The Power Of I 2017

Master Innovator

Vishnukant Bhutada’s big bet on oncology has catapulted Shilpa Medicare into the global generics space

Photographs by Ra Chandroo

An Rs.800 crore success story woven out of a small town like Raichur — this was the vision of a first generation entrepreneur, Vishnukant Bhutada, managing director of drug manufacturer Shilpa Medicare. 30 years of being in business, Shilpa is among the leading suppliers of oncology APIs in the world with eight manufacturing plants and three R&D centres. When most pharma companies rushed to the US, the biggest pharma market, Bhutada took a different route choosing the rest of the world to establish its global footprint. After firmly establishing itself in Europe, Japan and other markets, the company made its foray into the US last year. While Europe forms the largest chunk of Shilpa Medicare’s revenues, its recent entry into the US markets is all set to push the company into a higher growth trajectory

The 30-year-old Shilpa Medicare’s shiny new corporate office in Raichur is less than a year old. With a population of 2.3 lakh, Raichur is known for its flourishing agricultural trade and gold mines. It is this town of Raichur that helped Vishnukant Bhutada build a business worth over Rs.5,000 crore.

Although, Hyderabad, the nearest metro city from Raichur, is less than 200 km away he happily stuck to Raichur, his hometown. “I wanted to develop the region where I grew up,” he says.  

Shilpa Medicare, which manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients — API (used to make formulations) and formulations (the process that leads to the final medicinal product) across three major segments — oncology API, non-oncology API and custom synthesis. With a strong position in the oncology segment, the company has developed around 54 APIs and an almost equal number of formulations, 80% of which are oncology related. So far, the company has filed around 175 patents. Shilpa Medicare supplies to leading global players in regulated markets such as Europe and Japan. The company is now all set to make its foray into the US, which promises to kick off its next leg of growth. 

Medicine man
Born into a family that was traditionally engaged in cotton trading, Bhutada, as a

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