Salud Care India Pvt Ltd

Revolutionising Global Healthcare Through Advanced Pharmaceutical Solutions and Rigorous Standards
Nilesh Dudhwewala - Director - Salud Care India Pvt Ltd

Nilesh Dudhwewala - Director - Salud Care India Pvt Ltd

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Pharmaceuticals have played a crucial role in healthcare for centuries, evolving from ancient herbal remedies to today’s sophisticated global industry dedicated to advancing medical science and improving global health outcomes. India, with its ‘pharmacy of the world’ title, has emerged as a key player in this sector, committed to delivering high-quality, cost-effective medications that enhance healthcare accessibility worldwide.

At the heart of this noble cause are Indian pharmaceutical companies dedicated to advancing medical innovation and affordability. Among these industry leaders stands Salud Care Group, a prominent name in the Indian pharmaceutical landscape. Led by Nilesh Dudhwewala, the company is poised to become a cornerstone in the global pharmaceutical market.

Advancing Pharma Solutions

Founded in 2003, Salud Care has quickly established itself as a leading global pharmaceutical entity, specialising in the development and distribution of high-quality formulations. With a mission to establish a trusted global brand known for its Indian-made pharmaceuticals, Salud Care aims to become the largest contract manufacturing organisation in the country. The company is dedicated to expanding its market presence by marketing, distributing, and selling its proprietary brands of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and cosmeceuticals across more than 50 countries.

Salud Care Group operates under a set of core values that prioritise service of the highest standards, excellence in every aspect of operations, and a strong sense of responsibility towards patients, clients, the team, and the community. Additionally, empathy guides their interactions, demonstrating care for patients, clients, and the environment.

Salud Care is headquartered in Ahmedabad, with manufacturing facilities in Roorkee and Ahmedabad and zonal operations based in Kolkata. With a workforce exceeding 500 across all group companies, Salud Care Group ensures a dynamic and collaborative work environment where innovation thrives and expertise flourishes. The company extends its global presence through representative offices in Tashkent and the United States, facilitating robust partnerships and operational efficiency.

Salud Care Group serves a diverse clientele including prominent names such as Intas Pharmaceuticals, Lloyd Pharmaceuticals, Abbaris Pharmaceuticals, DawaIndia, Johnlee Pharmaceuticals, among others. Their comprehensive approach, from manufacturing prowess to global distribution capabilities, positions them as a pivotal player in advancing healthcare outcomes worldwide.

The Emergence of Salud Care

Mr Nilesh comes from a modest background, originally from Bhagalpur, Bihar. His father started with a small pharmaceutical retail shop and later ventured into distribution in their hometown. In 1990, the family relocated to Kolkata, where his father established a carrying and forwarding business focusing on pharmaceutical finished formulations. Growing up deeply involved in the family enterprise, Mr Nilesh and his brother developed a strong passion for the pharmaceutical industry from an early age.

During his undergraduate years, the Dudhwewala family decided to enter pharmaceutical marketing and launched Salud under the leadership of Mr Nilesh’s elder brother, Mr Manish Dudhwewala. Salud Care commenced operations in 2003 as a small, family-owned pharmaceutical finished dosage form marketing company in West Bengal. “It was then that I made the decision to join forces with my brother to nurture and expand Salud,” shares Mr Nilesh.

Within the next few years, under Manish’s guidance, the company expanded across eastern India and decided to establish its own manufacturing unit for oral and external finished dosage forms. Roorkee, Uttarakhand, was selected for its status as a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub and the favourable government subsidies offered at the time. The plant commenced operations in 2007, initially prioritising the expansion of Salud’s own brands over contract manufacturing.

Mr Nilesh Dudhwewala chose to gain broader industry exposure after completing his MBA at IMI, Delhi, and spending time as a Territory Sales Manager at Maruti. In 2009, he joined Salud Care full-time, focusing on the marketing segment, while his brother concentrated on manufacturing and developing the contract manufacturing division. By 2013, Salud Care expanded operations to include an export vertical, upgraded manufacturing capabilities, attained WHO-GMP, NAFDAC, and PPB Kenya accreditations, and began registering products in global markets such as Nigeria, Kenya, West Africa, Myanmar, and Afghanistan.

In 2016, facing rising competition in the Indian pharma market, the brothers recognised the need to expand their team with like-minded individuals. They aimed to evolve Salud Care into a group of companies with multiple entities operating under the Salud Care Group of Companies. This transformation involved restructuring their operations: shifting the marketing vertical to a new entity named Alvio Pharmaceuticals for domestic marketing, while Salud Care concentrated exclusively on contract manufacturing and exports. The partnership with Stella Lifecare led to the establishment of Stelvio Healthcare, specialising in nutraceuticals and cosmetics, and the development of a modern manufacturing facility in Ahmedabad, which commenced operations in early 2024.

Innovative Pharmaceutical Solutions

Salud offers a range of specialised services across various business verticals:

  • Domestic Marketing: Salud focuses on marketing its own formulations, particularly in the Cardiovascular and Anti-Diabetic markets.

  • Contract Manufacturing: This is Salud’s primary and, so far, the largest service, where they excel in customised manufacturing, private labelling, and in-licensing for Pharmaceuticals, Nutraceuticals, and Cosmetics. They operate three advanced, multi-accredited manufacturing plants located in Roorkee and Ahmedabad, serving both domestic and international clients.

  • International Marketing: Salud is experiencing rapid growth in this area, actively registering, marketing, and distributing their proprietary brands globally.

Overcoming Challenges

In terms of regulations, India still has significant progress to make toward more stringent norms, guidelines, and manufacturing standards. Mr Nilesh stresses the importance of aligning local regulations with global benchmarks, which Salud’s businesses and manufacturing units already adhere to.

“In terms of disruptions caused by local or global changes, we have already gone through major changes like demonetisation, GST implementation, COVID-19, and global wars,” he reflects. Salud is a highly diversified company operating across multiple markets and segments. This broad diversification naturally provides a hedge against uncertainty and unpredictability in any single market or segment.

“While future uncertainties are inevitable, we are confident in our ability to withstand and overcome them,” Mr Nilesh concludes optimistically.

Success for Salud Care

At Salud, they have a unique approach to success that extends beyond mere profitability. They take pride in their flawless track record across all audits conducted by regulatory bodies. Mr Nilesh shares, “Our plants have successfully passed every audit conducted by regulatory bodies including WHO-GMP, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and Ukraine.”

However, the greatest satisfaction comes from witnessing the personal growth and career progression of its employees. “Witnessing individuals join us at entry-level positions and progress to senior management roles is incredibly gratifying,” Mr Nilesh adds.

Empowering Team Excellence

At Salud, the primary focus is on ensuring the team excels in all areas where competitors operate. “We are fortunate to have a highly motivated and capable team,” states Mr Nilesh. Many senior management members have been with the company for over a decade, contributing to a stable and experienced leadership. Training and developing personnel is crucial in pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution. “Pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution might seem complicated and tough, but it’s actually quite straightforward,” Mr Nilesh explains.

“We focus on formulating strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for every process, ensuring that all team members are thoroughly trained, and making sure they diligently implement these SOPs.”

Salud encourages continuous personal and professional development among its employees by providing opportunities for learning and skill enhancement. “With such strong and capable team members, we do not have to worry about competition,” Mr Nilesh confidently asserts.

India’s Role in Shaping Global Healthcare Solutions

As China’s influence recedes, India is set to become the foremost destination for high-quality and cost-effective medical solutions sought after by global markets. “India is poised to meet the global demand for healthcare solutions,” Mr Nilesh states optimistically. Unfortunately, Indians are also grappling with stress, poor diet, and unhealthy lifestyles, leading to a rising burden of diseases such as high blood pressure, heart-related ailments, diabetes, and cancer. “These health challenges present significant growth opportunities for the pharmaceutical sector,” he observes. However, he cautions that achieving success in this competitive environment will require strict adherence to increasingly stringent regulatory standards.

The need of the hour is developing formulations that are both cost-effective and of exceptionally high quality. “Companies able to strike this balance will thrive amidst the evolving healthcare landscape in India and beyond,” shares Mr Nilesh.

What Lies Ahead for Salud Care

Currently, Salud Care is in the process of acquiring majority stakes in Rebase Lifesciences, another manufacturing unit in Ahmedabad, to further strengthen its manufacturing capabilities. The group is aggressively expanding Alvio’s presence in the Indian market, while securing new clients for contract manufacturing across Salud, Stelvio, and Rebase. They are also actively registering their brands in diverse international markets including Peru, Guatemala, Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, French-speaking Africa, and Central Asia.

In line with their growth strategy, they have established Salud Care Solutions to develop a network of pharmaceutical retail outlets nationwide. The company plans to launch an IPO between November and December this year, aiming to fund further expansion in marketing and strategic partnerships in manufacturing.

Mr Nilesh elaborates on current priorities at Salud: “We are gearing up for our upcoming IPO,” he states. “Simultaneously, we are exploring potential partnerships and equity investments in high-quality injectable manufacturing facilities.” With current group revenue exceeding 100 crores, Salud Care aims to surpass the 100 crore mark in the next five years.

Leadership Mantra

Mr Nilesh advises potential entrepreneurs to consider the pharmaceutical industry’s capital-intensive nature and long break-even timelines, which typically range from 5 to 10 years. “Entering this industry requires patience and a long-term commitment,” he notes.

He also emphasises the non-negotiable importance of maintaining high product quality at all times. “In pharmaceuticals, the products directly impact people’s health across all societal strata,” he explains. This principle, he believes, is crucial because consumers rely on these products with hopes of getting better, making quality paramount.

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