Amidst the pandemic due to the deadly Covid-19 virus spread, pharmaceutical manufacturers became a core part of the fighting back. Dolo-650, which gained immense popularity over the years due to its ability to deliver faster and longer relief from fever and pain, was found by Doctors find significantly impactful in fevers due to any etiology such as Typhoid, H1NI, Chikungunya, and even Covid-19 etc.
Today, Dolo-650 is the 6th largest brand (as per AWACS, Aug’21 Month Sales) in Indian Pharmaceutical Market became the number one prescribed brand of paracetamol solid oral doses in India. Meeting this high demand is the manufacturer and marketer of Dolo-650, Micro Labs Limited, a leading pharmaceutical company headquartered in Bangalore, India led by Dilip Surana.
An insight into Micro Labs history unveils that decades back, Dilip’s Late father, a former pharma distributor, and Micro Labs Limited’s Founder G.C. Surana set the founding stone of Micro Labs in 1973 at Madras (now known as Chennai).
The brand rooted in humble beginnings expanded to meet the increasing demand for top-quality pharmaceutical products in the ’80s with a second manufacturing facility was inaugurated at Hosur, Tamil Nadu, in June 1982. Eventually, in the years 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2006, they expanded and witnessed multifold growth.
Today, the man at the helm chairing Micro Labs is Mr Dilip Surana. As Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of this vast organization with almost five decades of existence, the Bangalore born Dilip hailing from Balrani, Pali District, Rajasthan leads from the front. Driven by the desire to reach heights in the pharmaceutical world, he today oversees Micro Labs' 12000 dedicated employees deploying their efforts at the state-of-the-art facilities and R&D centers designed to the international standards.
Pandemic disrupted lives, businesses, economies around the globe. This has been the most challenging time worldwide for all professionals. The covid-19 virus was always on the rise with new challenges. The primary symptom of covid is fever, and the fever needs to be managed decisively. Dolo-650 played a major role in the management of fever during a pandemic.
Dolo-650 promised, “We are your trusted companion during fever management”. Inventory maintenance of Dolo-650 was given the utmost importance to cater for the demand during the unexpected surge in covid cases.
To discover more about the role of Micro Labs in the industry as a key solution provider, the journey, challenges, achievements, and more, Purnima Narang, Editor, The CEO Magazine had an exclusive conversation with Dilip Surana himself. Edited excerpts:
Dilip: Every month, close to 275 million doses of Dolo-650 tablets are being consumed across India. To cater to this demand, Micro Labs has built a state-of-the-art Manufacturing Unit at Sikkim. To ensure the quality of the highest standards, Dolo-650 undergoes several tests at each level of manufacturing which is completely an automated process, where no human touch of the product takes place from start to finish. Some of the quality standards set are beyond the requirement of regulatory authorities.
Looking at the actions taken to ensure a product of global quality and ability to keep upgrading the standards, several agencies like Indian Drug Manufacturing Association (IDMA), Economic Times, and other National and International agencies, through their audits have been awarding Micro Labs Sikkim plant year after year.
Dilip Surana: More than two decades half back, we identified a space between normal fever and high fever. There are many cases wherein fever of unknown origin is being observed with a high fever. There we started promoting Dolo-650 to doctors. The concept of high fever was well appreciated by doctors to a quantum spurt in prescriptions of Dolo-650. Now, our role is focused, with continuous innovations to offer the best quality of Dolo-650 every day.
Dilip Surana: Challenges are part and parcel of the journey especially when you are an industry leader and endeavour something unprecedented in the industry. We are innovators in paracetamol 650 mg use. Having said that, we have paved our innovative path. Today, Dolo-650 is a well-known name across India.
Dilip Surana: We are continuously redefining excellence in marketing promotions by endeavouring into various innovative ways. Our promotion goes beyond field team promoting to doctors. We also take up high-end academic activities in fever management through our novel initiative called Fever Foundation guided by thirty advisory board members with doctors of eminence in the country.
This fever foundation dissipates various aspects of fever management through standalone webinars and books to many medical practitioners.
Dilip Surana: As a leader, our foremost priority currently revolves around creating overall success and aspire to build lasting relationships with employees. As CMD, I am quite hands-on on all operational details. I strive with discipline in both my professional and personal life. I continue to lead Micro Labs in the direction towards growth with each decision every day.
Dilip Surana: Taking a lead from the front by fully complying with the government regulations and also by accepting the challenges during the COVID as a resilient warrior by steering the core team with a focused approach.
Our working during the crisis was strict as complying to the government regulations and we assured complete safety for all our staff. Our office has been fortified with uncompromising safety measures to all including our field force by providing them work from home initially and initiating digital ways of being in touch with people and eventually doing fieldwork wherever possible as allowed by government regulations.
Dilip Surana: Currently, with our stance as a reputed brand across India, we are focused on building a team with all preparations for the everchanging marketing environment and robust infrastructure to the Global requirement of branded generics.
Dilip Surana: I believe, leading from the front with a persistent focus towards perfection in every endeavour through hard and smart work with meticulous planning is my definition of success.
Being disciplined in every aspect, both professionally and on the personal front. We always believe in a holistic approach in thought in all challenges and opportunities. Striving for the best has always been our core principle.
Dilip Surana: At Micro Labs, R & D and F & D are continuous as more of our 400 scientists are working on various projects to deliver the best of the products to end-users. We believe that Micro Labs’ business model behind our successful brand is the drive fueled by un-deviated focus coupled with aggressive marketing and strive to be the best.
Dilip Surana: The Micro Labs has 12000 members who are driven by our core values. Each of them personifies the same in the action and continue to ensure growth for the business. Micro Labs is built around four pillars of business beliefs which are:
· Quality: Quality is a driving force for the organization across the value chain.
· Ethics: We manage businesses by imbibing best practices of governance and ethics.
· Customer Focus: We seek understanding and fulfilling the customer needs and focus on customer satisfaction.
· Respect for People: Our most important belief is respecting people and valuing their contributions as they are invaluable assets.
Dilip Surana: Dolo-650 is the 6th largest brand (as per AWACS, Aug’21 Month Sales) in the Indian Pharmaceutical Market and is also the number one prescribed brand of paracetamol solid oral doses in India. This is indeed one of the proudest achievements.
We have also been recognized with Times award for the most popular and trusted brand in the pharmaceutical category, for Dolo-650 in the year 2019 and 2021. Another feather in the cap is recognition as IPR Leadership Award 2020 for Excellence Contribution in the field of Patents.
Micro Labs Sikkim manufacturing unit consequently bagged the prestigious Gold award for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 and Silver award for the year 2016 at Indian Manufacturing Excellence Awards (IMEA) held by Frost and Sullivan in association with Economic Times.
Dilip Surana: Micro Labs is poised to achieve unparalleled status in the global pharmaceutical industry. Our vision is built around a desire to bring not just the best, but a leader in the development, manufacture, and sales of premium pharmaceutical products. Our Motto, to work relentlessly for quality products from best of the class manufacturing facilities.
Dilip Surana: We indeed believe that we will be achieving the status we are seeking in the next five years. We are confident about the same with our extraordinary teamwork and meticulous planning.
Dilip Surana: If I were to advise young entrepreneurs, Uncompromised learning on every aspect of the business is very important right from the plant layout to manufacturing systems, people-orientation, keeping eyes and ears open on new opportunities and fast adaption to the latest technologies in the country.
We strongly believe that people are our assets, and it is only through them we realize our goals and objectives. Starting from a small enterprise to a large corporation, I have expanded my vision and influenced my people to think big and do big.
Dilip Surana: We robustly believe that it is our responsibility to give back to society and empower them through our initiatives as a company. We have been extending a helping hand towards society through our corporate social responsibility initiatives.
The company is involved in issues related to healthcare, education, sports, and social welfare. Its primary mode of undertaking corporate social responsibility is by supporting a variety of NGOs, many small and grassroots, to achieve the desired social outcomes.