— Mr Rajiv Gandhi,
& MD, Hester Biosciences, Gujarat
Hester Biosciences Limited (HBL), an Ahmedabad-based company, has been
in the business of manufacturing of poultry vaccines since 1997. The
company has 39 licensed poultry vaccines and markets those products in
India, Asia, Europe and Africa. HBL made its strong footing in Nepal
last year by signing a joint venture agreement with Him Electronics
Private Limited (HEPL), Nepal, to establish a first-of-its-kind animal
vaccine manufacturing plant in Nepal.
The proposed company – Hester Biosciences Nepal — will manufacture a
range of poultry, sheep, cattle and swine vaccines for the Nepal as
well as the global markets. The company believes that its presence in
Nepal would open up new vistas and avenues of opportunities and
simultaneously take HBL to the next level of growth. In an exclusive
interview with BioSpectrum
, Mr Rajiv Gandhi, CEO and managing
director of HBL talks about the company’s strategy for Nepal,
investments made for the animal manufacturing facilities and its future
plans for the India market
Q How will
the establishment of HBL’s operations in Nepal strengthen its animal
Hester Biosciences Nepal
will be Nepal’s first biological unit. We got very good support from
all levels, both from the Government of Nepal as well as from the
business community. Nepal has good manpower resources in the field of
biotechnology who are trained in different countries including India,
the US and the UK. Also, culturally, Nepal is very similar to India.
Climatic conditions are ideally suited for a biological plant. Nepal’s
livestock sector is in a developing stage. Besides being assured of the
local market, we intend to export certain large animal vaccines
manufactured using the locally available strains.
Q What is the capacity of the proposed animal vaccine
manufacturing facility and what are the terms of your JV with Him
HBNPL is a joint venture between Hester and Him
Electronics, which is part of the Golchha organization, a leading
business house in Nepal. Hester Biosciences India holds 65 percent of
the stake while Him Electronics holds 35 percent in HBNPL. We have a
plan to start up with vaccines for swine, sheep, goat and a few poultry
vaccines. We intend to do toll manufacturing for international
companies. So, we are integrating most of our manufacturing capacity.
Q What has been the investment in terms of money,
manpower and infrastructure for this new entity?
The estimated investment
is $3.30 million (
15 crore). The facility will generate 150
jobs for skilled and unskilled people. Animal vaccines based on
in-house advanced capabilities will be manufactured in the areas of
virus propagation in specific pathogen-free embryos, tissue culture and
fermentation processes for bacterial vaccines. The facility will
qualify for WHO-GMP certification, besides getting ISO, EMS, OHSAS
Q When will production of these vaccines commence and to
which countries will these vaccines be supplied ?
production of these vaccines is expected to commence from January 2013
onwards. Exports would be the focus area with 95 percent of the sales
coming from exports. Target markets for animal vaccines produced from
this facility are Asia, Europe, Africa and the US.
Q Are there any other projects in the pipeline for
Hester Biosciences Nepal in terms of growth, revenues and expansion
Besides addressing animal disease eradication
programs implemented by the Government of Nepal, Hester Biosciences, as
a company, will focus on planning strategies to find remedy for foot
and mouth disease.
Q In the last
one year, what were the new developments at Hester Biosciences in India?
Besides maintaining a
consistent growth, Hester Biosciences is in the process of registering
additional poultry vaccines as well as a few major animal vaccines in
India. We are also working towards setting up an R&D wing to
develop recombinant vaccines for poultry. We are also planning to
expand our marketing presence globally.
Q What are the future plans for Hester in India, in
terms of investments, products/ vaccines launches and business
In India, we intend to
invest $9 million (
40 crore) towards a modern QC/QA and
R&D lab. We are also planning to venture into clinical trials for
Q How do you view the animal vaccine market in India and
what are its prospects?
The poultry business in
India bounced back to its strong position after a year of recession.
The foot and mouth disease vaccine market clocked $40 million [
180 crore (300 million doses per annum)];
peste des petits ruminants (PPR) vaccine clocked $80 million [
36 crore (180 million doses per annum)];
swine fever vaccine clocked $3.5 million [
16 crore (13 million doses per annum)];
haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS) vaccine clocked $13 million [
600 million (300 million doses per
annum)]; goat pox vaccine clocked $5 million [
24 crore (120 million doses per annum)];
and poultry vaccines market clocked $33 million (
150 crore). The current growth rate could
be taken at eight to 10 percent. The Government of India has already
initiated foot and mouth disease eradication program and whereas, PPR
and brucella eradication programs are under consideration, this is
expected to boost the growth of animal vaccine industry.