Gujarat perhaps going to be the next hub of Indian healthcare enterprise. After Vicks and Colgate Palmolive, US-based Abbott Laboratories plan to set up a manufacturing unit in Gujarat to produce its nutraceutical range-Ensure and PediaSure at Jhagadia.

Abbott has acquired 45 acres of land for the plant, which will be its second unit in India. It will be set up with an initial investment of Rs 360 crore.

Several leading global pharma and FMCG companies are eyeing the state for greenfield projects. Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries along with the US-based Procter & Gamble is setting up a Rs 500 crore plant to manufacture its Vicks range of products in Sanand.

Scotland-based pharma and lifesciences companies are also eyeing Gujarat for an entry into the Indian market. Mark Dolan, country manager, Scottish Development International attributes the trend to the quick materialisation of discussions. “Gujarati and Scottish businesses hold many common values and attitudes. Every opportunity to meet and discuss business is maximised with discussion quickly getting down to detail.” Dolan met a couple of pharmaceutical and lifesciences companies in Ahmedabad in the first week of August to explore business opportunities.

Singapore-headquartered Biosensors International, too, plans to start manufacturing from Gujarat. The medical device company specializes in developing, manufacturing and licensing technologies for cardiological procedures.

Another US-based generic pharma manufacturer Amneal Pharmaceuticals has set up a formulation unit along with a research and development centre near Changodar and plans to start operations out of its facility. New Jersey based Apicore LLC, manufacturer of specialty active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) have also expressed their plans to set up base in the state.

“A foreign company looks at state government’s investment friendly policies, labour availability and customer base in the region. Gujarat is a perfect destination for foreign pharma companies as the state offers single-window approval, low cost of land, skilled labour and is a hub for pharma and generic medicines,” said Ankit Suri, associate vice president, Tecnova India, a management consulting firm specialized in designing ‘India entry strategy’ for international players. According to HG Koshia, commissioner of Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA), the state has seen a surge in enquiry from international pharmaceutical companies after the introduction of the e-governance initiative.

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