Hind Latex getting into speciality drugs for women, hospital services

Hind Latex getting into speciality drugs for women, hospital services

Mumbai: India’s largest contraceptives maker, state-owned Hindustan Latex Ltd, is aggressively getting into the businesses of gynec-speciality (woman health) pharmaceuticals and hospital infrastructure consultancy services.

The company, which is also increasing its condom manufacturing capacity to 1.5 billion a year, is coming off a controversial material supply contract with a World Bank-funded health-care programme in ­India.

The new pharmaceutical division of this Thiruvananthapuram-based company is looking at manufacturing and marketing of drugs and vitamin supplements for women from puberty to old age. It has set up an infrastructure consultancy and development services division focusing on setting up of specialty hospitals and other medical institutions, and upgradation of major hospitals.

“These two business areas are witnessing rapid growth in the country at present," said Hind Latex managing director M. Ayyappan. “And we want to tap these opportunities utilizing all our available technologies, products and services. The country also needs a lot of improvement in these areas."

The business expansion plans are in line with a long-term strategy the company prepared in 2003 with the help of consultant Ernst & Young. “We have chalked out a long-term plan identifying new areas of business for (the) company’s diversification, apart from expanding some of the existing lines of business. Rather than planning for incremental growth, (the) company plans to achieve rapid growth, and has set itself a target of achieving a turnover of Rs1,000 crore by 2010," Ayyappan said.

The diversification plans come even as many government-owned health-care companies such as Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd and Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd are losing market share to private sector players.

Hind Latex’s women’s health-care pharma unit has already launched some two dozen products manufactured at its new factory at Kanagala in Karnataka.

The broad category of gynec-speciality pharma products the company now has in its portfolio include oral contraceptives, anti-fibrynolytics, ovulation inducers and calcium supplements.

Under the hospital infrastructure consultancy and development services division, Hind Latex has at least eight heavy investment projects under way, says Ayyappan. The company, which has been recently assigned the project of upgradation of medicare facilities at Jawaharlal Institute of Medical Education and Research at Pondicherry, has also been appointed as consultant to the government for setting up of six premium medical institutions—All India Institutes of Medical Science at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh.

According to another senior Hind Latex official, who didn’t want to be quoted, the women’s health-care division is set to achieve a turnover of around Rs10 crore during this year and the infrastructure development division has on-hand projects with an outlay of nearly Rs370 crore.

“We are also planning to acquire a domestic company engaged in condom manufacturing with an annual capacity of 250 million units," he added. Hind Latex posted sales of Rs243 crore in 2006.