By tapping tech and innovation, this company is spearheading the pharma industry
Sushant Raorane and Ajit Marathe are veterans in the pharmaceutical industry. They were classmates in college, but pursued different paths soon after.
Seven years later, a chance encounter between Sushant and Ajit’s wife Supriya set the ball rolling for their company. Sushant and Ajit saw several gaps in the pharma industry and decided to launch a healthcare marketing consultancy, and launchedLimited in 2011.
Sushant Raorane, Co-founder & Director, Adroit Biomed Limited
Running a consultancy gave them success but the company remained hidden in the market. Sushant says while they were helping other companies build brand value, they soon realised that they were not creating something long lasting for themselves.
Hence, they transitioned from a mere consultancy firm to a company that focusses on skincare and nutraceutical range of products.
Sushant and Ajit started operations from a small space. There were 20 people in the team and were able to reach out to people in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Mumbai, and Karnataka.
As the company was being run by first time entrepreneurs with limited experience and exposure, there were many challenges.
Sushant particularly mentions that Bank of Maharashtra helped them overcome several cash flow gaps effectively. In addition, a capital of Rs 10 crore (in a span of five years) was invested in the Mumbai-based business by way of debt, investment from friends, and seed funding.
The second challenge was to have manufacturing facilities.
Sushant explains, “It was a strategic call. Our requirements are extremely diverse. We need nine to 10 different forms of dosages, each of which requires a unique set up.”
Sushant says that in a strategic move, instead of setting up a manufacturing unit, they decided to tie up with units across the country. Today, the business has tied up with eight manufacturing units in Nasik, Mumbai, and Hyderabad.
The skincare industry in India is a decrowd market. According to a report released by Redseer Consulting in 2017, the Indian cosmetics industry is expected to grow to approximately $20 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of 25 percent.
Sushant adds that competition in the sector is immense. Abbott, Glenmark, Curatio, and Sun Pharma are some big companies operating in the space.
However, product related innovation and technology are two strengths that have given the company a competitive edge, according to Sushant.
A few innovations by the company that paid off include a bolus dose of Vitamin C in effervescent formulation (tangy drink), which has specifically worked wonders in the current times of coronavirus. Sushant also claims that because of this product, Adroit Biomed Ltd. is the third-largest player in the Vitamin C segment in India after US-based Abbott Laboratories and London-based GSK.
The brand also launched another product, an antioxidant called Glutathione, in collaboration with a Japanese manufacturer, Kyowa Hakko Bio Co. Limited.
Another breakthrough by the company came when it launched an oral moisturiser. Moisturisers are always seen as a cream and lotion synonymous with physical application. Adroit Biomed launched a tablet that helps in moisturising the body from head to toe, and claims to be among the pioneers in the field.
Sushant says despite the market being crowded, having an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the industry helped the company in staying ahead in the competition, and some overseas partnerships have helped the company in bringing expertise from the West.
All the hard work and dedication seems to have paid off as the company clocked a turnover of Rs 45 crore in FY 19-20. And from 20, the team size has now grown to 145 people.
In addition, the company sells online through Clickoncare.com, and has a distribution network of 500 stockists, and 10,000+ chemists and pharmacies across the country.
The way forward
Coronavirus pandemic has opened several opportunities for pharmaceutical companies. Sushant says that two things he is particularly looking forward to in the coming times are geographical expansion and introduction of new products.
“We want to introduce a new range of products in the immunity segment because that is something whose demand will increase in the post-coronavirus era. In addition, we plan to go beyond India,” he says.
Currently, the business is eyeing the US, Europe, and Middle East countries for global expansion, he says.