Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Indian drug market to reach $20B

The Indian drug market is expected to triple in size by 2015, to $20 billion in annual sales, according to a report released Wednesday by international consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

The report said India will undergo a "significant transformation" to become one of the top 10 pharmaceutical markets in the next decade.

The country's fast-growing economy, with an enviable GDP growth of 8 percent, is expected to be a key factor in driving the pharma market. The report said that 40 percent of the projected growth can be attributed to the doubling of disposable incomes and the expansion of the Indian middle class.

In addition, improvements in medical infrastructure - like rural hospitals and clinics - would contribute to 20 percent of the projected growth, while the strengthening of health insurance within the country would contribute to 15 percent of the growth, the report said.

India is already home to of the world's most prominent makers of generic drugs - Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and Ranbaxy Laboratories which compete with U.S. based makers of name-brand drugs like Merck & Co., Inc. and Pfizer Inc.

But to fuel more growth in the Indian pharma market, the national government should lend a helping hand.

Monday, August 6, 2007


You have heard about BPO (business process outsourcing) & KPO (knowledge process outsourcing), but it's time now to add a new word to your vocabulary: PPO.

Coined by Alok Aggarwal, chairman of Evalueserve Inc, PPO means person-to-person outsourcing. The US-based Aggarwal, who is the co-founder of the global research and analytics services firm, says offshoring is now beginning to go mainstream and is touching the upper class and working class alike.

If you thought the PPO market is too small and hence insignificant, Aggarwal has an answer. Individual contracts are often of low value - between $100 and $5,000 - but since the number of end consumers and small businesses is enormous, the total addressable market in the US alone easily exceeds $20 billion.

Evalueserve's research and analysis shows that between April 2006 and March 2007, the revenue from this sector was more than $250 million and it is likely to grow to over $2 billion by 2015 - a cumulative annual growth rate of around 26 per cent. The growth rate, Aggarwal says, is likely to be much more in the future as many of these PPO offshoring trends are at the beginning of their lifecycles.

According to Evalueserve, PPO services follow two business models: the direct interaction model where the individual client signs a contract directly with a vendor in a low-wage country, whose employees (tutors, admin etc) work on a full-time or a part-time basis, or as sub-contractors.

The second is the online marketplace model where the vendors providing PPO services enrol in an online marketplace by paying a monthly subscription fee plus a fixed percentage of the revenue if they win the project through this marketplace. So, when an individual client posts requirements for a new project to be conducted on the online marketplace, the marketplace communicates these opportunities to the selected vendors and freelancers and requests proposals to be delivered to the client.

The client then awards the work to the appropriate vendor depending on price (which may be on a per hour or a fixed cost basis), delivery time and a quality score provided by other clients who have been served by this vendor.

Evalueserve's research estimates that there are currently more than 90 online marketplaces on the World Wide Web and projects that they have involve over 500,000 vendors and freelance professionals who are providing these services from low-wage countries.

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Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world

The son of a Mexico City shopkeeper has built a staggering $59 billion fortune. Fortune's Stephanie Mehta tells the inside story of how he made it to the top.

Click here to read the story

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The craft of effective management

It is over 25 years since I graduated from B-school and many things may have changed since then. At the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, I learned how to use the tools, not how to be a craftsman.

However, like any other craft, management is best learnt at the feet of several master craftsmen. Over the years, I have distilled three basic abilities required to build a business or even lead any aspect of a business - the ability to envision, to strategise, and to execute.

The ability to envision: Vision is at the center of any creation. Being able to envision the end state of a business or initiative is the key to making it happen. When groups of people are involved, explaining and enrolling people to a common vision help in converting groups into teams.

The ability to strategise: If vision comes from the heart, strategy is a product of the mind. It involves finding alternative routes to make things happen and selecting the optimal route. It is about making the best use of available resources and coming up with a game plan to deploy these resources to achieve victory.

The ability to execute: Execution is at the physical level. It is about ensuring that teams understand the plans, the processes and their roles, and have the necessary training and equipment to perform their roles effectively. It is also about ensuring progress is tracked, mid-course corrections are made and there is good communication flow across the entire chain.

While at a craft level, the master painter or the music virtuoso are able to bring all these abilities to bear in his creation, I have found that in mid-sized and large organizations, no individual has all these three qualities to the required degree. To ensure that the organization grows over the long run, people with these different abilities must learn to collaborate and synergise.

For those aspiring to be super-managers, the journey is exciting and rewarding. The purpose of management is to lead and organize people to achieve results that they would not have been able to achieve as individuals, leading to prosperity for the whole team. What could be more fulfilling?

Sudhakar Ram graduated from IIM-Calcutta in 1982