Top Pharmaceutical Companies in India

In this article we will take a look at the top 15 pharmaceutical companies in India. You can skip our detailed analysis of the pharma industry’s outlook for 2021, and some of the major growth catalysts for pharmaceutical stocks, and go directly to the Top 5 Pharmaceutical Companies in India.

Since late 2019, after the world was caught off-guard owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the pharma industry has taken the center stage as they raced to develop and produce vaccines. Medicines being an essential requirement, the pharmaceuticals industry has always been the vital resource and the safest stock market sector for the public, but with this recent worldwide health crisis, the importance of this industry has become more pronounced than ever.  During the inception of the pandemic, drug makers, including the 15 largest drug companies in the world, were confronting the coronavirus on one hand while on the other hand, they were barging through uncertainty regarding research and development. And now while the world has seen a handful of drugs and vaccines against COVID-19 that claim to have pretty good efficacy, manufacturers are struggling to flex their production volume, marketing, and supply chains. The additional problem is that new variants are emerging, and further complicating the situation.

In 2014, the pharmaceutical industry achieved the tag of ‘A trillion-dollar industry’ which means the largest companies are savoring a huge piece of the pie. Although the general perception is that pharmaceutical companies have immensely profited from the pandemic, the case is not as easy as it seems because of lockdowns and pressure that disrupt supply chain management. However, despite the fact that this sector underperformed the market by about 3 percentage points as of February 2021, pharma stocks incorporating sturdy fundamentals, ripe pipelines, and decent dividend yields, are promising investment options for long-term investors. Additionally, governments are providing billions of dollars to pharma companies for developing medication and vaccines for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), an American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company based in Cambridge, was a cheap stock before the surge of the pandemic. It had a history of employing less than 900 workers and bagging no profit in the eleven years since its establishment. However, when its mRNA-1273 became the second authorized COVID-19 vaccine in the USA after receiving emergency use authorization from FDA, the value of Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) propelled to over $6o billion. In 2021 the company is aiming to produce around 2.5 billion vaccine doses and it has already made agreements to supply more than a billion doses around the globe. Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) has turned into one of the biggest pharmaceutical and biotech companies in terms of market capitalization.

Similarly, firms like Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) that have been already dominating the position among the top pharmaceutical companies in the world, are racing to increase output after the data from Phase 3 clinical trials revealed that their vaccines Comirnaty and Ad26.COV2.S (or JNJ-78436735)  have pretty good efficacy against COVID-19. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE)’s total revenue for 2020 was $41.908 billion. Though Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is a conglomerate, its pharma sector alone was able to generate over $42.2 billion in 2020 which is more than half of its total revenue of $82.6 billion.

India, which has turned into the latest epicenter of the second wave of pandemic, is the largest provider of generic pharmaceutical products globally. In terms of volume, around 20 percent of the global demand of pharmaceuticals is fulfilled by India. It provides vaccines for around 50% of the global market. Furthermore, India exports nearly 80 percent of Anti-Retroviral (ARV) medicines used in combating Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) globally. Nearly 30% and 25% of the USA’s and UK’s need for generic drugs is met by India alone. India has been serving more than 200 countries with its pharma products. In 2019, according to the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, its domestic pharma market turnover reached around $ 20.03 billion which was a 9.8% jump from the previous year’s $18.12 billion. By the year 2024, the pharmaceuticals industry of India is projected to be worth $65 billion.

Being the country that ranks 2nd in terms of the highest population, the onus lies on the healthcare sector to sustain the health of all the people among which 60% lie below the poverty line. With a well-established pharmaceutical sector, India records a strong network of 3000 multinational and national drug companies with over 10,500 manufacturing units. Among these 2,000 units are approved by World Health Organization (WHO), 253 are approved by the European Directorate of Quality Medicines (EDQM), and 584 sites are US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) approved. The second-largest number of Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) belongs to India. Not only that, but it is the world’s leader in Drug Master Files (DMFs) applications along with the US.

India is the source of 60,000 generic brands and accounts for manufacturing more than 500 Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) which ranks India’s API industry as the third-largest in the world. The major supply includes Over-The-Counter (OTC) medicines that are employed to cure general and non-life-threatening conditions. The major pharmaceutical hubs include Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Visakhapatnam, and Ahmedabad. The major generic drug manufacturers of India such as SUN PHARMA, Cipla, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Lupin, Aurobindo Pharma, etc. have a strong foothold in the global drug supply chain. Among them, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) that has a market cap of $11.878 billion is listed in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Top Pharmaceutical Companies in India

Some of the most notable pharma companies, including Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) have production and corporate sites in India.

Novartis started its Hyderabad office in India in 2001. The office supports the company’s pharmaceuticals, eye care (Alcon) and generic drugs segments (Sandoz).Novartis recently posted Q1 results. Net sales of the company jumped 1% in the period, while sales in Innovative Medicines increased by 4% year over year. Core operating income in the quarter fell 5% to $4 billion.

Merck (NYSE:MRK)  has offices in Goa, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Delhi and Bengaluru. Argus recently downgraded Merck (NYSE:MRK) from Buy to Hold amid spinoff of the Organon division and its effects on the company’s bottom line. The firm’s analyst David Toung said that the spinoff will initially lower Merck’s operating margin.

According to India’s current policy of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), 100 percent FDI is allowed in greenfield pharmaceutical projects under the automatic route, and 100 percent FDI is allowed in brownfield projects under government approval. Earlier this year, an initiative was passed which allowed the biotech sector to see 100 percent FDI in the biotech sector without the government’s compulsory licensing. In comparison to the western market, India has a considerable number of factors that have the potential to steer its pharmaceutical industry to a higher level. Huge workforce, innovative scientific manpower, low R&D costs, low-cost production, policy support, the highest number of U.S. FDA Compliant plants, health insurance, upscaled medical technology, self-reliance, and a large number of national laboratories definitely give India an upper hand in this sector.

For the people who are considering the Indian pharma sector for investments, this sector seems to be a resilient option. BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) Healthcare Index has grown at a CAGR of 12% per annum in the last 10 years. During the same time frame, Nifty’s performance is 12.28% per annum and that of Sensex is 12.72% per annum. After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pharmaceutical sector along with the mutual funds that invest in this sector have shown a better performance result. As far as the year 2020 is concerned, BSE Healthcare has returned 47.23% and Nifty Pharma has returned 44.83%. It seems that the expectation of vaccines and the centralized role of this industry to fight against the pandemic seems to have risen the demand for pharmaceutical securities and investor confidence. To determine the top pharmaceutical companies in India, we considered revenue as the major metric to determine the strength of a company.

With this context and industry outlook in mind, let’s start our list of the top 15 pharmaceutical companies in India.

Top Pharmaceutical Companies in India

15. Abbott India (Owned by Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT))

Revenue in 2020 (TTM): $570,000,000

Headquartered in Mumbai, Abbott India Ltd is one of the most admired, largest, and oldest pharma companies operating in India. This company is a subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) headquartered in Chicago, USA. The company is engaged in providing customers with an extensive range of medical devices, diagnostics solutions, nutritional products, branded generic pharmaceuticals. The company’s global products include Leptos, Thyronorm, Prothiaden, and Brufen. Its workforce comprises over 2,600 people and it provides services to the customers through a wide network of 35 distribution points. The company has a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Goa.

The company ranks 15th in the list of top pharmaceutical companies in India.

14. Ipca Laboratories

Revenue in 2020 (TTM): $720 ,000,000

Founded by a group of medical professionals and businessmen in 1949, Ipca Laboratories Limited is a global pharmaceutical company based in Mumbai, India. Its portfolio of products includes more than 350 formulations such as capsules, dry powders, tablets, and oral liquids along with 80+ active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) such as P- Bromo Toluene, Acetylthiophene, and Theobromine. They have been distributing their products across 120+ countries. It has got accreditations from the US FDA and the UK MHRA. The company ranks 14th in the list of top pharmaceutical companies in India.

13. Divis Laboratories

Revenue in 2020 (TTM): $880,000,000

Founded by Dr. Murali K. Div in 1990, Divi’s Laboratories Ltd is an India-based Multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered at Telangana in Hyderabad. It has a portfolio of 120 products across diverse therapeutic areas. The company is engaged in manufacturing nutraceutical ingredients, leading generic compounds, and custom synthesis of APIs and intermediates. Divi Laboratories has two manufacturing plants that incorporate more than 35 production buildings and 50 pharma suits. A third manufacturing site is being constructed near Kakinada.

The company ranks 13th in the list of top pharmaceutical companies in India.

 12. Biocon

Revenue in 2020 (TTM): $910,000,000

Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Bangalore, Biocon is one of the most popular Indian biopharmaceutical companies that manufactures generic active pharmaceutical ingredients. It renders its service in 120+ countries by discovering novel and cost-effective ways to combat cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. The company ranks 12th in the list of top pharmaceutical companies in India.

11. Torrent Pharmaceuticals

Revenue in 2020 (TTM): $1,070,000,000

Founded in 1959 and headquartered in Ahmedabad, Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd is the flagship company of the Torrent Group. Initially, it was named Trinity Laboratories Ltd, and it was later renamed Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. The company boasts 7 subsidiaries in different nations, namely the USA, the UK, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Russia, and the Philippines. The company is seeing a strong demand as consumption of medicines of famous companies like Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE).  Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) increases worldwide.

The company ranks 11th in the list of top pharmaceutical companies in India.

It operates in more than 40 countries. It produces medicines for an extensive range of therapeutic areas such as diabetes, gastrointestinal, Central Nervous System (CNS) pain management, cardiovascular, and anti-infective segments.

10. Alkem Laboratories

Revenue in 2020 (TTM): $1,100,000,000

Founded in 1973 by Samprada Singh and headquartered in Mumbai, Alkem Laboratories focuses on developing and commercializing top-quality branded generics, APIs, as well as nutraceuticals in various therapeutic segments. At present, the company carries out its activity through 21 manufacturing facilities altogether. Among them twenty-one manufacturing plants, two are in the United States and nineteen are within India.

The company ranks 10th in the list of top pharmaceutical companies in India.

 9. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals

Revenue in 2020 (TTM): $1,460,000,000

Founded by Gracias Saldanha in 1977, Glenmark is a Mumbai-based Indian pharmaceutical firm that specializes in the field of therapeutic areas of oncology, respiratory, and dermatology. The company derived its name from the founder’s two sons Glen and Mark. It is reputed for its generic drugs worldwide including countries such as Europe, Russia, the USA, and Latin America. This company has 17 manufacturing facilities globally and provides service to over 70 different countries by exporting and selling its products. It is a pioneer in manufacturing cost-effective biosimilars that address unprecedented problems regarding the treatment of cancers and other fatal diseases. The company incorporates around 12,000 dedicated employees worldwide. The company ranks 9th in the list of top pharmaceutical companies in India.

Companies like Glenmark, Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA),  Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) have a strong growth potential as demand for medicines continue to increase.

8. Piramal Enterprises Ltd.

Revenue in 2020 (TTM): $1,570,000,000 

Founded in 1984, Piramal Group is a diversified global business conglomerate that deals with life sciences, healthcare, drug discovery, healthcare information management, specialty glass management, consumer products, rural development, real estate, and financial services. Piramal Enterprises Ltd. is a part of the Piramal Group that offers a unique platform the treatment of an extensive range of diseases including cardiovascular disorders, and diabetes. Other services include spasticity management, anesthetics, nutritional and Over The Counter (OTC) products from reputed MNCs such as F.Hoffmann-La Roche’s globally acclaimed Saridon and Duphar Interfran’s Lacto Calamine lotions. It also manufactures generic medicines that are exported to the international market.

The company ranks 8th in the list of top pharmaceutical companies in India.

7. Intas Pharmaceuticals Limited

Revenue in 2020 (TTM): $ 2,000,000,000

Founded in 1984 by Binnish Chudgar and headquartered in Ahmedabad, Intas Pharmaceuticals is one of the top pharmaceutical companies in India and the leading biosimilar product manufacturers in Asia. It has been able to commercialize 13 biosimilars that include Docetaxel and Paclitaxel. The company has registered its presence in more than eighty countries and has been generating high sales as well as distribution in the global market. Out of the fourteen manufacturing plants of Intas pharmaceutical Ltd. seven are located in India, and the remaining are present in the U.K. and Mexico. As of 2021, Intas continues its R&D efforts in diverse therapeutic domains such as nephrology, rheumatology, ophthalmology, oncology, auto-immune, and plasma-derived-product-based therapies.

The company ranks 7th in the list of top pharmaceutical companies in India.

6. Cadila Healthcare

Revenue in 2020 (TTM): $2,010,000,000 

Founded in 1952 by Ramabhai Patel and his business partner Indravadan Modi, Cadila Healthcare Limited (also known as Zydus Cadila), is an Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical company that manufactures generic drugs, herbal products, skincare products, diagnostics, and other OTC products.  The company’s Innovation program is led by 1300 researchers across 19 sites located in various places. The company makes API at three sites in Patalganga, Vadodara, and Ankleshwar. The company’s worldwide business has been able to create a strong foothold in the regulated markets of the United States, Europe, as well as in the high-profile markets of Latin America and South Africa.

The company ranks 6th in the list of top pharmaceutical companies in India.

Cadila is a notable pharma company, just like Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE).  Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK).

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Disclosure: None. Top 15 Pharmaceutical Companies in India is originally published on Insider Monkey.