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Quality medicines, made in India

business Updated: Sep 07, 2008 23:49 IST
Gaurav Choudhury
Gaurav Choudhury
Hindustan Times
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Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (RDPL) was incorporated in 1978. Its commercial production commenced in 1981 and since then the company has acquired capabilities and expertise to produce quality medicines. Its managing director RK Vashishtha spoke to Gaurav Choudhury on a range of issues. Excerpts:

How has the government’s purchase preference policy contributed to the success of RDPL?

The government framed a new purchase preference policy dated in 2006 whereby 102 drugs manufactured by central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) were covered for purchase by the ministries, departments, public sector enterprises, and autonomous bodies. This policy is applicable for a period of five years and all CPSUs have been benefited by this policy. With the policy in force, other state governments, government agencies and government companies are procuring their required medicines from the pharmaceutical public sector undertakings. Its effect on the company has been that the company’s order book is bulging and there is no dearth of orders. It has led to optimum utilisation of the installed capacities. One of the natural outcomes of this position has been on the morale of the workforce of the company, which has had a very good boost.

What are the modernisation and expansion plans of RDPL?

Subsequent to the making the plant schedule ‘M’ compliant, it was considered necessary to obtain WHO-GMP certification. This necessitated large-scale changes in the existing plant. It was taken as the right time for effecting some changes in the whole plant and an expansion-cum-modernisation plan was formulated, with a project cost of Rs. 4.51 crore.

The plan envisaged changes in the building of the plant and installation of modern and high-speed machines and sophisticated lab equipment. But shortage of funds has prevented the timely execution of the plan. There has also been unprecedented increase in the cost of steel and other building materials, adding to the cost overrun. The project cost is now Rs. 11.25 crore. But when the project is completed, the manufacturing facilities of the company will be matching the best standard of the industry.

What are the future plans of the company?

The company has embarked upon an ambitious plan to start open market sale in a big way to achieve a two pronged objective — to make it a known in the open market also and to become self reliant by decreasing dependence on government business. It is heartening to note that the trade sale has started to pick up steam and products of the company are being received enthusiastically in the market. Besides, this the company is also entering in the field of Ayurvedic medicines as quality products are not generally available in the market at reasonable rates and the confidence of the people has dwindled from the products available.

What has been its growth history and what are its projections?

The turnover of the company for 1994-95 was Rs 8.43 crore and the company earned a net profit of Rs 35.17 lakh. The year 2007-08 turnover of was Rs 94 crore and profit before tax was Rs 5.57 crore, tentatively.