Q: Could you please give us a brief overview of the Soujanya Life Sciences?
Jashan Bhumkar: Soujanya Life Sciences is a new division of our parent company Soujanya Group. For over 40 years, Soujanya Group has been at the forefront of innovations in specialty chemical manufacturing with a global presence. For a long time, we focused on the pigments and dye space. And now we are seamlessly combining our parent company’s legacy into specialty chemicals with fresh dynamism. We add colour and happiness to people's lives!
Soujanya Life Sciences was established during the COVID-19 pandemic - at a time when a healthcare crisis was happening all over the world. We specialise in sustainable, efficient manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, advanced intermediates and excipients for the pharmaceutical industry.
Our recently inaugurated R&D center is spread across 6000 square feet in Navi Mumbai with R&D prowess and cutting-edge manufacturing. We are focusing on new technologies and process efficiencies to provide great value to the market.
Q: Please shed some light on the recent developments of Soujanya Life Sciences.
Jashan Bhumkar: Soujanya Life Sciences has an extensive list of APIs and intermediates. We focus on niche therapeutic areas of CNS, Anti-Diabetics and Nutraceuticals. We specialise in multiple segments like ADHD, anti-psychotics, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, pain management, Alzheimers disease and others. We are exploring novel and advanced technologies in the protein, peptide and biosynthetic space. We have recently launched anti-diabetics which has been a focus area for us since day one.
We are focusing on existing molecules as well as new molecules. There are a lot of intermediates that are also launched in the market. We manufacture affordable and effective products. There are a lot of intricacies or details in the chemistry that we showcase. We are proud of our cost-efficient process and high-quality products. Our challenging chemistry involves hydrogenation under high pressure or chiral molecules with many chiral centers.
Q: Do you have any plans to bring some new products in the near future?
Jashan Bhumkar: We have many products in the pipeline. We are working very closely with our customers and developing solutions for them. We are also deeply studying the market space so we have taken the anti-diabetic category, anti-hypertensive category and a few other categories into consideration. We are keeping a close tab on which molecules are going off-patent and what new things are being developed. The products in the pipeline are currently with the FDA. We are keeping track of that. Our product pipeline will be in tune with that.
Q: Could you shed some light on the market presence of the company and your expansion plans?
Jashan Bhumkar: Today, Soujanya Group is present in more than 50 countries. We also have our own foreign subsidiary distributors and a great global network for sales. We have been very lucky that in the first two years of operation of our life sciences division, we have a lot of global traction and global inquiries from countries like Japan and Korea. From day one, all our documentation of QMS systems and quality control systems has been geared towards very stringent controls of the regulated market.
Q: What are the opportunities and challenges in the Indian pharmaceutical industry?
Jashan Bhumkar: There are many opportunities. Anybody who invests in technology & people and follows ethical business practices with a proper audit system and quality control system has a lot of potential for the long run in the market. The opportunities are rampant for everybody.
Talking about the challenges, there's no competition from China anymore. However, we have seen the world resurgence of Chinese companies and they are still very competitive in various things. Indian firms that thought that they could just replicate those products and do business are facing challenges. But it's also an opportunity as it highlights niches where we can actually outdo other countries and create our own advantage.
Q: What measures do you take to ensure quality products?
Jashan Bhumkar: We have a lot of stringent measures. We have always been way ahead of the regulations in the industry. We were following very sustainable practices even when we were in the paint industry. When we entered the pharma sector, we started following tough process control. Our scalar process is also stringent; hence, the delivery of products from lab to plant is thorough.
We visit our flagship plant which is for the Colorant Business. It's fully designed by the Swiss company Bühler and we have stringent PLC and SCADA control systems.
Q: Sustainability is a very critical aspect of every industry. Please elaborate on the sustainable practices you have adopted at Soujanya.
Jashan Bhumkar: At Soujanya, we are very committed to sustainability. Our Green Philosophy permeates into all aspects of our business. We have a green plant design- Zero discharge production facility with an in-house Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) as well as green products - a range of low VOC, APE Free, heavy metal free (lead-free and chrome free), solvent-free solutions. We received ECOVADIS Silver Rating for CSR and EHS performance and Green-Pro Certification for Machine Colorants in 2019.
Although our revenues are growing year by year with the support of well-wishers and customers, we have been able to reduce our resource usage, for example, last year we reduced water consumption and hazardous waste generation by 30 percent. We are using very energy-efficient processes wherever possible.
In terms of the life sciences businesses, we have really optimised the use of solvents. We have reduced the number of steps where we could reduce the energy input in the process.
At a macro level, we have a green building and natural lighting. At a micro level, every process in our lab has a sustainability angle to it. We love all colors, but green is one of our favourites!