Eskayef beats rivals in sales growth

Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd, one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies in the country, posted nearly 25 percent growth in sales last year, the highest in the industry, riding on products innovation and aggressive marketing.
In 2001, the healthcare solution provider sold medicines worth Tk 451 crore, up 24.24 percent from 2010, when the sales stood at Tk 363 crore.
“It is an amazing performance,” said Latifur Rahman, chairman of Eskayef. “The company made tremendous growth last year despite uncertainty following a shake-up in top management. It was a challenging year for us.”
Rahman spoke at the “Annual Conference 2011” of Eskayef at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka yesterday.
He said there was a sea-change at the management structure of the company in December 2009 as the board wanted to inject fresh blood to guide the company to a higher growth trajectory, which made many officials wary of its future.
Rahman said the company has set a target to take its sales to Tk 563 crore this year.
The company’s sales in the animal health business segment also posted the highest growth, taking the turnover to Tk 61 crore last year, which was Tk 45 crore in 2010.
Eskayef started its journey in 1990 after acquiring SmithKline & French. In the first year its turnover was Tk 1.30 crore with a loss of Tk 90 lakh.
Since then the company has not looked back. Some of its products such as Losectil have already grabbed the top position in the Tk 8,000-crore medicine market of Bangladesh.
“In one area where we have never compromised is quality,” said Rahman. “The highest global standard will continue in the coming days, no matter whether we make profit or not.”
Eskayef is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of a wide range of therapeutic drugs, bulk pellets and animal health and nutrition products. It now supplies medicines to countries such as the UK, Germany, UAE, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, Ghana, Iraq, Indonesia, Kenya, Guatemala, Belize, Macau and Somalia.
It plans to add the names of Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Chile, Venezuela, Nigeria, Ghana and Yemen to the company’s list of new export destinations.
“We will soon take our products to the United States,” said the chairman.
Its manufacturing facility in Tongi has achieved approval from the UK MHRA (United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) of Australia, to help it become the only company in Bangladesh to get both the accreditations.
Under a contract manufacturing deal between Eskayef and Novo Nordisk, the world’s biggest insulin maker, a high-tech insulin manufacturing plant has been set up in Tongi to provide world-class medicines to the country’s growing number of diabetic patients. It is the third plant of the Danish company in Asia after China and India.
Eskayef manufactures and markets 126 pharmaceutical products in 294 dosage forms and has established 22 products as the brand leader in the market.
Dr Mohammad Mujahidul Islam, general manager (marketing), said the company grew at 17.56 percent last year in terms of introducing new products, much faster than the sector’s overall growth of 11.76 percent. In 2011, it launched 16 new medicines.
Later Rahman named Simeen Hossain, currently a director of Eskayef, as the new chief executive officer of the company.
The meeting also observed one-minute silence to commemorate the death of leading businessman Samson H Chowdhury who passed away early this month.
Eskayef directors Shahnaz Rahman, Saifur Rahman, Atiqur Rahman, Arshad Waliur Rahman and Shahzreh Huq, general managers Mir Mostafizur Rahman, Mostafa Hasan, Motiar Rahman, Abdullah Al-Wahed, KM Ariful Islam and Ikhtiar Hossain were present along with more than 800 officials of the company.

-With The Daily Star input

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