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From a drug distributor to global pharma tycoon

Tuesday, 8 April 2014 - 10:10am IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: dna

Dilip Shanghvi, born to a Gujarati family in a small town of Gujarat in Amreli in 1955, started Sun Pharmaceutical Industries with capital of Rs 10,000 in 1982 at Vapi.

Today, the market cap of the company is more than Rs 1.20 lakh crore, with total annual income of more than Rs 15,000 crore and a net profit of over Rs 3,000 crore.

Sun, which has so far bought over 16 companies, this year created history by acquiring Ranbaxy Labs for $4 billion and becoming world's fifth-largest pharma company.

A commerce graduate from Calcutta University, Dilip Shanghvi started by helping his father in the latter's wholesale generic drugs business in Kolkata.

He did travel to Mumbai for a year of college, but later returned to Kolkata to complete his studies. It was during his work as a drugs distributor that he thought of making his own drugs instead of selling others' products.

This started the journey of Sun Pharma, which was founded with two marketing executives and five psychiatry drugs in 1982. Back then, very few multinational drug firms would make these drugs, as their products were selling well.

The manufacture of such drugs by them was only to show their presence in the market, with not many doctors even prescribing these medicines.

Shanghvi tasted success in the very first year, when he did business of about Rs 7 lakh. Soon, he realised that he must have his own factory, so he borrowed money and set up a manufacturing unit at Vapi.

By the 1990s, the company had made its mark. In 1993, the company re-invested its entire profit of Rs 4 crore in setting up its own research centre and in the following year it hit the capital market with a public issue. At the time, the company's turnover was hovering between Rs 50 crore and Rs 60 crore. Today, that figure surpasses Rs 15,000 crore.

Shanghvi has won numerous awards and recognitions in his career. He is also CMD of Sun Pharma Advanced Research Co and chairman of the Shantilal Shanghvi Foundation.

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