Sanofi reinvigorates India business, with eye on higher growth

Sanofi reinvigorates India business, with eye on higher growth

French drugmaker Sanofi is giving fresh impetus to its India business with a new strategy that seeks to do full justice to the enormous size and potential growth opportunity in the market.

The company has outlined an ‘India for India’ strategy, where it will focus on diabetes, consumer health, a combination of product innovation, supply localisation, and strategic partnerships, along with an overhaul of its go-to-market strategy.

Rodolfo Hrosz, managing director of Sanofi India, said the strategy is beginning to pay off for the company with better financials in the fourth quarter of calendar 2022 and the first quarter of 2023.

Sanofi India revenues stood at Rs 2,770 crore in 2022, down 6% year on year. The India formulation revenues account over three-fourths, or Rs 2,110 crore. The India formulation business remained flat. Sanofi’s consumer healthcare business’ annual turnover for 2022 stood at Rs 730 crore.

Sanofi follows calendar year for reporting its finances.

Hrosz, who took over the India business in June last year, said he saw that the company has been facing growth challenges despite its strong legacy, popular brands such as Allegra, Avil, Combiflam, and in general medicines Lantus (long acting insulin), and anticonvulsant medication Frisium, among others.

“When I joined, one of the challenges was a fragmented operation with multiple focuses,” the Brazilian told ET in an interview. “We were also extremely focused in adhering to the global strategies of the group. But then, in that process, we didn’t take full advantage of some of the local opportunities that exist in the market.”To cut the slack, simplify processes, and become agile to the local market needs, Sanofi India has undertaken a series of measures. It has reduced its business units from eight to three – diabetes, consumer health and transplants & cardiology.

Hrosz believes that fewer business units with broader portfolios allows the company to better serve healthcare practitioners with a wider range of related products, while improving the company’s reach and presence.

Sanofi last week has announced that its board has approved the demerger of its consumer healthcare business into a separate legal entity, to allow it to have independence to pursue its growth strategies.

Hrosz said the company has no plans to divest consumer health business in India.

He said Sanofi is more responsive to unique Indian market requirements.

It has received approval in India to launch its anti-diabetes drug Soliqua, which is a pre-mixed insulin analogue, suitable for the Indian population, Hrosz said.

Sanofi is also looking at expanding its commercial network, and is open to possible partnerships to expand the reach of its products in the country, he said.

“India is a large country. We have life-saving products. We want to find ways to cater to many more Indians than we do today,” Hrosz said.

(With inputs from health)