“The relationship between me and Cadila Pharmaceuticals is based on mutual trust and respect. It is a relationship we have nurtured and built for 20 years now.”- Mr. Mahendra Sonegara
The Indian pharmaceutical industry is made up of a lot of entrepreneurs, they are the gears of the industry. These entrepreneurs such as chemists and stockists are part of the backbone of the healthcare system. They make up a big chunk of the successful pharma entrepreneurs in India and help the industry grow. These small successful entrepreneurs in India have helped support the pharmaceutical companies in India and have helped India become a superpower in the global pharma market. We got a chance to interact with such an entrepreneur and a long-time associate of Cadila Pharmaceuticals in Ahmedabad, Mr. Mahendra Sonegara. He has been a part of the Indian pharma industry for about 30 years and agreed to share his journey as an entrepreneur in India.
“I come from a very humble background. Since I was young, I have always been interested in Pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Recognizing this interest, my family then encouraged me to do a bachelor’s in pharmacy. In those days, the field was not popular, and yet I was determined to make my career in the field of Pharmaceuticals.
After completing my graduation, I worked in an organization for some time, but the entrepreneurship bug had bitten me and I wanted to make a mark in the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry. Hence, I quit my job and started my own business. I have been a supporter of Make in India long before it became a movement and have continued to work with Indian partners.
I was interested in generics since the beginning and hence ventured into that sector. At that time, generics were not popular but with established pharma organizations entering into the sector, the quality of the products has improved. People are now trusting these products more and they have become quite affordable. This rise in the demand of the generics market was favourable for me and helped me establish my business. Since I didn’t come from a business background, I faced multiple challenges along the way in setting up my business. But now, 30 years later I can proudly say that I am doing fairly well.
I wouldn’t have been able to succeed in this field without the support of organizations such as Cadila Pharmaceuticals, which is one of the top pharmaceutical companies in India. They have always supported me, more so in difficult times. Relationships like these are nurtured over time. Since I have been associated with Cadila Pharmaceuticals for the past 20 years, the feeling of trust is mutual. What more would you want from a business partnership?
Anyone who is thinking of entering this line of business should gear up for a lot of hard work. You need to build relationships with your partners to sustain. Most importantly it is important to understand the need of the patients. Currently, the role of pharmacists is no less than that of a COVID Warrior. The need for hand sanitizers, hand wash and other COVID-19 related medicines has increased. Pharma distributors are ensuring they stock up these products to make them available to their consumers and in turn supporting the Healthcare industry.
It is also important to remain ambitious and understand the evolving needs of the market. It is important to capture the pulse of the market when entering into the business and keep looking for the next big thing. The next thing to remember is to always remain ethical and true to your work. Do not compromise on the quality of your products. When you deal ethically and fairly, it gives rise to more trustworthy relationships that go a long way. Rest assured, stay honest and you’ll go a long way!”
This journey of Mahendra is a story of grit and hard work. It is because of successful entrepreneurs in India, who support initiatives like Make in India that the Indian pharmaceutical industry is growing today. They have been are working tirelessly, especially during the times of COVID-19 to ensure there are no shortages of medicines in the market. These entrepreneurs of the country keep teaching us lessons of determination every day.