New Delhi: Elder Pharmaceuticals plans to increase its sales and marketing force by 1,000 in the next two years, as it plans to launch 35 new products and expand in rural markets.
“With a major thrust on rural markets and plans to launch 35 more products (owned and in-licensed) in the next two years across India, we plan to increase our sales and marketing force headcount by about 1,000,” Elder Pharma director Alok Saxena told PTI.
Currently, the drug firm employs about 3,500 people in India of which nearly 3,000 are in marketing and sales.
“There has been a revival in demand across pharmaceutical segments but the real growth story lies in the rural and semi-urban markets which we expect to grow at about 15% annually from the current level,” Saxena said.
In order to grow in the rural areas, the company plans to reach out to physicians, specialists, chemists, hospitals, nursing homes, and private healthcare institutions.
He further added that if the company could bolster its field workforce quickly, only then it would be able to fulfil its growth plans.
The company’s rural division ‘Elvista’ has already penetrated the rural and semi-urban markets of UP, Bengal Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar and certain areas in South India.
“Before December, 2012, Elvista plans to reach 1,500 villages with populations of below 40,000, 300 villages with populations of 40,000 to 1 lakh and over 75 peripheral villages/towns around Mumbai Metropolitan region,” he said.
The company plans to take over 350 products, covering various therapeutic areas, including pain management and women healthcare, to the rural markets by 2012, Saxena added.
The Rs 800-crore drug maker had recently said it planned to start manufacturing up to six of its products at the facility of its Bulgarian arm ‘Elder Biomeda AD’ to market them in Europe.