Meet Charak Pharma: A business as old as India

COVID-19 compelled one of the oldest Indian pharmaceutical players, Charak Pharma, to rethink and reshape its business strategies. Dr Ram Shroff, Director speaks about how the pandemic has changed the industry for the better and what they are doing to keep up with the times.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented focus on health and wellbeing — be it mental or physical — thereby boosting allied services like the pharmaceutical industry. 

According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the pharma market was estimated to be worth $42 billion in 2021 and is slated to reach $120-130 billion by 2030. 

SMBStory spoke to Dr Ram Shroff, Director of Charak Pharma, a company that is almost as old as our country, having been started in 1947 by the Shroff brothers D.N. Shroff and Dr S.N. Shroff. 

Today, Charak Pharma has carved a niche for itself in the Indian, as well as the global market. It offers around 106 SKUs (stock keeping units) across categories such as dental, gynaecology, ortho, and more, and is present in two lakh outlets across India. 

Charak also exports to more than 30 countries, including the likes of the US, UK, Greece, Portugal, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and more.

Talking about the pandemic impact on the industry, Dr Ram says, “One industry which has definitely gained is the pharmaceutical industry.” 

“COVID-19 has been a huge wake up call that has come at a heavy cost,” he says, adding, “It has also made all of us relook at what we were doing. Sometimes you overlook certain things, but when the going gets tough, you start looking into everything.” Read more.


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Editor’s Pick: Turning Point

The seeds of digital payments major PhonePe were sown in 2012 when Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari launched Flyte, a music downloading platform while working at Flipkart.

In this week’s Turning Point, we look at the journey of PhonePe, which now claims close to 50 percent market share in UPI payments in India with transactions worth over Rs 4.71 lakh crore. Read more

Founders of PhonePe (L to R): Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari


Startup Spotlight

Providing tasty protein snacks for children

Jaipur-based startup Gladful was started by Parul Sharma and her brother Manu Sharma in 2020 to create protein food and snacking products, with a special focus on children.

Gladful makes snacks out of wholewheat, unrefined cane sugar, and does not use ammonia in its products. The snacks provide 7-8 grams of protein per serving, says Parul. Read more.


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Before you go, stay inspired with… 

Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder and Chairman, UpGrad

“Lifelong learning, upskilling, and career enhancements can no longer be the right of only those who can afford it.” 

Ronnie Screwvala, Chairperson and Co-founder, upGrad


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