Ranbaxy in Sun’s shadow!

Ranbaxy’s merger with Sun Pharma’s brought down final curtains on its independent status as a company. Besides tracing back the history of once a renowned brand that slid into oblivion, BioSpectrum also analyses its impact on Indian pharma industry


Whatever be the future, one thing is clear that Ranbaxy is no more. But then it leaves with Indian pharma industry, a list of experiences to learn from.

What goes up must come down too! This famous quote by Sir Issac Newton is apt to summarise the Ranbaxy's timeline. Like many successful businesses, the company too started on a humble note more than five decades ago. Despite its ups and downs ranging from quality issues to financial setbacks, it survived all along. However, the threshold was when it suffered worst after being bought by Daiichi Sankyo while Singh brothers exited the business. But with takeover by Sun Pharma through deal with Daiichi, there is a complete overshadowing of the once renowned band now left being as nothing more than a mere business unit.

Ranbaxy's phenomenal journey: From rising to top and sliding down

1937: Ranbaxy started by Ranbir Singh and Gurbax Singh as a distributor for a Japanese company.
1961: Ranbaxy is incorporated.
1973: Company went public.
1997-98: Entry into US market.
2004: WHO detects quality issues in Ranbaxy's medicines.
2005: Whistle blower exposes malpractices to USFDA.
2008: Daiichi acquires Ranbaxy in a deal worth $4.6 billion by acquiring a 63.92% stake in Ranbaxy.
2013: Company pleads guilty of clinical generic drug data and selling adulterated drugs to the United States, fined Rs 500 million by USFDA.
2015: Sun Pharma takes over Ranbaxy business from Diachii Sankyo.
2015: Ranbaxy ceases to exist as company.

So what possibly went wrong? A New Delhi based pharma analyst calls it a mix of wrong policies and short sightedness. "The downfall started when Ranbaxy overlooked the concerns at the right time and continued to operate normally despite warnings. The waterloo moment was when the whistle blower removed the perfect company tag by exposing the quality issues at a global level. Aftermath was devastating for it," he mentions.

Another school of thought however is not convinced with the argument. It says that the Ranbaxy is not the only company that has been caught in the web of quality issues. "There are so many examples of even non-Indian MNCs getting caught and let off after quality issues. But in Ranbaxy's case, it was just bad luck that one of its employee spilled beans and others too joined in," says a top pharma executive on the basis of anonymity.


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