Biocon’s revenue from its India-centric branded formulations business grew 52% year-on-year in the April-June quarter, driven by products for treatment of diabetes and cancer. Biocon’s chairman and managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw tells FE’s Ajay Sukumaran that with the business picking up momentum, she expects the brands to gain market share and start contributing to a bigger share of revenues. Edited excerpts:
How do you see the company’s performance during Q1?
I think we have had a very good first quarter. People do not look at our R&D spend in the right perspective, especially when it is a very important indicator of how our business is doing. The more we spend on R&D, the more we can unlock greater value. And our Glargine clinical trials is a very good indicator of how well our R&D programmes are doing. If you were to then look at our business, although there was a decrease in Ebitda margins, most of it is the impact of higher R&D spend, which is good for our business from an investment point of view.
But R&D spend was higher in the previous quarter...
It was higher, but R&D spends are all linked to events, to clinical spends or to enrolment of patients. But basically what I’m trying to say is R&D spends are on the increase when you compare it to the last fiscal. I think that’s good news.
Sequentially, the company has taken a knock of 19% in net profit...
Well, ours is not a sequential business. Please understand.
What’s the business outlook for the fiscal?
The biopharma business is a very big business, we are definitely leaders in this segment. Going forward, you can see that most big pharma companies are focusing more and more on biopharma. Biocon views this as a very healthy business, which is growing well and we are in the right direction. We are confident that we will be doing well this fiscal.
The branded formulations business, which is focused on India, has done well. What has driven that?
We are focused on branded formulations as a very important growth vertical. There is a gestation timeline required when you get into branded formulations, but once you start establishing yourself in the market and once the brand gains visibility, you gain market share. Today we are the fastest growing insulin company in India. Our diabetology division — spearheaded by insulins — is doing very well, our oncology division — spearheaded by both Abraxane