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We see faster and significant growth in US: Samina Vaziralli, executive vice-chairperson, Cipla

As executive vice-chairperson of Cipla, Samina Vaziralli represents the third generation from the promoter’s family involved in its management.

, ET Bureau|
May 04, 2019, 11.00 PM IST
We are building for the future, says Vaziralli
As executive vice-chairperson of Cipla, Samina Vaziralli represents the third generation from the promoter’s family involved in its management. Her grandfather founded Cipla and today Vaziralli is happy to play a strategic role in the company. In an interview with Suman Layak, she discusses her role and the path ahead for Cipla. Edited excerpts:

How are the executive powers divided between you and MD Umang Vohra?
When Umang joined, we sat across the table to decide on our responsibilities — what would be his and what would be mine. When you bring in professionals, you have to empower them. For some decisions, I have a casting vote — long-term strategy of the company, large M&A, big strategic relationships, capital resource allocation, compliance and talent. Umang, on the other hand, has complete and 100% ownership of the P&L (profit and loss statement).

Why did you not take up the CEO role?
It was discussed on the board, and the organisation felt that the person who is best equipped to run Cipla should run Cipla. And I honestly believed that the promoter was not equipped to run it. I had not been in the business and pharma is not something where I had enough experience. So I thought a professional with the right values and right skills should join the organisation. Also, if we put Cipla first the right decisions would just flow from there.

How is the much-discussed US entry panning out for Cipla?
We are building for the future. Today 40% of our revenues come from India. Now this is about building the US market. It was at 20% of our topline but we see faster and significant growth. This will happen in two areas — one is core generics, our Engine 1. The other is to build Engine 2 for Cipla. I do not want to have a Kodak moment several years later when we say that generics are no longer as hot as they used to be.

So what is Cipla’s next line?
We believed that building a speciality business in the US could set us up very well — dealing in old molecules repurposed to meet unmet needs. We are looking at three areas — respiratory, central nervous system and pain management.

Also Read

Cipla names Samina Vaziralli as Executive Vice-Chairman

Cipla elevates Samina Vaziralli to its board

From adoption leave to flexi hours, Samina Vaziralli ensures women’s careers are insured at Cipla

Cipla inducts Samina Vaziralli, chairman YK Hamied's niece to company's board

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