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We must further improve ease of doing business reduce number of licences, permissions: Adar Poonawalla

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on September 09, 2019 Published on September 09, 2019

Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India

There is a need to further improve ease of doing business with more single window clearances and online regulatory reforms. Fair trade practices are needed so that foreign and Indian companies have a level playing field and foreign companies don’t just dump their products in the Indian market without creating any jobs, Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd, told BusinessLine in an interview. Serum is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally. Excerpts:

Serum plans to expand its presence in the market. Can you share details of the new venture?

The new manufacturing unit in Manjri ( Pune) is spread across 2 million sq feet and it aims to create 3,000 jobs with a manufacturing capacity of half a billion doses.

It is built in compliance with the American and European vaccine manufacturing regulations and we plan to export vaccines to 150 countries across European and American markets.

Vaccines will also be made available in the Indian market. This is a new site I have been working for four years. This 45-acre facility is the first of its kind in India because it is the single largest site for producing vaccines for developed markets.

Why did you decide to reinvest in India?

We have manufacturing units in the Czech Republic and Holland. Instead of reinvesting there, we are encouraged and feel very confident of reinvesting more here as part of ‘Make in India’ and create jobs here rather than abroad where the environment is not as good.

We may have difficulties and need to improve on reducing permissions and licences, but still India is my preferred destination for investment and building capabilities and capacities. We are a global company and we do manufacture in other countries. Five per cent of our production is overseas and 95 per cent is in India.

What are the steps the government must take to improve ‘Make in India’ ?

We can further improve ease of doing business with more single window and online regulatory reforms, which will give a further push to launching new and innovative vaccines, creating more employment as well as grow exports.

Also, we need to make foreign companies follow the same process as Indian companies do to do business here. I am speaking to NITI Aayog and others to have a relook at foreign companies that don’t create jobs. They should not just come and dump their product in Indian market without any job creation.

Affordability of vacancies has been debated for long. What is your opinion on it?

Companies have to sustain and we must differentiate between being profitable and making profit.

Better healthcare and immunisation cover for children across the world is a cause that is very close to my heart. Both in the Indian and international markets, Serum aims to provide necessary vaccine cover with ease of access and at affordable prices.

Published on September 09, 2019
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