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Telugu Tejam billionaire Murali Krishna Divi is 906 among the world's richest

Wed, Mar 02, 2016, 01:07 PM
Murali Krishna Divi, billionaire who figures in the Forbes List, has a humorous disposition. The 63-year-old sits at the helm of a Rs 2,597-crore pharmaceutical contract manufacturing company, an investor favourite because of its industry-beating margins.

With $2 billion, Murali Divi is the 37th in India and 906th among the world's richest.

“People are living longer. As they live longer, they need to use more lifestyle management medicines. If you have arthritis and, instead of 80, you are living till 90 or 100, you need to use anti-arthritis or anti-inflammatory medicine for another 10-20 years,” says Murali Divi.

Divis Labs is the world’s largest manufacturer of Naproxen, an anti-inflammatory that is a part of medicines used to treat osteoarthritis.

One of the reasons why the company is on such solid ground today is because it deliberately chose a different business model at a time when most of the Indian pharmaceutical industry was seeking its fortune in challenging patents and selling generics in regulated markets.

Murali Divi decided very early on in the game that his firm would stick to contract manufacturing of raw material for medicines. This involves making active pharmaceutical ingredients, or APIs (the compound in a drug that has the therapeutic effect), on a large scale for generics already being sold in the market, or doing the same on a smaller scale for the testing and development of experimental medicines.

To date, Divis Laboratories does not manufacture the final formulation (the tablets and tonics sold in the market) because this would change its role from a service provider to big pharma companies to their competitor.

Murali Divi’s life as an entrepreneur began in 1984 when he returned to India after working in senior research and development roles in American firms such as Fike Chemical. He had spent several years in the US after receiving his doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences from erstwhile Telangana’s Kakatiya University.
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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