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pharmaceutical company from India
Image from Courtesy of Sun Pharma

Sun Pharma cracks open EU medicine market

Since making the leap from its home base in India to the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, demand for Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries' generic medicines has skyrocketed.

Martijn de Boer
Senior Manager Foreign Investments: Life Sciences & Health and Knowledge & Innovation
amsterdam inbusiness is the official direct investment agency of the Amsterdam Area. We provide access to business intel, networks and potential partners, help tailor fact-finding visits, streamline setting up, and support you long-term as you expand your business.
Amsterdam Inbusiness
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Amsterdam is gateway to Europe

The European sales of patent-free medicine is always increasing, so it’s no surprise that Logistics and Finance Head Prashant Savla is enthusiastic about Sun Pharmaceutical's early move to the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

"This is a prime base of operations from which to further expand our share in the growing European market. Our physical presence here gives us an inside view into what our European customers want. And having a local point of contact is important to our customers, too."

Sun Pharma Story

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Unique niche market

Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries is a leading player in an interesting niche market. In today’s world, people are living longer than ever, meaning they are not only enjoying a longer old age but also taking pills for longer.  With the costs of all that medicine going through the roof, care professionals are showing an increasing preference for prescribing ‘generic’ medicines – medicines that are no longer under patent and that pharmaceutical companies can manufacture for free.

Heap of medical pills in white, blue and other colors. Pills in plastic package. Concept of healthcare and medicine.
Image from OKSANA KAZYKINA

This development is also indirectly responsible for the growing number of pharmaceutical companies specialising in the manufacture of such patent-free medicines, particularly in India and China. Those are now ready for the next phase and are setting up a worldwide network of branches. Sun Pharma is a good example of a successful internationalisation strategy in action - more than half its revenue is currently generated outside India. After conquering the American market, the company has now turned its attention to Europe.

Savla explains, "We’d had a manufacturing branch in Hungary for some time already but the general consensus was that we also needed an HQ in the EU in order to stand at the wheel of our activities in Europe. This is a very sensitive business in the sense that your customers want to actually see you. Plus, being here makes it much easier to lay out a distribution network and to really keep in step with the laws and regulations governing medicines in Europe – which can differ from one country to another. You simply can’t do that from outside Europe."

Formula for success

Sun Pharma’s choice of Amsterdam was based on a formulated approach. They prepared a list of basic criteria that the ideal site would have to meet. This included excellent digital and physical accessibility, a good supply of English-speaking employees and a good connections to all 27 EU member states. Equally important was the existence of a large Indian expat community. The sum total of these factors  narrowed the choice down to the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. "Plus, Schiphol is literally around the corner and all the logistics expertise we need to set up the best possible supply chain solutions is on our doorstep."

And of paramount importance to a business so directly affected by legislative and regulatory changes, the Hoofddorp office keeps a constant ear to the ground to find out what EU decision makers are saying about further opening up the European Union medicine market. And with the recent move of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Amsterdam, Sun Pharma has only become happier with their prime choice of location.

Martijn de Boer
Senior Manager Foreign Investments: Life Sciences & Health and Knowledge & Innovation
amsterdam inbusiness is the official direct investment agency of the Amsterdam Area. We provide access to business intel, networks and potential partners, help tailor fact-finding visits, streamline setting up, and support you long-term as you expand your business.
Amsterdam Inbusiness
Contact me