"Ami Lifesciences emphasizes on niche molecules rather than generic ones, so as to create expertise in the complex generics with fewer players and greater demand in terms of technological advancement. An important milestone is that this year we will be adding our biological division, inoculating our focus on niche molecule."

Girish Chovatia

CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, AMI LIFE SCIENCES

April 01, 2020

Could you introduce Ami Life Sciences to our international audience, highlighting your most recent developments?

Ami Lifesciences Pvt Ltd started in 2006 in the API domain and since then, we have been growing year on year at a rate of around 25%. Our presence internationally spans to 52 countries, currently employing 900 people, and relying on four factories in India. We are a generic API manufacturer, partnering with innovator companies like Sanofi, ABC Pharmaceutics, TRB, or Dainippon in Japan.  Our facility is EU-GMP certified, complying with all GMP requirements. Ami Lifesciences focuses on targeting markets with a high population such as Japan, China, Brazil, Egypt, Iran, and EU countries. Ami Lifesciences is currently working in 11 therapeutic categories, with a major focus on anti-diabetic, pain management, CNS and respiratory. Ami Lifesciences emphasizes on niche molecules rather than generic ones, so as to create expertise in the complex generics with fewer players and greater demand in terms of technological advancement. An important milestone is that this year we will be adding our biological division, inoculating our focus on niche molecule. Our strategy is to focus on high value, low volume molecules. We are in the process of expanding are facilities to cater to the incremental needs of our customers.

In what proportions do you supply to the domestic market compared to export markets?

The conventional axiom is that business should get easy and fast money. Ami Lifesciences is generating 50% of its revenue from the domestic market though having less sales value compared to the export market sales because of the loyalty and love we hold for our own population. In the future, the proportion may change to 80% exports, but India will not be neglected.

What is your strategy of consolidating in the different countries of export?

To establish a network in any of those 52 countries we first need to create a brand recognition and awareness of our presence in our target market. We do so by popularising one product, say a simple molecule for cough and cold, which is a common disease. High sales from a single molecule spread the name of the company. Later, we follow with the introduction of more complex molecules in the same country, steadily building the reputation to cater the needs of our customers.

China represents one of Ami’s export markets for APIs. Considering the dynamics between Indian imports and China, how do you, as an Indian manufacturer, compete with Chinese products?

Before 1985, Europe was exporting APIs to India, but now this flow has reversed. In a similar way, three years ago, India was importing APIs from China and now, Indian companies are exporting to China. One of the reasons of this reversed scenario is adding up the number of knowledgeable scientists and pharmacists each year in India. Furthermore, Chinese manufacturers have curtailed mass production due to environmental issues. With standardised and stringent global regulatory requirements, the same norms apply to all the producers in the world. In China, the pharmaceutical and chemical industry contributes 3% to their GDP, but account for 37% of pollution. Because of this, the Chinese government is focusing more on engineering and digital industries. But in India, the pharmaceutical and chemical industry takes a more central stage because of concentrated talent, raw material availability and the capacity to deliver.

How is Ami Lifesciences different in approaching environmental protection measures?

Ami Lifesciences manufactures APIs based on enzymatic chemistry where there is less pollution and less solid waste. As a leader of the pharmaceutical industry, we like to make advanced predictions for the future, thinking ten years ahead in every decision. We are ahead in the curve of adopting the latest technology such as our soil-based water treatment technology, biological treatment, spray dryers etc. There is a common misunderstanding that waste water can only be processed using more (fresh) water, but we believe this is a waste in itself. So, to purify the waste water, soil-based treatment is our preferred option. Environment is a top priority for us.

Due to low entry barriers, pharmaceuticals are a competitive market. How does Ami employ innovation to stay ahead in this market?

Our main strategy is to focus on the latest technological advancements and implementation of non-conventional technology, by adopting enzymatic and biological routes, as well as automation and semi-automation in our processes. As long as we are selling good quality APIs at affordable prices which benefits our patients, we don’t concentrate on filling patents.

What is the vision of Ami Lifesciences in a 10 years timeframe?

Our vision is simple: to be a billion-dollar company by 2024. We have been partnering with so many multinational companies from North and Latin America, Asia, and Europe, and now we are targeting emerging markets.

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