Israel Makov’s tenure as chairman of Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries has seen three acquisitions — URL Pharma, Dusa Pharmaceutical and now Ranbaxy Laboratories — and a joint venture to develop therapies for ocular diseases with US-based Intrexon. A jovial person who calls his journey with Sun “thrilling and exciting”, Makov is looking forward to more excitement. In an interview with Pallavi Ail, Makov discussed the genesis of the Ranbaxy deal and strategies for growth. Edited excerpts:
You were with Teva for about 17 years. How was it being with a world leader?
Teva’s major challenges were globalisation and profitable growth. M&As came out of it. The challenges here are the same — globalisation and continue profitable growth.
We had identified Ranbaxy. Normally, we wait for an opportunity for something like this, but Ranbaxy was not on the block. We initiated a call to Daiichi Sankyo and once they decided they were going to entertain our request, we moved in a friendly manner and in a very short time.
Now, why we identified Ranbaxy — that’s easy. First, it brought us better global reach in emerging markets and gave us the leading position in India. Instead of being No.1 in seven therapeutic categories, we are now going to be No.1 in 13. We are also getting additional product lines like antibiotics and over-the-counter medicines. We never made antibiotics; we bought them. The acquisition has also enhanced our position in the US. So, what we have is compatibility in terms of geography and product lines.
Secondly, we saw a lot of value in Ranbaxy. It used to be a very, very good company in the past. We believe the DNA of Ranbaxy is still there. Although the company is in a distressed situation, we think we will be able to help it get over these hurdles. So, it’s a perfect fit.
Ranbaxy offers you access to emerging markets and Western Europe. How important are these markets to Sun Pharma?
They are important because we want to expand our global reach. If you want to achieve profitable growth, you have to derive it from the growth of markets. Emerging markets are fast-growing markets for pharmaceutical companies. We are going to set a fantastic pace with the acquisition of Ranbaxy. In Europe, we have a small base. We want to expand it and the acquisition will help.