Remdesivir maker BDR Pharma eyes IPO, India MSME Summit is back, and other top SMB stories of the week
This week, SMBstory also covered the story of Jasmeet Bhatia, who cooked a success story for his four-decade-old cookware brand Black Magnum by leveraging technology.
While the COVID-19 pandemic came as a surprise for many in India, Mumbai-basedwas already prepared to deal with the situation.
There were two reasons. First, it was already producing Remdesivir—used to treat COVID-19 in hospitalised patients—because the drug was also used in the treatment of the Ebola virus, which broke out in Africa in 2013.
Second, the company was already monitoring the situation in China in the early days of the pandemic, which helped it equip itself better when India’s turn to face the pandemic came.
“We had all the capabilities,” Dharmesh Shah, Chairman and Managing Director, BDR Pharma, tells SMBStory.
The demand for Remdesivir, which was developed by Gilead Sciences, grew overnight amid the pandemic. BDR says that at one point in time, it was producing over eight lakh units a month, with one batch taking about 80 hours to complete.
This is how the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) manufacturing company became a key player in the fight against the pandemic.
The company has now garnered investor interest. Recently, BDR received funding of Rs 685 crore from Multiples Private Equity by diluting 9.3 percent of the equity at a valuation of Rs 7,365 crore.
BDR Pharma plans to use the fresh funds to build a facility in the US, start manufacturing some complex molecules and get into biosimilars (an identical copy of the original product manufactured by a different company), a move expected to put BDR Pharma in the same league as Indian pharma giants such as Biocon, Cipla, Dr Reddy’s, and more.
It is also eyeing an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the next three to four years.
In the early 70s, Jasmeet Bhatia’s grandfather Kuldip Singh Bhatia started a business dealing in large stock pots in Jalandhar, Punjab. A couple of years later, in 1972, Jasmeet’s father PS Bhatia joined him and took this nascent business to the next level to streamline operations and gave it a formal name Black Magnum.
Starting with just one product—a pressure cooker—today, Black Magnum is a 150 SKU-strong brand that manufactures all its products and is available in 12 categories across India.
“Pressure cookers were widely in demand in the 70s, and my father started the business in the same category. He would manufacture pressure cookers as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and supply to South India,” says Jasmeet in an interaction with SMBStory.
Pressure cookers were so popular that they even reached the Indian defence sector, where PS Bhatia would supply thousands of pieces each year to the Indian Army messes. From then on, for around 20 years, Black Magnum ran as a B2B brand with a small presence in retail.
In 2010, after Jasmeet joined his father in the business, the duo started exploring the retail market. Jasmeet says the initial journey was challenging as the lack of a sound marketing strategy left the brand with little recognition in the offline space despite being in the market for long.
According to Statista, the cookware industry is growing by 6.67 percent annually, and several players have ramped up to scale their operations to cater to the modern consumer’s demand. The Indian cookware market is dominated by well-established players like TTK Prestige, Wonderchef, Hawkins, and more, and Jasmeet had his task cut out to carve a niche for Black Magnum.
The India MSME Summit is back!
For the last four years, YourStory’s SMBStory has been at the forefront, bringing its readers inspiring success stories of Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other homegrown companies.
Now, it is that time of the year again when we organise our India MSME Summit. To be held between June 21-27, 2022, the week-long event will see speakers cutting across domains share insights and information on a sector that has braved one of its most testing times in recent years.
Industry stakeholders, associations, government bodies, and entrepreneurs will also examine factors that have been working so far and those that need deep reflection.
As the world slowly resets itself post two brutal years of a global pandemic, and enters a whole new era, our theme for this summit is ‘Beyond Resilience’.
The MSME sector comprises over 63 million enterprises spread across the country, contributing a little over 30 percent to the nation’s GDP. And yet, many of these enterprises were disproportionately affected by pandemic-related shocks.
Edited by Suman Singh