Thanks to Prof. Tarun Khanna of Harvard Business School for this interview with Pharma Paragon Dr.Yusuf Hamied. This interview was held in 2013 and Dr.Hamied had prophesied that in 2020, India will feel the real impact of patent law. In view of that he had said that he would be willing to pay the originator the suitable compensation but India should not be deprived of newer drugs and be at the mercy of the innovators. To keep up to his words Dr.Hamied has gone into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc. for the manufacturing and distribution of Remdesivir. Under this agreement, Cipla can manufacture the API and the finished formulation and market it in 127 countries under its own brand name. This effort made by Dr.Hamied has an humanitarian angle to save lives of patients suffering from the current pandemic.
Arjun Deshpande two years back, when he was 16, came up with this idea of aggregating pharmacies to source generic drugs directly from WHO GMP approved manufacturing facilities. This would eliminate the wholesaler’s margin plus offer the economies of generic pricing. He started with bootstrapping and today Ratan Tata has personally invested 50% stake in his venture named ‘Generic Aadhaar’.
Currently, he has 30 retailers and has plans to roll out 1000 pharmacies all across India. Ratan Tata is so impressed with Arjun’s entrepreneurial skills that he not only wants to partner him but also be his mentor.
Pharmacies who were in trouble due to competition from biggies as well as online channels are now with Generic Aadhaar on profit sharing model. He gives these pharmacies a face-lift under his banner and supplies generic medicines for chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Quality medicine at much more affordable price. Arjun’s start-up is poised to scale up with a purpose.
Memorabilia 7: It was Thabo Mbeki who became the second President of South Africa, after Nelson Mandela, from 1999-2008. During his tenure in office, the South African economy grew at an average rate of 4.5% per year, creating employment in the middle sectors of the economy. He also oversaw the successful building of economic bridges to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations and South Africa was inducted in 2010. I met him when he was the Chief Mediator of African Union for Sudan for which he was named the African of the Year.
Memorabilia 6: It was a mind blowing moment for me to have met Professor Dr.Salim Yusuf in Khartoum,Sudan(2017).He is World’s most-cited researcher. Prof.Yusuf’s large-scale clinical trials have had a significant impact on the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.He was the President of World College of Cardiology in 2015 and 2016. When he told me that he born in a small town in Kerala and studied his MBBS in Bangalore, I admired his simplicity.
Memorabilia 5: Today I received a piece of very good news that Ambassador Sanjay Kumar Verma has been promoted to the Secretary level at the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. He is presently Ambassador of India in Japan. My association with him goes back to Sudan during his tenure as Ambassador from 2013-2015. He was not only very popular with the Indian community but was also received very well by the Diplomatic circles and the Sudanese government and community. I will always cherish his letter of acknowledgment written to me on his departure. Wish him greater prosperity in his personal and professional life.
Memorabilia 4: We witnessed the live performance of the living legend Sonal Mansingh in Sudan on Saturday, November 4, 2006. I had the opportunity to report the event in the local English daily. Ambassador Deepak Vohra had complimented me on my write-up which he thought was not amateurish. I must mention here Mr. Deepak Vohra was “the most handsome Ambassador that India has ever had”. Today is Padma Vibhushan awardee Sonal Mansingh’s birthday. We wish her a long life, good health, and prosperity. We look forward to her regular live performances on Facebook which is so inspiring, with positivity, especially when everyone is feeling down these days.
It was only when I visited the Royal Selangor company in KL, circa 1996, that I learned what Pewter is. The designs and craftsmanship with Pewter were amazing. I still cherish the plate that was gifted to me by my colleagues from Parke Davis Malaysia. Mr. Yugal Sikri and I had represented Parke Davis India at the Asia Pharmaceutical Interchange. Mr.Sikri is currently Managing Director of RPG Life Sciences.
Memorabilia-2: During my days in Sudan, I used to meet the sisters from the Missionaries of Charity at the ‘home’ in a remote town. I was simply moved by their selfless service for mankind in a different continent. They thought I was blessed to have met Mother Teresa in Calcutta in 1988. This was her pic which I had taken at the Dermatologists’ conference, where the Mother was a Guest of Honour.