Updated on 13 September 2012
How would you describe the regulatory scenario in India for the introduction of new products?
The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) is the licensing authority for registration of herbal products in India. As we develop products in Bangalore, we have to register our products with AYUSH monitoring body in Karnataka (state-level). A team of experts, who exclusively look into the licensing and registration of the products at Himalaya apply for license adhering to the protocol set by state AYUSH. As a standard procedure, along with the products, we present published research papers during registration.
What is your major challenge in expanding the pharmaceutical business in India?
As we operate in the space of ayurveda, overcoming skepticism surrounding herbal medicine among the medical fraternity was a challenge for us. But, this perception is now changing. Extensive research has been carried out about the benefits of herbal medicine, which is slowly gaining global acceptance.
Due to a lack of stringent regulatory policies and a large number of unorganized players in the herbal segment, product quality was being jeopardized. But, in the last 10 years, AYUSH has been instrumental in implementing strict policies for product registration and distribution, which has benefited the segment greatly. In fact, Himalaya is credited with bringing about a change in ayurvedic herbal medicine in India. We are the first company to manufacture phytopharmaceutical products in an EU-GMP compliant facility, a testament to our commitment to quality.
What would be the focus areas for the pharmaceutical segment at Himalaya for the next two years?
In the next couple of years, we are planning to launch more nutri-health products. Health supplements for general health, convalescence, diabetes management and a fourth variant for pregnant and lactating women will be launched shortly. Apart from nutraceuticals, we are also focusing on developing products for the dermatological, immunomodulation and women's health segments.