Abbott takes ban in its stride, to stick to Make in India

  • Himani Chandna, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 17, 2016 16:44 IST
Abbott’s top over-the-counter brands in nutrition category includes PediaSure, Similac, NeoSure and SimMom among others. (Shutterstock photo)

Abbott, which moved to high court on Tuesday to challenge the ban on its codeine-based cough syrup, plans to ramp up its participation in the country’s flagship programme, ‘Make In India’, and bring its top selling over- the- counter (OTC) nutrition brands to India. According to market analysts, Abbott currently produces almost 70% of its OTC and pharma products in India.

“Our focus in India is to manufacture some of our key brands locally. We have also invested $75 million to set up a green-field manufacturing facility in India to increase local procurement,” Amal Kelshikar, country head, nutrition, Abbott India told HT.

The company’s top OTC brands in nutrition category includes PediaSure, Similac, NeoSure and SimMom among others.

Abbott had in 2015 revealed that it has invested over Rs 25,600 crore in India over the last five years. India is the third largest market for Abbott, behind the US and China, contributing just over $1 billion in sales. Moreover, as many other pharma giants such as Sun Pharma and Glaxo SmithKline are finding, nutrition is among the fastest growing businesses in India.

In the full-year 2015, Abbott’s global nutrition sales totalled $6.98 billion against total global sales of $20.41 billion -- or about 35%. “Our nutrition business has grown well over the past three years, registering a consistent double-digit growth year-on-year. This growth has come at a time under conditions which led to some slowing down of the market,” said Kelshikar. He did not give absolute growth figures.

As it tries to localise product offerings, Abbott India has engaged its nutrition research centre in Bengaluru to work with its manufacturing plant in Gujarat . The centre focuses on product design, development and delivery specifically for the Indian consumer, with emphasis on local tastes and preferences as well as nutritional needs.

According to IMS Health data, the organised nutrition market in India stood at Rs 6,433 crore in 2015 and factors such as increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases, high numbers of premature births, anaemia among pregnant women, toddlers trailing on developmental milestones etc have created a need for specific, clinically proven nutrition products.

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