Management theory put in play as India's Cipla eyes expansion abroad

A new management structure at Mumbai-based Cipla promises a high-stakes effort to help the Indian drugmaker abroad after an active spurt of acquisitions in 2015 as well as management shuffles.

The Nikkei Asian Review said the company's announcement last week of a 6-member management council is part of an effort to stay in the race with domestic rivals Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Dr. Reddy's ($RDY).

Those companies rejigged management in 2015 in the face of increasingly complex regulatory issues in the key U.S. market and to respond to industry changes in product focus--such as biosimilars.

Cipla CEO Subhanu Saxena

"This is part of (Cipla's) ongoing transformation journey to simplify decision making and improve operational excellence," the company said in a press release.

In June, the Times of India noted that Cipla had seen as many as 8 senior-level exits, including the head of India operations Sameer Goel in April, as Subhanu Saxena, global CEO and managing director who took the reins after longtime backer and Managing Director Y.K. Hamied stepped down in 2013, takes further control.

The new team headed by Saxena includes Umang Vohra as global chief operating officer; Geena Malhotra, global head of integrated product development; Ranjana Pathak, global head of quality; and Prabir Jha, global chief people officer. Samina Vaziralli, global head of strategy and mergers and acquisitions, completes the slate.

"We are simplifying our leadership structure to prepare Cipla for the next phase of our growth," Saxena said in a statement. "This is a natural evolution at this stage of our plans."

Indian drugmakers, including Cipla, faced a spate of import bans by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015 for manufacturing and record-keeping lapses, while at the same time pushing overseas acquisitions to a 5-year high above $1.5 billion, according to a December report from Livemint.

- here's the story from Nikkei Asian Review
- and the release from Cipla (PDF)