Fastest Growing Companies 2019

The Keymakers

With a powerful client base and an all-in-one package, the contract R&D firm Syngene is galloping ahead and now even into manufacturing 

When explaining the core business of Syngene International, its CEO, Jonathan Hunt, offers an interesting analogy. “Think of it as a lock and key. We first spend time understanding the lock (i.e. the disease), and then design the key (i.e. medicine). This is really the first step to building a new medicine and the journey can take about ten years,” he says. With its strong capabilities in discovery and development, Syngene offers its clients a time-saving and cost-efficient way for conducting their research and development (R&D). 

The Bengaluru-based company was incorporated in 1993 as a subsidiary of Biocon and started off as a contract research organisation (CRO) with services in chemistry and biology. Over the past 25 years, it has expanded into a leading CRO, which offers R&D programmes ranging from lead generation to clinical supplies (see: The complete package). The company has about 4,000 scientists operating out of their 1,300,000 sq ft CRO facility in India, serving about 331 clients globally. Its prestigious client list — comprising but not restricted to pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, animal health and agrochemicals -— includes leading global firms such as Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), Zoetis, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Abbott, Baxter International, Herbalife Nutrition and Amgen. 

“Our clients judge us by the company we keep and the ‘company’ we keep are of world leaders in their field,” says Hunt. Over the past five years, the company sales has grown at a CAGR of 22% to Rs.18.26 billion in FY19. In the same period, net profit grew at 20% to Rs.3.3 billion (see: Healthy growth).

The company derives about 95% of the revenue coming from international markets such as the US, Europe and Japan. From its closing price of Rs.310.40 on its listing date, August 11 in 2015, the stock price has grown by more than 93% to Rs.600.4

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