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‘Accelerate access to affordable and innovative medicines because Good Health Can’t Wait’, has been the driving force for supply chain team members at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. “In line with company’s belief, we continue to work towards meeting unmet patient needs through our well-coordinated, communicative and collaborative supply chain efforts,” elucidates Anand Garg, Senior Director – Head India Supply Chain, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. Excerpts…

In the recent times, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is impacted with varied regulatory & quality challenges. Please share the some of the major concerns and actions.

Over the last few years, Indian pharmaceutical industry has been grappling with various compliance challenges like never before: increased regulation, harmonization push and data integrity concern to name a few, which is not only impacting revenue stream and cost escalation for the current business but also hampering the ability to get approval for new drug applications. To address some of the concerns, industry has started gearing up quality and compliance capabilities through:

» Making regulatory compliance part of their corporate strategy

» Enforcing the culture of quality and imparting adequate periodic training to employees

» Attracting & retaining best talent in an increasingly competitive market

» Automating systems and infrastructure to reduce manual intervention (LIMS, DMS, DAS, SCADA, etc)

» Practicing quality by design in early stage of product development

» On-boarding right suppliers in network (Raw materials, packaging material, logistics service providers), who understand evolving regulatory requirements and proactively institutionalize the change with timely communication to manufacturers

Given the above challenges, it would be difficult to meet customer deliveries on-time. What is the USP of Dr Reddy’s supply chain that supports business to grow?

The above stated challenges have made our jobs more relevant and compelled to continuously evolve ourselves, bringing flexibility, agility, responsiveness and cost effectiveness in supply chain, to meet organization purpose ‘Accelerate access to affordable and innovative medicines because Good Health Can’t Wait’. Over a period of time, we designed and built our supply chain to deliver sustainable results through:

» Seamless integration of demand and supply planning (using customized IT platform) across markets to improve visibility and delivery till country specific warehouses. Also, our planning philosophy is based upon forecast & replenishment (pull & push) model, which takes care of any upsurge in demand, seasonality or short-term supply disruptions, thus meeting our promise to patients on medicines availability.

» De-risking critical material supplies using dual site sourcing strategy to avoid potential supply disruptions. At the same time, there is an inordinate focus to enable and help our partners build sustainability (financially and operationally) in their overall supply chain.

» Simplification and automation of procure to pay process with minimum touch points ensuring faster cycle time and providing end to end visibility to the partners (right from purchase order to payment status), thus practicing ease of doing business.

» Outsourcing of non-core areas such as logistics and warehousing operations to 4PL service providers to leverage best technologies and capabilities to serve patients, effectively and efficiently

» Geographic oriented supply chain structure for both commercial and new product launch to bring enormous focus in planning and execution irrespective of size and value of markets

» Institutionalization of continuous capability building programs for supply chain managers across levels on softer and harder skills. One of the most successful program is ‘PACE’, where people get trained on 2D/3D negotiation skills along with various levers on cost excellence, which provides competitive advantage in the market. Also, at an organization level, there is an elaborate ‘New Horizon Leadership Program,’ which helps individuals to connect deeper with themselves and others so that they can live a more powerful and fulfilled life, redefine happiness, enhance their leadership capabilities and performance at work.

What are the innovative measures that you have adopted in the areas of warehousing and transportation?

Increase in trade through e-commerce platforms and significant investments by private & foreign players are continuously improving the capabilities of 3PL/ 4PL service providers, which offers better service levels and data transparency. Some of the innovations that we adopted are:

» Reducing carbon footprint through usage of solar panels & LEDs, environment friendly expired pharmaceutical destruction process, usage of sea route than air, etc.

» Reduction in transit lead time for distant routes through relay drivers concept

» Outsourcing of warehouse and logistics operations to 3PL/ 4PL partners

» Reduction in inventory and cost through Network optimization (post GST)

» Online temperature monitoring across warehouses for all temperature sensitive products.

How do you keep your team motivated amid such pressure conditions?

People are the most important asset of the company and needless to say that motivated people help company to improve engagement, productivity, and quality of work. Some of the activities that we undertake include encouraging people for internal job rotations which provides opportunity to cross train themselves; providing challenging projects with freedom to operate; recognizing and rewarding high performers; creating lively and fun-filled environment; and respecting each and every individual and encouraging to work in a transparent way.

What advice would you like to give new age professionals. Where do you feel Indian education system lacking?

Today’s new age professionals are well equipped with the latest technology and have access to a larger knowledge base, helping them to improve their learning curve. They can further leverage these skills and build their foundation much stronger in the early stage of the career by nurturing their inquisitive mind to understand finer nuances of the business which later helps in their career for quick decision making; thinking & acting like an entrepreneur which means irrespective of one’s domain, start connecting and internalizing various aspects of the business to sharpen their business acumen; and putting management concepts into practice not only helps business to get fresh perspective but also individual imbibes these learnings, perpetually.

What’s that one mantra you follow to stay ahead of your competitors?

We offer our patients the products they value the most and help our partners succeed through our flexible supply chain and services.

How do you view the supply chain landscape of India going ahead?

Indian economy is well poised for multi-fold growth with the influx of government spending on infrastructure (roads, railways, ports, and mega cities), better cross border relations and free trade arrangements, benign regulatory climate, and availability of newer and affordable technologies. With this rapid economic development, some of the changes in supply chain likely to manifest are:

» ‘Make-in-India’ campaign will proliferate local manufacturing footprints to reduce dependency on imports (particularly from China).

» Logistics service providers will consolidate their supply network across industries to provide faster, better and cost-effective solutions.

» With the availability of new technology platforms and access to real time data (Inventory, point of sales, raw material prices), decision making process will become much quicker and better.

» Capability building and retention will be paramount with leaner organization structure.

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