Updated on 10 May 2012
Dr Reddy is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. He spends more than half of his time on philanthropic activities. And it's not just time that he invests. He has been spending a bulk of his earnings to fund initiatives to alleviate hunger, create livelihoods, provide education and access to safe drinking water and pull back children from hazardous industries through his not-for-profit organization-Naandi Foundation. He has set a target of transforming a million lives by the end of 2010.
It is also with this perspective that Dr Reddy founded Dr Reddy's Foundation in 1996 to pursue causes close to his heart. The Foundation is particularly active in the field of creating livelihoods. Its initiative, called Livelihood Advancement Business School or LABS, has, so far, trained over 130,000 youngsters with skills suited for entry-level jobs in sectors such as hospitality, ITES and customer relations.
Dr Reddy has committed a huge amount of fund for over 10 years that will make the L V Prasad Eye Institute self-sustaining. LV Prasad Eye Institute does a lot of free and subsidized eye treatments. The institute is the only one in India and one of the few in the world that uses stem cells for corneal reconstruction. It has treated over 500 such cases over the last five years, the highest anywhere in the world.
He also launched a social initiative called "Sparsh," an assistance program for cancer patients who cannot afford a treatment. Patients identified by the doctors through Sparsh are provided Reditux, the anticancer biologic drug from Dr Reddy's Labs free of cost. He is also the man behind the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS). The institute focused on the interface between life sciences and chemistry. Here, chemists and biologists work together to seek solutions to human health issues. The model is to create its own intellectual property and commercialize it in collaboration with the industry.
"These philanthropic activities keep me going and help me stay connected to the society", he says. He confesses, "I am always inquisitive. So if I had become a chemist, I would have been a journalist". As a person, he likes seeing different places and knowing people. "Apart from pioneering drugs and running a business house I am also good at guessing a persons' origin by the way he/she speaks English," he laughs.
In February 2009, his company completed 25 years of its life. "It is a significant milestone. We have grown from a small establishment located in Hyderabad to a strong global company with facilities in India, Europe, the USA, Russia and China-earning a net revenue of $1.37 billion in 2008-09," he shares.
"I am happy with the way we have grown over the years. But I am happier still with the fact that, throughout the growth process, the company has never forgotten the basic reason for its existence-to provide affordable and innovative medicines to patients across the world. And that it has the-strategy to leverage research and development, product offerings and customer services to be a leading global pharmaceutical company," he says.
The history of pharmaceuticals in India is a story of this bold entrepreneur whose pioneering efforts demonstrated that he could master processes that could be used to manufacture chemicals and molecules that would help India progress towards a sustainable twenty-first century.
The story of Dr K Anji Reddy is thus all about the ability to chase a dream and make it come true.
Industry on Dr Anji Reddy
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