Pharmaceutical Majors Lost Rs 80L On Couriers

Ahmedabad, April 24: | Updated: Apr 25 2003, 05:30am hrs
Both large and small enterprises in Gujarat heaved a sigh of relief as the 10-day old truckers strike came to an end on Thursday. While it is estimated that leading pharma players such as Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Zydus Cadila, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Sarabhai Pharma and Intas, all based in the state, lost around Rs 70-80 lakh by way of using air courier services alone to transport life-saving and essential drugs to various parts of the country, others like small chemical and engineering units not only had to down their shutters.

The C&F agent for Cipla and Zydus Cadila told FE between them they shelled out Rs 40 lakh on courier services. Further, supplies of non-essential drugs had come to a virtual standstill and there was a palpable fear that continuation of the strike could have even crippled production. Even though the strike is over, it will take at least a day or two to regularise supplies, the agent said.

Vadilal, a major player in the ice-cream arena, had to stop production since the past three days on account of the strike. Says Vadilal group managing director Rajesh Gandhi, on an average, our daily sales during the Summer is around Rs 50 lakh per day, and that we had to suffer considerable loss over the past three days. However, though sales within Gujarat were not affected significantly since the company has its own delivery vans, the long distance supplies were badly hit.

Soft drink concentrate major Rasna too faced problems with despatch during the strike and though CEO Piruz Khambata did not quantify the exact amount of loss, he maintained that production did not suffer much since the company had enough supplies of raw materials.

But it was the SMEs which bore the brunt of the strike with Ahmedabad Engineering Association president Dahyabhai Patel pegging losses to the foundaries at over Rs 300 crore largely because of severe shortage of raw materials.

Exports from the Vatva industrial area, which has over 1,800 units comprising chemical, engineering, plastics and ceramics units, suffered major losses due to cancellation of export orders. The ceramics heartland of Morbi in Rajkot also came to a grinding halt and have lost over Rs 200 crore due to the strike.