Akums: The Journey from Breaks to Breakthroughs

Sandeep Jain and Sanjeev Jain - Jt. Managing Directors - Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

Sandeep Jain and Sanjeev Jain - Jt. Managing Directors - Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

“Leadership is not found in echoing the footsteps of the crowd, but in daring to forge a path of one’s own.”

Amidst the backdrop of the mid-80s, a time when job security in stable government positions was the coveted path for many, two brothers from a modest middle-class upbringing embarked on a journey fueled by a different aspiration: the pursuit of self-reliance. While others sought stability, the Jain brothers took a calculated risk, a decision that would prove prescient for the years to come. Sanjeev Jain and Sandeep Jain embarked on the journey of establishing their own pharmaceutical trading store in 1984. Starting with a modest 55 square feet shop in Bhagirath place, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, the two brothers could hardly foresee that they would one day helm the nation’s foremost pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprise.

The Journey of Entrepreneurship

From the onset, the journey of Akums was anything but not ordinary. Born into modest beginnings, the allure of entrepreneurship beckoned them, though not without its challenges. For them, engaging in business wasn’t merely an option; it was a matter of survival, a question they had to answer by any means necessary. Whether they sought employment like the masses or endeavored to provide livelihoods to others, Sanjeev Jain & Sandeep Jain opted for the challenging route. Yet, it was their unwavering faith that became their guiding light, propelling them through the darkest of times towards the beacon of success. In the face of adversity, they remained undeterred, their middle-class upbringing instilling a resilience that rendered the highs and lows of business inconsequential.

Triumph Over Adversity

In the narrative of triumph, it’s often those acquainted with the bitterness of defeat who relish success most. Amid the trials inherent in any pursuit, it’s the resilient souls who ascend to victory’s pinnacle. Each obstacle they encountered in the pharma trading business became a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block. With each setback, they emerged stronger, their journey marked by an unwavering commitment to honesty, dedication, and punctuality. Their reputation for integrity and reliability became the bedrock upon which their success was built, attracting steadfast allies who journeyed with them through thick and thin. Amidst a period of scarce quality medicines and multinational corporations struggling to meet demand, the Jain brothers made a decisive move. Having garnered recognition and established a network in pharmaceutical trading over nearly two decades, they shifted their focus to medicine manufacturing.

The Emergence of Akums

In the millennium year 2000, amid significant nationwide changes, the establishment of Uttarakhand marked a milestone. During that crucial period, Uttarakhand attained statehood in December 2000, thereby paving the way for new opportunities and avenues for development. Since then, it has embarked on a journey of progress, transforming into a region of promise beyond its well-known tourism and natural assets. Soon after, the government unveiled ambitious plans to make Uttarakhand a comprehensive destination. These plans included notable initiatives such as offering tax exemptions and substantial rebates on the establishment of manufacturing units, aimed at creating significant employment opportunities within Uttarakhand.

Inspired by the era of contract manufacturing, Sanjeev Jain & Sandeep Jain chose to establish their contract pharma manufacturing business in Uttarakhand. The advancements in Uttarakhand offered a golden opportunity for them. Their vision was crystal clear: to produce high-quality, affordable medicines and ensure their availability even in the most remote corners of India for the benefit of its people. They pooled their investments, sought assistance from banks when needed, and completed the land registration process at the State Infrastructure & Industrial Development Corporation Uttarakhand Ltd. (SIIDCUL) office in Uttarakhand, all with the aim of turning their dream project of contract pharma manufacturing into reality. Their journey, marked by humility, transitioned seamlessly from the realm of pharmaceutical trading to pioneering strides in manufacturing, a testament to their indomitable spirit and relentless pursuit of excellence.

The dream that Sanjeev Jain & Sandeep Jain harbored, of providing widespread employment opportunities to the youth of the country, began to take shape with the incorporation of Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited on 19th April 2004, marking its inception. Jain brother’s significant recognition within the pharmaceutical industry opened doors for them to engage with several major companies for contract manufacturing. Leveraging their positive reputation, they forged significant collaborations. However, from the very beginning, they faced a myriad of challenges, ranging from acquiring barren land to grappling with a lack of infrastructure. Establishing a manufacturing unit under such circumstances was undoubtedly a daunting task. To adhere to their production budget, the Jain brothers needed to initiate production within a specific timeframe, and they made it.

Persistence Amidst Challenges

The journey, though seemingly straightforward, was far from easy. The Jain brothers pooled their savings and mortgaged their only house in Delhi to the bank, laying the foundation for their business venture. Furthermore, vital funds were secured through a bank credit to kick-start their operations. However, they managed to accomplish significant tasks, including building an 800-meter road, leveling the land, and handling all operations using generators. The first phase of construction concluded by the end of November, and production began in December. Initially, they heavily relied on generators for about a year. Sanjeev Jain, Sandeep Jain and their team tirelessly worked around the clock to construct their manufacturing unit. Within the facility, they built a small room where they could take short breaks. Setting a modest turnover target of Rupees 19 crore for the first full financial year, they exceeded expectations, achieving Rupees 194 crore, more than ten times the initial goal.

In the narrative of Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals, Sanjeev Jain & Sandeep Jain aren’t solitary heroes facing trials and tribulations. Their tale of perseverance and diligence is the culmination of collective efforts from committed individuals who stood beside them, forming the sturdy pillars of the Akums organization. Many who started as executives or junior officers in the early days have risen to leadership positions within the company, such as plant heads, unit heads, or leaders of core teams and departments. The Jain brothers have consistently conducted thorough assessments of people’s abilities, providing guidance and tailored support based on their capabilities—a responsibility they deem essential as conscientious leaders. Throughout their entrepreneurial journey, the common advice of considering employees as assets is frequently encountered. However, they have consistently resisted this notion. The term “asset” carries a materialistic undertone, and considering a human being as a mere possession has always struck them as entirely inappropriate.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Akums Team</p></div>

Akums Team

The Akums Ethos

For Akums, it’s more than just a business; it’s a family. Every employee, regardless of their role, holds a special place in their hearts, highlighting the unique bond within their work family. Over the past two decades, the Jain brothers have been deeply involved in new business development, manufacturing, overseeing API, and leading R&D units. Remarkably, during this period, they haven’t faced any significant adversities—an affirmation of the resilience of their work culture and the genuine care they have for each other. As a result, the doors of their office are always open to every employee, fostering an environment where concerns are heard, and solutions are provided. Finding joy in even the most challenging tasks and taking pride in small accomplishments, their overarching goal is to create job opportunities and provide essential medicines to those in need. Witnessing employees achieve significant milestones, such as purchasing homes, cars, and starting families, brings them immense satisfaction. The true measure of success in their entrepreneurial journey lies in the progress of those dedicated to their responsibilities, turning dedication into tangible achievements.

The choice to venture into contract pharma manufacturing stemmed from two driving forces: survival and a staunch dedication to crafting top-tier medicines. From its very beginning, Akums has remained resolute in its pledge to deliver medicines of unparalleled quality. Their foremost aim in this industry has consistently been to guarantee the availability and accessibility of premium medicines for all. In the pharmaceutical domain, Akums bear a profound responsibility. Within a few years, their reputation in contract manufacturing was firmly established, leading to the incorporation of two more units. Fueled by sustained growth and market demand, they expanded their operations further, adding more manufacturing units in subsequent years. This noble endeavor found its roots in the humble beginnings of Akums, a budding enterprise driven not just by ambition, but by a genuine desire to make a difference.

Armed with such thoughts and unwavering determination, Sanjeev Jain & Sandeep Jain embarked on a journey marked by continuous progress and achievements right from the outset. Their unwavering commitment drives them to lead in impact and innovation, safeguarding the health and well-being of countless individuals. The narrative of their struggle and hard work is a result of the collective dedication of individuals who worked alongside them. They conducted sincere assessments of people’s skills, providing suitable guidance and support based on their capabilities, as it is the responsibility of a conscientious leader. Akums’ business ethos has consistently revolved around its integrity, strict quality standards, and swift service. The goodwill fostered by Sanjeev Jain and Sandeep Jain at Akums has not only nurtured the enterprise but also played a crucial role in forging strong bonds with their clientele.

A Journey of Innovation

Today, Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited is regarded as a well-established organization within the pharmaceutical industry. Known for its commitment to quality and innovation, Akums has positioned itself as a prominent player in the CDMO market. The company is recognized for its extensive range of pharmaceutical products, including generic drugs, over-the-counter medications, and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). One of Akums’ notable strengths lies in its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, equipped with advanced technology and adhering to stringent quality standards. This ensures the production of high-quality pharmaceuticals that meet regulatory requirements. This noble endeavor found its roots in the humble beginnings of Akums, a budding enterprise driven not just by ambition, but by a genuine desire to make a difference. Their journey was not merely one of business acumen; it was a saga of resilience, dedication, and unwavering commitment to a noble cause. For Akums, the path to success was paved not with gold, but with the promise of a brighter, healthier future for all.

The profound understanding of medicine endowed Sanjeev Jain and Sandeep Jain with an intimate grasp of its essence. They consistently prioritized innovation, striving to introduce novel ideas and creations. They grasped the market’s demands, discerning how to enhance accessibility to medicines, identifying the necessary types of medications, and brainstorming innovations to elevate medicinal standards. They revolutionized bitter pills into sweeter, more palatable forms, downsizing large pills to smaller sizes. They skillfully masked unpleasant odors and tastes with pleasing fragrances and tastes, while also developing multivitamin syrups, flavored gummies, and a host of other innovative products. Pioneering aspects like color, shape, size, odor and taste, they held the market’s pulse firmly within their grasp. These enhancements skyrocketed their drug sales.

Their commitment to pioneering led them to enhance complex products and secure essential approvals from regulatory bodies, affirming their innovative approach. They consolidated two pills into one, combined two to three pills into a single capsule, downsized larger pills, and streamlined the remaining medication into either a single pill or syrup for convenient usage. Notably, the single capsule contains three tablets designed to address various aspects of a disease, whether similar or distinct, tailored for different intervals. Following the dissolution of the initial tablet, the second dissolves after a specific duration, followed by the third. This sequential release ensures a time gap between medications, fostering positive effects on the body devoid of adverse reactions. The company asserts these benefits with regulatory body approvals, marking a significant milestone in innovation.

The Rise of Akums

Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited is recognized for its dedication to quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction, making it a reputable and reliable organization in the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, Akums emphasizes research and development to stay ahead in the competitive pharmaceutical landscape, continuously striving to introduce new and improved formulations to address evolving healthcare needs. Akums excels in its cutting-edge manufacturing facilities, boasting advanced technology and rigorous quality control measures.

This commitment guarantees the creation of premium pharmaceuticals that comply with regulatory standards. Furthermore, Akums prioritizes research and development to maintain a competitive edge in the pharmaceutical industry, consistently introducing enhanced formulations to meet evolving healthcare demands. In terms of business operations, Akums has established a strong distribution network, enabling widespread availability of its products across various regions. This strategic approach has contributed to the company’s growth and market presence.

Akums is positioned to make significant contributions to global healthcare solutions. With eleven operational manufacturing units and four dedicated R&D facilities, the company places a strong emphasis on both capacity and innovation. Supported by multiple proprietary technologies and a team of >300 R&D scientists, Akums boasts a proven track record of excellence in research and development. Their vision is to emerge as a leading global player in pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing while remaining steadfast in their commitment to core values of trust, excellence, and innovation. Regarding the advancements at Akums, Sanjeev Jain expressed,

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Sanjeev Jain - Jt. Managing Director - Akums Drugs &amp; Pharmaceuticals</p></div>

Sanjeev Jain - Jt. Managing Director - Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

“Despite Encountering Numerous Challenges, We Have Established Our Manufacturing Unit And Diligently Focused On Further Development And Production Quality. Today, Akums Stands In Its Flourishing State, Symbolizing Our Unwavering Commitment To Serving The Nation. Our Dedication To The Principle Of ‘Rashtra Pratham’ Is Not Just A Belief But Also Our Practice.”

Breaking Barriers: Akums’ Affordable Solution for Sickle Cell Anemia

At Akums, quality innovation stands as a perpetual vision. Their dedicated research and development center, manned by passionate scientists, tirelessly pursues pioneering solutions and advancements. In a groundbreaking achievement, Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited introduces the Hydroxyurea Oral Suspension, a revolutionary treatment for the rare disease Sickle Cell Anemia. Developed meticulously over two years at Akums R&D center, this indigenous medicine represents a significant leap forward in healthcare innovation. This breakthrough is particularly noteworthy given its potential to address a pressing need in the healthcare landscape. Previously, the only available option from the international counterpart incurred a hefty cost. Akums’ Oral Suspension, priced very reasonably, offers a cost-effective alternative, constituting a bare minimum of the overall cost of its international counterpart.

Discussing Akums’ achievements, Sandeep Jain described, “Consistent innovation is integral to our approach and mindset. Our foremost priority is to serve the nation by providing affordable and superior-quality medicines for various ailments. Even during the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we tackled them head-on with determination and resilience. It wasn’t just the senior management, but every employee of Akums comprehended the significance and, by following all protocols, made invaluable contributions to the nation’s service.”

Moreover, the Hydroxyurea Oral Suspension boasts practical advantages over its international counterpart. While the latter requires strict temperature controls (2 to 8 degrees Celsius) for effectiveness, Akums’ formulation can be conveniently stored and used at room temperature, around 25 degrees Celsius. The significance of this achievement is heightened by the context of Sickle Cell Anemia’s prevalence, particularly among tribal communities in Central and Western India. This inherited blood disorder, characterized by distorted red blood cells and associated blockages, inflicts intense pain and poses significant healthcare challenges. In response to the urgency of addressing Sickle Cell Anemia, initiatives such as the campaign launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi in July 2023 underscore the national commitment to disease eradication by 2047. Before that, this initiative, supported by increased budgetary allocations, including those announced by Hon’ble Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitaraman in the 2023 Budget speech, represents a concerted effort to combat this illness and improve healthcare outcomes for affected communities.

CDMO Vitality in India’s Pharma Manufacturing

India stands as a prominent player in the Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) arena. A significant driver for this trajectory would be the industry’s foray into the realm of innovation, which continues to represent a substantial portion of the global pharmaceutical landscape, accounting for two-thirds of the opportunity. The Indian pharmaceutical industry plays a pivotal role in providing cost-effective generic drugs and vaccines to millions worldwide. The current growth of the pharma industry is propelled by positive value increases observed across all major healthcare areas. With various growth catalysts, such as increasing affordability, enhanced access, low production costs, and government support, the industry is positioned for sustained expansion in the years ahead. The Indian pharma industry plays a pivotal role in supplying affordable generic drugs and vaccines to millions globally.

The industry is poised for sustained growth, supported by various factors such as increasing affordability, enhanced access, low production costs, and governmental backing. Expansion in the innovation space remains a key driver for pharma industry growth, continuing to represent two-thirds of the global pharmaceutical opportunity. The Indian pharma sector is on the brink of significant transformation, emphasizing innovation and the development of complex generics to address evolving healthcare needs worldwide while transitioning from volume to value leadership. The pharmaceutical industry stands as a noble profession dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of individuals. Dispelling the misconception that it is solely driven by financial gains, the primary objective of the pharmaceutical industry is to advance and provide essential medications and therapies for the healthcare well-being of society.

The Pharmaceutical Industry: Prioritizing Health Over Profit

The pharmaceutical industry stands as a noble profession dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of individuals. Dispelling the misconception that it is solely driven by financial gains, the primary objective of the pharmaceutical industry is to advance and provide essential medications and therapies for the healthcare well-being of society. In contrast to the belief that profit is its main focus, the industry genuinely operates with a higher purpose - the healthcare of the people. While pharmaceuticals do generate revenue, their core mission is to actively contribute to public health and welfare.

It is essential to recognize that not all medicines are affordable; some can be quite expensive. The high costs are justified by extensive research, innovation, skilled manpower, advanced machinery, high-end technology, and rigorous testing aimed at enhancing quality and evaluating lab results in the manufacturing of medicines. Additionally, obtaining numerous approvals from various authorities adds to the overall complexity of the process. Despite these challenges, prioritizing health ensures that the need for medicines arises less frequently, or perhaps not at all.

The truth is we derive great pleasure from indulging in a pizza priced at Rupees 200, yet spending Rupees 50 on medicine may seem like a financial burden to our pockets. The reality is that we meticulously manage our expenses on food, drinks, travel, clothing, and lifestyle, often overlooking the importance of prioritizing our health. Interestingly, the cost of many medicines is lower than that of a bottle of cold drink. It’s ironic that while enjoying a cold drink can be a delightful experience, taking medicine might be discomforting. Paradoxically, unhealthy eating and drinking habits, such as consuming junk food or regularly opting for outside food, may eventually lead to the usage of medicines. CDMO’s organization like Akums respects people’s feelings, which is why it is working tirelessly on cost-effective and affordable medicines.

Sanjeev Jain emphasized the profound responsibility inherent in drug manufacturing. He stated,

“Drug manufacturing is a profoundly responsible profession. We produce medicines with the understanding that every life is invaluable and must be safeguarded. Therefore, ensuring the highest quality of medicine formation is our top priority. Furthermore, we are committed to making medication affordable.”

Akums: Pioneering Innovation through Technology

At Akums, staying at the forefront of technology is a top priority. They have adopted the latest trends, employing biometric and facial recognition applications for attendance monitoring. Their operational staff benefits from cutting-edge devices and applications, all supported by a top-tier data center. Since its inception, Akums has embraced advanced technology, integrating platforms like SAP from the start. Every operational aspect relies on technology, with each requiring approval and inclusion in the tech-driven list to ensure smooth operations. By incorporating state-of-the-art tools into their framework, they have enhanced their operational capabilities significantly. Imagine this: LIMS for Quality Control, EQMS, a revolutionary Single-Window System (SWS) for capital and operational expenses, EY’s Planvisage steering product planning, and Harmony guiding carton and packaging designs with precision.

In addition to these, their commitment to innovation extends boldly from revolutionizing software solutions for diverse canteens across various locations to orchestrating seamless movement and facility management and providing an unmatched visitor experience through an advanced visitor management system. This isn’t just integration; it’s a dynamic initiative propelling them towards the future of operational excellence.

Akums Pharmaceuticals: Leading the Way in Sustainable Manufacturing

Akums Pharmaceuticals emerges as a pioneer of sustainable manufacturing within the pharmaceutical sector, embodying an unwavering dedication to environmental stewardship and operational excellence. Their journey commences with the wholehearted adoption of the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Framework, epitomizing their commitment to societal welfare. Since its inception, Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited, founded by Sanjeev Jain & Sandeep Jain, has been envisioned as a company deeply ingrained in responsible practices, with a roadmap firmly anchored in water conservation, energy efficiency, and solid waste management. Water conservation takes center stage in Akums’ sustainability efforts. Understanding the critical importance of water, they prioritize its preservation and judicious usage. Through the 3R approach - reduce, reuse, and recycle - Akums has reduced and aims to further reduce fresh water consumption.

Decarbonization and energy efficiency are another cornerstone of Akums’ sustainability strategy. Leveraging renewable energy sources such as solar panels and the usage of biomass fuels, Akums aims to minimize reliance on fossil fuels. Through quarterly energy audits and adherence to international protocols and industry standards, they remain vigilant in their efforts to minimize emissions. Having already achieved a significant reduction in energy consumption, the organization is committed to doubling these savings in the near future. In Solid Waste Management, Akums is completely compliant with the regulations set by the Pollution Control Board. By implementing best practices for both liquid and solid waste disposal, including effluent treatment, the company has maintained rigorous standards for waste management.

At Akums, sustainability is a core value that aims to foster a culture of innovation and accountability. Key performance indicators are utilized to track progress, empowering employees at every level to champion sustainability initiatives. Safety is paramount at Akums, with stringent safety audits ensuring compliance and continuous improvement. In essence, Akums Drugs and Pharmaceuticals epitomize the harmonization of ethical business practices with environmental and social responsibility. As the company moves ahead towards a sustainable future, it encourages all stakeholders to join them in embracing the transformative power of responsible and sustainable business practices.

Nurturing Passion and Purpose: Wisdom for Today’s Youth

Sandeep Jain’s suggestion to youth is— “Embrace the art of living: resist fleeting trends, avoid quick fixes, and stop comparing yourself with others. Invest time in understanding and expressing yourself. Pursue your passions with dedication, for success follows genuine enthusiasm. Love what you do, and infuse every task with passion. Shift focus from outcomes to the joy of the process. Measure success by the love you invest in every endeavour. Extend this philosophy to relationships: listen with love and connect authentically. Life becomes extraordinary when approached as an art form. In a mere shift of perspective, discover the extraordinary in the ordinary, finding fulfilment in the present.”

Embracing Purpose in Pharmaceuticals

They anticipate that individuals or groups joining them will be proficient in managing their skill sets, capable of summarizing their tasks, and focused on maximizing every moment to accomplish their work. Whether an individual or a group, whether an employee or a partner, they expect them to demonstrate respect for everyone’s work. They commend employees who care for each other and provide assistance, as it contributes to creating a healthy work atmosphere.

The pharmaceutical industry is undertaking a commendable mission—a service to humanity. If you comprehend the profound significance of this business, embrace the weighty responsibility it carries, and possess the courage to shoulder the well-being of others, then entering this profession becomes not just a career choice but a calling. The primary objective of this business extends beyond mere financial gain; it is dedicated to serving human life. If you derive joy from contributing to the well-being of others, then this profession is well-suited for you. It’s crucial to understand that this is not merely a profit center or a conventional business avenue; instead, it represents a significant responsibility—a commitment to the betterment of human life.

Unveiling Excellence: Akums’ Innovative Journey

Two decades ago, Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited emerged with a mission to revolutionize the healthcare industry. What began as a modest venture has now blossomed into a global leader, leaving an indelible mark on the world stage. At the core of Akums’ success story lies a relentless commitment to excellence. From day one, the company set out to redefine industry standards, aiming not just to meet expectations, but to surpass them. This unwavering dedication to quality and innovation soon caught the attention of the industry, propelling Akums to the forefront of pharmaceutical manufacturing.

But success didn’t come overnight. It was forged through perseverance, determination, and an unwavering focus on customer satisfaction. Akums understood that the key to sustainable growth lay in understanding and exceeding customer needs. Through personalized service, innovative solutions, and a customer-centric approach, Akums built enduring relationships that continue to thrive today. Another pillar of Akums’ success lies in its culture of collaboration and empowerment. Recognizing that the true strength of a company lies in its people, Akums fostered a work environment where creativity flourishes, diversity is celebrated, and every individual is empowered to contribute their best. This collaborative spirit fueled a culture of innovation, propelling Akums to the forefront of pharmaceutical research and development.

Today, Akums stands as a beacon of excellence in the pharmaceutical industry. With state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge technology, and a global footprint spanning across continents, Akums continues to set new benchmarks for quality, innovation, and ethical business practices. But amidst all the accolades and achievements, one thing remains unchanged - Akums’ unwavering commitment to its core values. Integrity, excellence, and social responsibility continue to guide every decision, ensuring that the company stays true to its mission of improving healthcare outcomes and touching lives around the world. As Akums looks to the future, the journey ahead is filled with promise and possibility. With innovation as its compass and excellence as its destination, Akums is poised to write the next chapter in its remarkable success story, continuing to redefine the boundaries of possibility and inspire the world with its vision of a healthier, happier tomorrow.

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