India is expected to double pharmaceutical exports in the next two years, with the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) eyeing overseas sales worth Rs 1,22,500 crore ($25 billion) by the end of 2013-14. The figure stood at around $10 billion in 2010-11.
To achieve this ambitious target, exports would need to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 34%, which is much above the 15% growth rate in the last five years.
"We will have to explore new markets other than US and Europe to meet the $25-billion export target," said NR Munjal, chairman, Pharmexcil and president, Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association.
At present, the US is India's largest market for pharmaceutical export with a 22% share, followed by the UK (4%) and Germany (3.5%).
"The focus will be on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and we will encourage them to export their products," said Munjal.
There are around 10,500 drug manufacturers in the pharmaceutical sector and around 70% of them are SMEs. However major drug makers such as Dr. Reddy's, Sun Pharmaceutical, Lupin, Ranbaxy, Zydus Cadila dominate the Indian pharmaceutical export market due to their strong marketing network and better knowledge of rules and regulations.
"Countries such as Japan and China and regions such as North Africa, West Asia and Latin America offer immense potential for Indian exporters," said a pharma analyst at a global consultancy. "High healthcare expenditure and rising population make these countries a lucrative market for Indian drug exporters."