DJPL: Prioritising Import Substitution

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--By Gaurav Aryal
Deurali Janta Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd (DJPL), a leading pharmaceutical company is working with an aim of import substitution. As a part of this strategy, the company established Nirog, a primary care division of the company in the last week of June, 2013. 
The division produces drugs for muscular inflammation, pain and emergency management, one of the segments where medicines are heavily imported from abroad. Hari Bhakta Sharma, Executive Director of DJPL said that the Nirog division’s primary objective is to supply high quality drugs to Nepalis while the company exploits its capacity to explore opportunities in the international markets. 
Hari Bhakta Sharma, Executive Director Deurali Janta Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd
Hari Bhakta Sharma
Executive Director
Deurali Janta Pharmaceuticals
Pvt Ltd
According to Sharma, this new division was established as a part of the company’s objective to produce medicines that help promote healthier living and prevent people from catching diseases. The company is dedicated to stabilise this newly established division before coming up with a new venture. DJPL has been launching a new division in every two to three years. Sharma said, “Pharmaceutical industry is all about a dynamic life science that is changing so fast that today’s technology becomes obsolete next day. To boost business competitiveness and mitigate product lifecycle, we need to do something new.” At the same time, companies like DJPL are realising the responsibility to substitute huge imports of drugs. 
Export Dilemma 
The export of drugs is being talked for a couple of years, but it is yet to be realised. “There are markets where we cannot compete. Also, at times the cost of production and cost of quality compliance is greater than the rate of return. In such markets, we drop the idea of export,” he said, adding, “In those markets where we want to compete, there are so much of regulatory barriers, and it is painfully time taking to meet all the requirements.” He said that DJPL and some other pharmaceutical companies are in a process of meeting all the requirements. According to Sharma, unlike n any other commodity, every pharma product and every production unit must be registered in the target country before starting exports there because drugs are considered highly sensitive as it is directly related to the human health. Moreover, Sharma said that the Nepali companies are becoming extra cautious before making any export commitments because of the unfavourable environment in Nepal to run manufacturing bases. 
Production CapacityProduct Diversification 
The company is focused on manufacturing drugs related with infections, cardiology, women’s health, and infectious diseases. The DJPL has been adding new plants and divisions every two to three years to come up with a new range of products. According to Sharma, the company has always been in a drive to product development. Apart from having a strong foothold in the domestic market, the company is searching for favourable overseas markets. Therefore, every move of the company is targeted towards product development, capacity building and boosting competitiveness. 
Sharma revealed that the company is planning to work also on the natural products. The DJPL is planning to establish a new plant in Chitwan and has hired a consultant for technical and physical infrastructure development required for starting the operation. But he also hinted that it would almost take a decade before this unit starts its production. “We have talked a lot about Nepal’s richness on herbs and medicinal plants. The government is seen ineffective in materialising Nepal’s richness on natural products. So, it is us, the private sector who must be doing something there,” he explained. Sharma further added that the company is working on it and DJPL is always committed to quality assurance as it is related with medicines and human health. 
Similarly, the company had come up with Aarogyam, a derma care division on August 2011. This division manufactures products especially for skin, eye and dental diseases. The company had set up this manufacturing unit on the occasion of DJPL’s 20th anniversary with an investment of Rs 50 million. This unit produces antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory products for treatment of skin diseases among others. Clomigen, Solbet, Conaz and Flutipro are some of the ointments manufactured by Aarogyam. 
Market Presence 
Having over two decades of presence in the Nepali market, DJPL has established itself as a leading pharmaceutical company. The company claims that it has achieved this position because of its belief and commitment to quality products with affordability, use of cutting edge technology and a promise to offer better service to customers. DJPL has become a part of healing with its range of 220 products. 
Sharma claimed that DJPL holds five per cent share of the total size of pharmaceutical market of Nepal. There are 45 Nepali companies and 258 foreign companies present in the Nepali market. Similarly, the size of the Nepali pharmaceutical market is estimated to be of Rs 16.7 billion. Likewise the pharmaceutical industry of Nepal has created a direct employment for 9,650 people, according to Quantification Study 2011 on Pharmaceutical Markets. 
The company is using 60 per cent of its installed production capacity. DJPL has plans to utilise rest of the capacities to produce life saving medicines related to ailments of the heart, kidney, nerve and psychological complexities. The company says that it is conducting studies to understand the market feasibility so that it can utilise its 40 per cent production capacity that is not in use at the moment. 
Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance 
DJPL has a total investment of Rs 870 million. According to Sharma, the company aims to produce best quality medicines at affordable cost. The use of ultra modern technology is also part of the company’s goals and also a contribution to Nepal’s industrial and economic development. “Quality assurance is the topmost priority of DJPL. Our Quality Assurance Department works independently with the support from Quality Control Department that has sophisticated technology along with highly qualified and trained personnel,” Sharma said. It also operates a full-fledged microbiological testing facility, which is in line with international standards. 
Sharma claimed that DJPL is one of the pharmaceutical companies that invest heavily in research and development. The company has its own state of the art Research and Development Centre. The centre was inaugurated on January 2011. “We aim to develop new products matching the fast paced development of the 21st century alongside periodic updates to the formulas of all the drugs that we currently produce matching trends worldwide,” Sharma explained.
Human Resource Management 
The company has always prioritised its staff members. DJPL has adhered to its policy to enhance employee’s skills and capacity building. According to Sharma, that attempt will provide socio economic benefits to employees. Currently there are 350 employees. Executive Director Sharma said, “DJPL comprises of young, energetic and dedicated professionals who have the expertise, knowledge and perception to bring about latest technologies in pharmaceuticals manufacturing.” He also added that the company is constantly exercising critical thinking to maintain professional competence for excelling the quality of its products. The company is devoted to enhance the work skills and knowledge of staff members through trainings, experience and exposure within and outside Nepal.
Major Milestones 
DJPL, a WHO-GMP, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified company began its production from January 30, 1991 though it was established on June 23, 1988. The growth and expansion of the company has never slowed down. In 1995, company began technical collaboration with Renata Limited, a company from Bangladesh, another remarkable move for the company that helped it surge. Similarly, on August 2005, a new division Suswasthya, a systematic care division was brought into being. 
The never ending journey of success continued for DJPL. The company claims, it is the first Nepali company to be certified with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Company received this coveted recognition in 2003. A year later the company was awarded with WHO-GMP certification. 

Jagannath Maharjan

Nice story of DJPL and Mr Hari Bhakta Sharma ji. It might be impressive to new and young enterprenures .Wishing DJPL all the best.