Co-founder & Director, Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited
The growing prevalence in chronic diseases and the expanding geriatric population has sparked an urgent need for medical products that can reach the market swiftly and gain regulatory approval promptly. As a result, the demand for pharmaceuticals and CDMO services in India is experiencing a remarkable surge. The CDMO outsourcing market is expanding in tandem with the robust growth of the pharmaceutical sector. Notably, the API manufacturing segment is likely to exhibit the fastest growth rate during the forecast period in India.
Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly opting for full-service CDMO outsourcing to simplify their supply chains and accelerate time to market for their products. With its impressive growth rate, cost-effective R&D and manufacturing, and a skilled workforce, India is poised to become a key player in the global pharmaceutical CDMO industry. By leveraging its strengths, pharmaceutical companies can optimise their operations, streamline their supply chains, and bring innovative products to market more efficiently.
The market opportunity for CDMO business is significant. The global CDMO market size is expected to reach USD 278.98 billion by 2026. CDMOs offer a number of advantages to pharmaceutical companies, including: access to specialised expertise and resources, reduced risk and cost, and increased speed to market. As the pharmaceutical industry continues to evolve, the demand for CDMOs is expected to grow. CDMOs are well-positioned to capitalise on this growth by providing innovative and cost-effective solutions to pharmaceutical companies.
This requires a high level of manufacturing expertise, which CDMOs can provide.The rising regulatory requirements are also driving the growth of the CDMO market. The pharmaceutical industry is subject to a number of regulations, which can be complex and time-consuming to comply with. CDMOs can help pharmaceutical companies to comply with these regulations, which can free up resources to focus on other areas of the business.The consolidation of the pharmaceutical industry is another key trend that will driving the growth of the CDMO market. As the pharmaceutical industry consolidates, larger pharmaceutical companies are increasingly outsourcing their manufacturing to CDMOs. This is because CDMOs can offer a more cost-effective and efficient manufacturing solution.
Akums is planning to expand its capacity for injectable even further this year which will drive significant business volume for the company in the future.
The company is setting up another nutraceutical facility to tap the growing market of sports nutrition, medical nutrition, and daily well-being. Globally, the nutraceuticals market is over USD 350 Bn and India is witnessing a steep growth. We have several domestic as well as global nutraceutical and wellness brands associated with Akums. Thus, the growth looks equally promising.
The company plans to aggressively foray into the global markets across APIs, finished pharmaceuticals dosages, as well as nutraceuticals. Akums facilities are approved by global regulatory authorities for supply in 75+ countries, across Europe, CIS, South East Asia and Africa. In the next 5 years, exports will be a major focus for the company and it will contribute to the growth of Akums in a considerable way.
Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients is a growth vertical for Akums. Started as a new business unit in FY2022-23, the unit clocked USD 25 Mn in sales in the initial year. With growing importance of global API supply chain robustness and focus on Indian API industry by the government and the companies across the world,Akums is geared to grow well in the space.
The company plans to enter into niche dosage forms (e.g., lyophilized injectables, nasal sprays, gummies etc.) as well as newer therapeutic areas (e.g., oncology, niche anti-infectives, peptides etc.). These differentiated dosage forms will position Akums as one the key CDMOs in Asian and global markets.
We are in talks with our partners abroad. In 2022, we got the European Union’s (EU) stringent Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) stamp of approval for two of our units in Haridwar. Our plan to focus on Europe is based on the strength of our products internationally. Moreover, most of our existing clients in India have their presence abroad. We have several plans in the pipeline and are working on strategic partnerships to venture into the global market. Akums generates 3/4th of its revenue from formulation CDMO business.
We are constantly working on expanding at our current sites to install new capacities, upgrade new machinery as well as bottleneck capacity. At present, we are working to enhance our capacities of tablets, ampoules, vials, oral liquids, eye drops, and nutraceuticals.
We have signed an MOU with SGT University, Gurugram, to provide a platform for students wherein they can engage in experiential learning, get hands-on training, and experience live research projects of the pharmaceutical industry, and most importantly, have access to placement opportunities at Akums. With the collaboration, we aim to foster a bridge between academia and industry by providing them access to the necessary resources and guidance. Through such initiatives, we want to make the next-generation of pharmacy students future-ready so that they areable to contribute to the growth of our country.
We are currently evaluating when to go public. We are still firming up our plans and timelines.Akums has always been open for meaningful acquisition opportunities.
We ventured into API with the acquisition of Parabolic Drugs. We recently acquired the infrastructure of Ankur Drugs. We are also currently open for expansion in injectables, oncology, and niche drug delivery technologies.
Our current turnover is of over Rs 4,000 crore. With the rising demand in the Indian pharma sector, we are aiming to grow our business at a CAGR of 12-15% over the coming five years.