BMGI India offers expertise is improving efficiencies in strategy, innovation, problem solving and business transformation.
BMGI India operates across many different industries and as part of a global company. Could you briefly introduce BMGI India and outline the importance attributed to the pharmaceutical sector?
BMGI is sector agnostic and operates four service lines. One is strategic planning and strategy deployment, whereby the company assists large firms in deploying their strategies. The second is innovation, assisting firms in deploying innovation practices. The third line is problem solving in several forms; BMGI handles complex problems and challenges that organizations find difficult to address. For example, we assist companies with mega-change techniques and statistical problem solving technqiues to assist them in making significant improvements to their operations and achieving cost reduction. BMGI also provides various e-learning platforms for enabling firms and their employees to learn problem solving methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma. The fourth line of service is business transformation, where BMGI assists firms in significant changes including setting up a new business. We mainly work with larger firms, but we also work with aspirational medium and small firms who are wanting to scale up rapidly and improve their operations.
In what ways can BMGI assist companies in their growth plans?
One way to expand a business is to add new product lines. Another is to improve processes using the existing CapEx, which is where we can help. If a line has a throughput of a certain number of capsules or tablets, BMGI would examine this line and identify ways to optimize the operational parameters and improve the throughput of the line, usually achieving results of a 10% to 25% increase. Additionally, BMGI can help improve product yields, such as an increase in API yields from 94% to 95% up to 98% to 99%. Improving sales productivity is another dimension the company assists with. We also specialise in supply chains optimization and offer services for process efficiency improvements.
How is India’s competitiveness changing in light of shifting global pharmaceutical dynamics?
India is definitely very competitive compared to other countries; the cost structure is 33% to 50% lower in certain areas than in other parts of the world. While China has increased in competitiveness in many ways, India holds a significant advantage in its knowledge capital. The combination of high intellect with the ability to produce cost-efficient throughputs is one of India's biggest differentiators from its competitors.
India has largely been a follower in patent processes but there is an awakening in India regarding the concept of innovation and several MNCs are trying to set up innovation hubs in India. Due to the patent cliff, India’s pharmaceutical industry, which is mainly in generics, is facing large price pressures due to a substantially lower number of molecules to pursue. As a result, Indian firms are moving towards specialty generics and improving their work in this area. There may not be new innovator products emerging in India at this time but there are many examples of CRO and speciality drugs being attempted.
What has caused India to take so long to embrace innovation when it comes to drug discovery and development?
The first hindrance is time – the entire drug discovery process takes about 12 to 24 years. The second is the cost involved. Ease of innovation can be improved significantly by availability of financial, regulatory and technological resources. Many companies are currently attempting to acquire innovation rather than develop their own processes or molecules as it is not very easy for them to innovate at this time.
How far does the government’s Draft Pharmaceutical Policy go in addressing the needs of the market?
The intent and desire to make healthcare more affordable and to improve the quality and reliability of products are brilliant. However, although the principles and direction are principally right, the lack of detail and directional thought have caused the principles to come into conflict. A lot of deliberation and discussion between the government parties and industry players needs to take place to properly implement these changes. Both the organized and unorganized sectors need to be focused on creating pathways for improvement. If more time is spent on having these discussions, the results should be positive.
Could you provide some examples of the main challenges that BMGI helps its clients address?
Most pharmaceutical companies that are trying to improve cost and operational efficiency. We are seeing interest in yield improvement, throughput improvement, productivity improvement and cost reduction in raw materials as focus areas. For example, a company requested BMGI's services for manpower productivity in this area and, after conducting several studies on their operations, we identified opportunities for optimizing and integrating their work processes. Within a six-month time frame, we improved their manpower productivity by 20%.