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The ‘Medicine Man of India’, Shri Indravadan Modi – A visionary who shaped the pharma industry

27th Nov, 2020
The ‘Medicine Man of India’, Shri Indravadan Modi – A visionary who shaped the pharma industry

Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. was born in 1951, in a small flat. The journey of Cadila Pharmaceuticals began with determination and vision of Shri Indravadan Ambalal Modi, popularly known as the ‘Medicine Man of India’. When the country was still struggling to find its feet just after partition, Shri Indravadan Modi started his journey with one dream – to help India get back on her feet, by making quality and affordable medicines for the people of the country. In an era when most of the pharmaceutical products were being produced by foreign pharma giants, Shri Indravadan Ambalal Modi set up one of the earliest pharmaceutical laboratories of the free India.

70 years later, his values and teachings continue to guide us. He based his hard work and his life’s mission on 3 core values – Authenticity, Integrity and Responsibility – that still define and bind us. We at Cadila Pharmaceuticals continue to work towards fulfilling his vision of providing quality and affordable medicines to the last man on the earth.

Authenticity – Putting in hard work to stay committed to one’s mission and vision

“Combine spirit of enterprise with hard work and ingenuity to succeed in new ventures.”

Shri Indravadan Modi was committed to the idea of building a pharmaceutical industry and no amount of hurdles could deter him from his path. Graduating in science with a Bachelor’s Degree from Baroda College in 1948, he went to Bombay to pursue a degree in Food Technology, Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals at the University of Bombay. Right from his youth, he had the clarity of his path and sacrificed a scholarship in Food Technology to pursue his passion in Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals. Completing college, he worked as a Chief Chemist in a Chemical manufacturing unit. However, heading to his inner calling, he finally quit his job and started his journey by setting up Cadila Laboratories. In the modern times, taking a leap of faith scares the best of us, but Shri Indravadan Modi believed in his capabilities and his vision for himself and his country and stayed true to the path he took. Staying authentic and believing in one self, is a learning that professionals of today can benefit from.

Integrity – Staying true to customers, business and one’s own principles

 “Your customers are the kings. Never cheat them. It is your responsibility to serve them.”

 A learning that he often shared with his people was that of integrity. He believed, that from the junior most employee to the CEO, everyone needs to showcase the principle of integrity to achieve success. Shri Indravadan Modi himself remained committed to the Company’s mission of ensuring affordable healthcare for the masses, while still adhering to ethical goals, leading by example. This clear-cut vision was communicated unequivocally to his team, which helped them perform their duties to the highest standards without fear or favour. At all times, Shri Indravadan Modi reiterated the importance of clean, ethical practices in every activity – personal or professional. He therefore ensured that all his employees and entities adhered to statutory, regulatory and legal norms in letter and in spirit. It was these sterling qualities that raised Shri Indravadan Modi well above the stature of successful entrepreneurs, placing him in the league of institution builders who leave a lasting legacy that outlives their mortal remains.

Responsibility – Believing in oneself and in one’s team

“Evolve your own work style. Just remember, never lose your focus towards customer and cost and stay wedded to ethical goals and clean practices.”

 In the early days of his journey, he would adorn multiple hats to see success. He remained responsible towards the mission he started on. Operating like a one-man army, Shri Indravadan Modi took it upon himself to oversee all functions ranging from manufacturing to marketing – developing formulations, packing, labelling, making calls to doctors, convincing chemists to stock his company’s drugs and, finally, delivering the medicines to their destination, personally. With the start-up enterprise strapped for funds and no depth in human resources, Shri Indravadan Modi became a producer, promoter, distributor and deliveryman all rolled into one. On top of this, he acted as the manager, administrator and accountant to keep the other departments functioning smoothly.

He believed in leading through his people and encouraged his team to take ownership. This promoted a sense of responsibility in his team to stay true to the mission of the company – bringing quality and affordable medicines to the last man of the society. The rest is history as we see Cadila Pharma making huge strides in terms of innovation and quality products. Responsibility, amongst employees and himself, shaped the future of the company guiding us at each step.

Throughout his life as the owner of one of India’s most successful pharmaceutical companies, Shri Indravadan Modi never lost sight of the fact that in a nation where healthcare access was a major challenge for more than 70% of the populace, it was critical to retain focus on costs and customers. Driven by the evergreen vision and the teachings of Authenticity, Integrity and Responsibility by Founder- Chairman Indravadan Ambalal Modi, Cadila Pharmaceuticals continues to innovate and introduce affordable medicines for end users, benefiting poor patients in India and other countries worldwide – thereby saving millions of lives each year. In the modern day and time, his story of determination and grit never gets old. 70 years later, his words of wisdom keeps on guiding us to become a better professional, a successful entrepreneur and a good citizen. Thanks to the Founder-Chairman’s enduring legacy, the care continues!