10 Pharma Leaders to Know in India


Indian pharma companies provide affordable generic drugs to patients in almost all countries across the globe, hence the reason India has been dubbed ‘ the pharmacy to the world.’

Furthermore, Indian companies are increasingly involved in massive R&D projects in the biologics field and a handful of Indian biosimilars have already been approved in highly regulated international markets.

See below for PharmaBoardroom’s non-definitive list of people to know in Indian pharma.



Dilip Shanghvi

Founder: Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd

Mr Dilip Shanghvi is a first generation entrepreneur and the founder of India’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

The son of a pharmaceuticals distributor, Shanghvi borrowed $200 from his father 1983 to start making psychiatric drugs and Sun Pharma was born. Shanghvi grew Sun through a series of acquisitions, the biggest of which was the 2014 purchase of scandal-tainted rival Ranbaxy Laboratories for $4 billion.

The company is the world’s fourth largest generics maker and India’s most valuable pharma outfit with March 2017 revenues of $4.7 billion.

Mr Shanghvi has won numerous awards and recognitions, including Forbes’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2014), Economic Times’ Business Leader of the Year (2014), CNN IBN’s Indian of the Year (Business) (2011), Business India’s Businessman of the Year (2011) and Ernst and Young’s World Entrepreneur of the Year (2011). He has also been awarded the Economic Times’ Entrepreneur of the Year (2008), Business Standard’s CEO of the Year (2008) and CNBC TV 18’s First Generation Entrepreneur of the Year (2007).

Mr Shanghvi is also chairman and managing director of Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company Ltd., and chairman of the Shantilal Shanghvi Foundation. He holds a B.Com degree from the University of Calcutta.


Glenn Saldanha

Chairman & Managing Director: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Mr Glenn Saldanha is the chairman & managing director of the family-run Indian company, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. He joined in 1998 as director and took over (from his father and founder of Glenmark, Gracias Saldanha) as managing director & chairman in 2001.

As chairman & managing director of the Company, Mr Saldanha oversees all operations of the organization. During his tenure, he transformed Glenmark into a truly global organization with a commercial presence in over 80 countries. Under his leadership, Glenmark has evolved from an Indian branded generics business, into a research-driven and innovation-led organization.

Since Mr Saldanha’s takeover, the company switched focus to new drugs and biosimilars in the fields of cancer, dermatology and respiratory diseases, which it sought to monetize by partnering with big pharma companies.

Mr Saldanha’s vision is to discover, develop and take to market India’s first innovative drug.

Mr Saldanha holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Mumbai University and is an MBA from the Leonard Stern School of Business at New York University. Prior to Glenmark, he has worked with Eli Lily, USA and PriceWater House Coopers, USA.


Umang Vohra

CEO: Cipla Limited

Mr Umang Vohra, B.E., M.B.A. has been the global chief executive officer and managing director of Indian pharma company, Cipla Limited since September 2016.

After gaining degrees in engineering, marketing and finance, Mr Vohra worked with Eicher Motors, PepsiCo and Dr Reddy’s. Through his previous roles in India and the US, he has built a distinguished career with experience in several businesses and functions such as generics, finance, sales and marketing, supply chain and operations, among others.

Prior to his present role, Mr Vohra was the global chief operating officer and the global chief financial Officer of Cipla. Among his other achievements as CFO, was the successful integration of Cipla’s acquisitions in the US, thus paving the way for greater avenues of growth for Cipla in North America. He is credited with having revamped Cipla’s operations in Europe as COO thus enabling an improvement in profitability.

Read PharmaBoardroom’s recent interview with Umang Vohra.


Sharvil Pankajbhai Patel

Managing Director: Zydus Cadila

Dr Sharvil Pankajbhai Patel is the third generation Patel to lead Cadila Healthcare Limited. He has been managing director of the Indian pharma company since April 2017.

Cadila Healthcare is headquartered at Ahmedabad in Gujarat state of western India. The company is the fourth largest pharmaceutical company in India, with INR 54.7 Billion revenue. It is a significant manufacturer of generic drugs. The company was founded by his grandfather Ramanbhai Patel in 1952. A split in the family business led to the creation of Zydus Cadila.

He is having specialised in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Sunderland, U.K. and has a doctorate for his research in Breast Cancer at John Hopkins.

Read PharmaBoardroom’s recent interview with Sharvil Patel.


Binish H. Chudgar

Managing Director: Intas Pharmaceuticals

Mr Binish H. Chudgar has served as the managing director of Indian company Intas Pharmaceuticals since April 2016.

Based in Ahmedabad, Intas Pharmaceuticals Limited engages in the manufacture, marketing, distribution, and sale of finished pharmaceutical formulations, active pharmaceutical ingredients, medical appliances, and medical devices worldwide.

Intas shot into the limelight in October 2016 when they scooped up Teva’s assets in the UK and Ireland in a $764 million deal.

Read PharmaBoardroom’s recent interview with Binish Chudgar.


Murtaza Khorakiwala

Managing Director: Wockhardt Limited

Dr Murtaza Khorakiwala has been managing director of  Indian company Wockhardt Limited since April 2009.

Wockhardt is a leading research-based global healthcare enterprise in the country, with relevance in the fields of Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and a chain of advanced Super Speciality Hospitals.

He is a  graduate in Medicine from GS Medical College, Mumbai, India, and Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Illinois, USA.

Khorakiwala is also a member of the executive committee of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA) and was the past Chairman of the Marketing Committee of the Bombay Management Association.

Read our PharmaBoardroom’s recent interview with Murtaza Khorakiwala.


Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Chairperson & Managing Director: Biocon Limited

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is an Indian billionaire entrepreneur. She is the chairperson and managing director of Biocon Limited, a biotechnology company based in Bangalore, India and the chairperson of The Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

In 2014, she was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal, for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry.

She is on the Financial Times’ top 50 women in business list and in 2015, she was listed as the 85th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. Forbes again listed her in 2016 and 2017 – as one of the most powerful women in the world at 77th and 71st position respectively.

Read PharmaBoardroom’s recent interview with Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.


Vivek Sharma

CEO: Piramal Pharma Solutions

Mr Vivek Sharma currently serves as the CEO of Indian company, Piramal Pharma Solutions (PPS), a global leader in providing Contract Research, Development and Manufacturing services towards the life sciences industry. PPS offers integrated solutions from discovery through development and commercialisation, with research and manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Under Mr Sharma’s leadership, Piramal Pharma Solutions has established itself as a ‘partner of choice’ for large pharma and biotech firms.

Mr Sharma was also recognised as the global “CEO of the Year”, 2016, at CPhI Worldwide in Madrid. He has led Piramal Pharma Solutions through rapid growth with a strategy that augments organic growth with synergistic, well timed, acquisitions.

Read PharmaBoardroom’s recent interview with Vivek Sharma.


Sameer Hiremath

President & Joint Managing Director: Hikal Limited

Mr Sameer Hiremath has been president and joint managing director of Indian pharma company Hikal Limited since November 2011 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer.

He joined Hikal in 1996 as an Executive of Planning and Coordination. Under his leadership, the pharmaceutical division was established and made rapid strides.

Hikal partners with pharmaceuticals, life sciences, biotechnology, agrochemicals, and specialty chemicals companies to deliver active ingredients, intermediates and R&D services.

Hiremath oversees the day-to-day operations of the company which includes Research & Technology, Manufacturing Operations, and Sales & Marketing. He has over 20 years of experience in technical plant operations, business development, and corporate strategy. He has held several key positions at Hikal, including that of Executive Director.

He holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Pune University and an MBA and MS degree in Information Technology from Boston University, USA and received training from Merck & Co in the USA.

Read PharmaBoardroom’s recent interview with Sameer Hiremath.


Satyanarayana Chava

Founder & CEO: Laurus Labs Limited

Dr Satyanarayana Chava, PhD is the founder and CEO of the Indian pharma company, Laurus Labs Limited (also known as Laurus Labs Private Limited and Aptuit Laurus Private Limited). He founded the company in 2005.

Dr Chava has 20 years of industry experience in the pharmaceutical industry and served as Chief Operating Officer of Matrix Laboratories Limited in Hyderabad, where he played a key role in transforming it into a major pharmaceutical company in less than six years.

His speciality is in R&D and manufacturing and business development. He served as Research Scientist of Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited and worked on several commercially successful anti-retroviral drugs.

Since 2014, Dr Chava has served as chairman of Laurus Infosystems (India) Private Ltd. and has been a trustee of The United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc. since October 19, 2016.

Dr Chava has to his credit several breakthroughs in API, process development and particular expertise in intellectual property – he has authored over 150 patents. He received the Business Leader Award from TV5, Hyderabad and has appeared on the cover of Forbes India, as part of the magazine’s Hidden Gems 2015 series.

Read PharmaBoardroom’s recent interview with Satyanarayana Chava.

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