Telangana State contains one of India’s most important life science clusters and its Government explains to GBR its plans to maintain the State’s rapid industrial growth.
Telangana is India’s youngest state, formed only in 2014. How has the state developed to the present day?
Being the youngest makes Telangana the most energetic too. The state achieved GSDP growth of 10.1% in 2016 to 2017, which is higher than the national growth, and the share of Telangana’s economy in national GDP has increased by seven basis points in 2016 to 2017. Our new industrial policy, which makes time bound clearances within 15 days a “right” for the investor, has set a new benchmark in transparency and efficiency and, to date, we have accorded approvals to over 4500 units, about half of which are already into commercial production. Furthermore, the entire process is based on an online self-certification mechanism. It is thus no surprise that we have consistently ranked number one on the World Bank’s EODB ranking of all Indian states. The state’s capital city, Hyderabad, has been ranked as the top Indian city on Mercer’s Quality of Living index consistently from 2014 onwards. The top four most-valued companies in the world – Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook – have set up their largest technology development centres in Hyderabad outside of their headquarters in the USA. Equally, illustrious names figure as investors in the manufacturing sector, such as Boeing in the aerospace sector, and a host of top companies in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences sectors.
How diversified is Telangana’s economy and how important is the life sciences industry in driving development and economic impact?
Telangana has been the front runner in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology in India. The state is home to the country’s first and the largest systematically-developed life sciences cluster, the Genome Valley, which houses about 200 companies with a rich mix of home grown and international companies. On the other hand, Telangana has a dominant position in the pharmaceutical sector with nearly 200 bulk drug and intermediate manufacturer units and 400 formulation units. 49 of India’s 169 U.S. FDA approved facilities are in Telangana. 30% of the medicines exported to the United States from India are made in Telangana with total exports amounting to an estimated Rs. 32,600 crores per annum out of total production of 65,200 crores per annum. Hence, Hyderabad has come to be recognized as the “Pharma Capital of India” and is home to several world-renowned pharmaceutical companies. The life sciences sector in the Hyderabad cluster overall achieved a CAGR of 13.5% and exports registered a growth of 17.3% since 2010, which is the highest among the three major pharmaceutical locations of India: Hyderabad, Bangalore in Karnataka and Mumbai-Pune in Maharashtra.
Telangana recently announced a life sciences infrastructure fund. Could you elaborate?
With an initial corpus of about Rs. 1000 crores, The Life Sciences Infrastructure Fund is the first fund of its kind in the country, dedicated to the creation of specialized infrastructure, including sophisticated modular plug-and-play infrastructure, for the life sciences industry. The fund is established in partnership with Cerestra Advisors, a private equity firm which specializes in life sciences and education infrastructure. As global life sciences companies prefer asset-light business models and are insistent upon long-term leases for their facilities, the government believes that the fund will be a game-changer and accelerate the growth of life sciences sector in the country.
In terms of available resources, in what ways is the government developing the state’s workforce through initiatives such as the Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK)?
Telangana is home to educational and research institutions of international repute and is a magnet for national talent. The government is cognizant of the need to align the curriculum with the needs of the industry. The state’s Skill Development Policy is on the anvil, with focus on increasing the employability of the youth. TASK is a not-for-profit institute of the Government of Telangana which aims to offer quality human resources and services to the industry. Life sciences is one of the major focus segments of TASK and a number of programs are already being conducted.
What are the plans in the pipeline for further development of the life sciences sector?
In order to accelerate growth and respond to the changing global environment for pioneering pharmaceutical manufacturing investments and R&D, Telangana is also developing a first-of-its-kind Pharma City, spread across 14,000 acres at international standards with its thrust on bulk drugs and formulations. With concepts like Zero Liquid Discharge, a common effluent treatment facility, regulatory enclave, 24/7 water and power supply, dedicated land for social infrastructure like housing, entertainment and commerce, the cluster promises to be a highly environment-friendly ecosystem. More importantly, the cluster will have N-block environmental clearance making it easy for the individual industries to set up units directly without having to seek any separate clearances. We are confident that the Hyderabad Pharma City will help our companies become more cost competitive in the international market and reemphasize India’s position in the global market.
In addition, a first-of-its-kind park for Medical Devices & Electronics has been launched with a focus on medical innovations, R&D and manufacturing. The overall ecosystem for the life sciences sector coupled with the government’s unmatched commitment to enabling ease, quality and cost of doing business, makes Telangana the most attractive and unmatchable destination for life sciences companies.