Ms. Vinita Gupta has been the Chief Executive Officer at Lupin Limited since September, 2013. Ms. Gupta serves as an Executive Director of Lupin Limited. She has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lupin Pharmacuticls Inc., the U.S. wholly owned subsidiary of Lupin since 2003 and also has been its Managing Director since October, 2003. She served as the President at Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until August 2010. She has been a Director of IntrexonCorporation since April, 2017. She has served as a Director of Lupin since 2001 and Lupin’s Japanese subsidiary Kyowa Pharmaceuticals since 2007. She served as a Non-Executive Director at Lupin Limited. She served as a Whole-Time Director at Lupin Ltd until October, 2003. She won Entrepreneur of the Year as part of the 2016 Forbes India Leadership Awards and was named 2015 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. She is regularly named in Forbes Asia Top 50 Power Business women listings for Asia Pacific. She is a Pharmacy Graduate from the University of Mumbai. She holds an MBA from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, USA.
Being the daughter of a successful and renowned businessman may sometimes have its advantages in a country like India. For example getting into a MBA course at a famous educational institute would be comparatively much easier and peaceful than for many others who don’t belong to such family background. But that wasn’t to be with Vinita Gupta – the current CEO of India’s third largest drug manufacturing company.
Ms. Gupta went for MBA course at J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, USA to build up her entrepreneurial ability to complement her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy – which was in line with the family business. She was born and brought up in Mumbai – the business capital of India. Her graduate degree in Pharmacy from Mumbai University was just the stepping stone towards an entrepreneurial journey that would add crown to the already successful business family – which had founded the company in 1968.
Having completed her MBA, she immediately joined Lupin Pharmaceuticals (Lupin’s US business head quarter in Baltimore, Maryland) in 1992. This was her chance at making most of the opportunity to mark in the land of dreams. She soon started controlling the unit’s functioning and oversaw building its infrastructure besides putting in place processes and systems that included the company’s team in the US with the parent company (Mumbai). If these appear to be common place then she had a culmination for Lupin with the launch of Suprax – a pediatric anti-infective drug. It was not only the first overseas launch of a Lupin production the US branded market but it also yielded company’s flagship brand in the US. It was a tremendous success that laid the stepping stone of the launch-pad for Gupta’s entrepreneurial flight. And she grabbed every opportunity that came her way in the US and converted it to success with as much entrepreneurial spirit and zing as can be. The company got a firm foot-hold in the US pharma space with Suprax whose success was almost totally accredited to Gupta’s leadership. Making no mistake – all that was done with a lot of hard-work she had come to now by living and growing along that made her to be independent and finding her way around difficult situations or obstacles.
Having proven her mettle with the company’s US business for two decades creating a strong presence in US-market with healthy product-portfolio by serving at its managing director until October 2003 and as its President until August 2010, she assumed responsibility of the parent company in September 2013. There was guidance and help from her father (founder of the company) besides support and encouragement from her young brother Nilesh Gupta (who is the managing director of Lupin Ltd.). Together the siblings have done so wonderfully well to take the company into the new century across the globe. Of course, there’s her husband Brij Sharma (an entrepreneur in the BPO space) to give her immense moral support help and guidance.
Her enthusiasm, energy, and vision have taken the Lupin (named after a flower with curing capabilities) to the current highs it is experiencing: It is the third-largest Indian drug company; it is the only Asian company to figure in the list of top 10 largest and fastest-growing companies (by prescriptions) in the US, according to IMS Health, which tracks drug sales globally; 7th Largest; Topped the list of India’s Most Reputed Brands (Pharmaceuticals) – in a study conducted by Blue Bytes (leading media Analytics firm). Under her able guidance and leadership the company has today become one of the largest pharma companies in the world – with a market capitalization of about $14 billion USD and global revenues of about $2 billion USD. And her ambitions are not satiated yet as she aims to grow the company to a whopping $5 billion (sales) by 2018.
Under the siblings’ able leadership the company’s global aspirations have been realized through a spate of mergers and acquisitions. The acquisitive instinct in both the Gupta children is there for anyone to see. While the company had many acquisitions through its 50 year history most of them have happened recently 12 under Vinita’s leadership (5 of them in 2015). The best of them all being the acquisition of Gavis for a reported $880 (in 2015) – which is believed to be the biggest overseas acquisition by an Indian(Pharma)company.
Note only that her aggressive yet shrewd style of functioning has led to a sea change in the company’s fortunes overseas. Before her ascent to the top post, the company’s US & European business accounted for only 5% of global revenues. This has changed so drastically under Gupta that now the US alone contributes almost 45% of its total revenues (~$2 Bn USD) which is not surprising as 31 of its 77 products (in the US) are market leaders.
Gupta’s clarity of thought, speedy decision making and executional capabilities, and her approach of aggressive and direct marketing and brand acquisitions has meant that the company is also transforming from a predominantly generic company to a branded generics, specialty and complex generics-focused company which will propel it to a company with revenues to $5 billion by 2018 – a goal set by the Gupta siblings.
An indicative list of Lupin’s acquisitions under Gupta supervision:
1. Specialty products of Temmler Pharma in Germany
2. Goanna brand premium therapeutic oils, rubs and ointments in Australia
3. Pharma Dynamics in South Africa
4. Multicare Pharma in Philippines
5. Nanomi in Netherlands
6. Grin SA De CV in Mexico
7. Medquimica in Brazil
8. Biocom in Russia
9. US rights for Oscient Pharmaceuticals’ cholesterol-lowering drug Antara