Mumbai: The Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) has invited global consultants to draw up a plan for a proposed India branding and export facilitation project.
The overseas project, which will be paid for by the market access initiative fund of the commerce ministry and part-financed by the council itself, envisages the setting up of drug regulatory compliance and liaison centres, warehouses, infrastructure and the hiring of staff for export promotion activities in the overseas markets.
Pharmexcil chairman Smitesh Shah said the draft should be ready in a couple of months as the consultants will be shortlisted soon.
The proposal, which is the first of its kind by an Indian export promotion council, has also been approved in principle by the commerce ministry, he said.
In the first phase of the project, the overseas centres will be set up in five countries—the US, the UK, Japan, Russia and Nigeria. It will be expanded to a few other emerging markets later.
“These five markets constitute a significant part of India’s drug exports. The plan to set up common facilities abroad is to help bring down export costs, and also to develop markets, especially for drug makers entering newly to these geographies,” said Shah. “We have to be closer to the markets where we can sell our capabilities.”
The main objective of this big investment is to make exporters familiar with target markets. The overseas centres will have special cells to help Indian companies handle regulatory compliance issues, customs documentation and sales and distribution activities along with warehousing facilities, he said.
With the government throwing its weight behind the proposal, the council is in talks with international agencies for services such as drug warehousing and other related marketing activities to operate the project in the respective countries, said another official from Pharmexcil.
The council may lease the required infrastructure in some countries initially, while owning and operating facilities in others.
“There will be a small fee that will be charged on the drug exporters who use these facilities,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “The capital and operational costs incurred would also be partly compensated with subsidies from the government.”
Pharmexcil, set up to promote drug exports from the country, is headquartered in Hyderabad and has regional offices in Mumbai, New Delhi and Ahmedabad.