines especially for chronic diseases and cancers in a concern for universal access with the best quality price/ratio.

About Cooper Pharma

Cooper Pharma has been established in Morocco sin 1933. Its products portfolio cover most of the key therapeutic classes through branded generics, in-licensed innovative products and OTC. The geographical reach covers Morocco, North Africa, West Africa, East Africa, GCC countries and Eastern Europe through a network of 8 manufacturing plants operated on its own or through JVs. Cooper Pharma has been approved in 2008 by the European authorities, in 2011 by the Saudi FDA and by several other health authorities”.

About Cipla Ltd:

Established in 1935, Cipla is a global pharmaceutical company focused on agile and sustainable growth, complex generics, and deepening portfolio in our home markets of India, South Africa, North America, and key regulated and emerging markets. Our strengths in the respiratory, anti-retroviral, urology, cardiology and CNS segments are well-known. Our 44 manufacturing sites around the world produce 50+ dosage forms and 1,500+ products using cutting-edge technology platforms to cater to our 80+ markets. Cipla is ranked 3rd largest in pharma in India (IQVIA MAT Mar’18), 4th largest in the pharma private market in South Africa (IQVIA MAT Jun’18), and is among the most dispensed generic players in the US. For over eight decades, making a difference to patients has inspired every aspect of Cipla’s work. Our paradigm-changing offer of a triple anti-retroviral therapy in HIV/AIDS at less than a dollar a day in Africa in 2001 is widely acknowledged as having contributed to bringing inclusiveness, accessibility and affordability to the centre of the movement. A responsible corporate citizen, Cipla’s humanitarian approach to healthcare in pursuit of its purpose of ‘Caring for Life’ and deep-rooted community links wherever it is present make it a partner of choice to global health bodies, peers and all stakeholders.


Press Release:

For more such blogs follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.