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Pharma-Nutra Panels

Pharma-Nutra Panels


Panel 1: Reimagining India- Think Nutra-Think india

Nutrify India is a platform, tries to help innovators connect with companies with larger market access or investors wanting to invest directly for commercialization from innovator. It is an initiative to empower responsible nutrition business and Shape the growth of the Indian Nutritional Industry.

Below is the e-panel organised by Nutrify India on REIMAGINING INDIA- THINK NUTRA-THINK INDIA with Industry leaders and government leaders on how to enable India as a leader in Nutraceuticals. Being associated with Nutrify India, Dr. Smarta-Managing Director of Interlink moderated this panel. You can watch the full panel at:


Panel 2: Trends And Prospects For Plant-Based Supplements And Extractions
Fi India and Hi is the largest platform in the country for brands to showcase the latest trends and upcoming innovations of the food industry. In this panel discussion from the virtual expo, experts from the field discussed TRENDS AND PROSPECTS FOR PLANT-BASED SUPPLEMENTS AND EXTRACTIONS in the industry. These innovations could possibly be integral to the food industry in the near future. Being associated with Fi Hi India, Dr. Smarta-Managing Director of Interlink moderated this panel.


  Panel 3: Dietary Dilemma In Diabetes
Health Foods and Dietary Supplements Association (HADSA) organised panel discussion on “DIETARY DILEMMA IN DIABETES”. Being a Vice President of HADSA, Dr. Smarta-Managing Director of Interlink has moderated this panel.

Panel 4: Nutra Bytes
Nutrify India is a platform, tries to help innovators connect with companies with larger market access or investors wanting to invest directly for commercialization from innovator. It is an initiative to empower responsible nutrition business and Shape the growth of the Indian Nutritional Industry.

Below is the Nutra Bytes organised by Nutrify India on Responsible Nutrition with Industry leaders and government leaders on how to enable India as a leader in Nutraceuticals. Being associated with Nutrify India, Dr. Smarta-Managing Director of Interlink is the host of this e- event. 

You can join the event at


Panel 5: Understanding the Consumer Niche
Health Foods and Dietary Supplements Association (HADSA) organised webinar on Mind and Body Connect: Harnessing and Nurturing the potential with Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home Science (Autonomous) on 21st Jan’21. Being a Vice President of HADSA, Dr. Smarta-Managing Director of Interlink has presented on the topic of Understanding the Consumer Niche.


Panel 6: Nutrify Today – Nutrabytes with Dr. R. B. Smarta and WH Leong
Nutrify India organised Nutrabytes with Dr. R. B. Smarta and WH Leong on understanding the business of one of the most important Nutraceutical Ingredients- Vit E. (tocotrienol).


Student Felicitation
Interlink Marketing Consultancy P. Ltd., for instituting the Interlink Gold Medal Award every year. Such awards have been, indeed, a great source of encouragement to the IES MCRC students.The award, is given on the occasion of INSIGHT 2020 – our 19th Annual Pharma & Healthcare Conference, held on Sunday 24th January’21 on MS Teams- virtual platform (QUEST FOR FUTURE IN THE NEW NORMAL).
This year, INSIGHT 2020 conducted in a truncated format for half-a-day and around 600-700 undergraduates of pharmacy and life-sciences attended the program.
Certificate was given by Interlink Marketing Consultancy P. Ltd. to Mr. Nageshwar Yadav for the Best Live Project.


Panel 7: Nutrify Today – Nutrabytes with Dr. R. B. Smarta and Mr. Raktim Chatopadhyay
Nutrify India organised Nutrabytes with Dr. R. B. Smarta and Founder and CEO of Espeer Onco Nutrition-Mr. Raktim Chatopadhyay on understanding the journey of Espeer Onco Nutrition. This byte is about path followed by Mr. Raktim Chatopadhyay from Medical Representative to Owner of the company. 


Panel 8: Nutrify Today – Nutrabytes with Dr. R. B. Smarta and Mr. Sanjaya Mariwala
Nutrify India organised Nutrabytes with Dr. R. B. Smarta and Chairman and Managing Director of OmniActive Health Technologies- Mr. Sanjaya Mariwala on understanding the journey of OmniActive Health Technologies. This byte is about how OmniActive Health Technologies grew over the period of time and which model it is following for sustainability and growth. 


Panel 9: Nutrify Today – Nutrabytes with Dr. R. B. Smarta and Mr. Rakshit Mehta
Nutrify India organised Nutrabytes with Dr. R. B. Smarta and Chairman and Managing Director of Euro Alliance and Nanoveda – Mr. Rakshit Mehta on how nanotechnology has helped Mr. Rakshit to take a flying start with Nanoveda in entire globe.

Panel 10: Nutrify Today – Nutrabytes with Dr. R. B. Smarta and Mr. Miguel Calatayud

Nutrify India organised Nutrabytes with Dr. R. B. Smarta and Director and CEO of iwi- Mr. Miguel Calatayud on he has utilised his leanings from past to build iwi and management techniques used to build his business.




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Financial Perspective Beyond COVID-19

In this pandemic period, managing cash flow and strategizing growth factors is crucial. Here are few tips that I learnt from my experience and can help you in addressing covid19 financial issues.

Managing cash flow: The corporate world is in the grip of panic mode in the wake of deadly COVID19 outbreak and it has hampered the functioning of several sectors, including pharmaceuticals. Faced with uncertainty around when the pandemic will end, the pace of recovery is expected to be a long and painful one. This pandemic has made the entire world realize the need to reimagine their supply chains. The union government has already announced investments to incentivize production of APIs in India with a clarion call for “Atmanirbhar Bharat”. The rapidly spreading Corona virus has compelled companies to re-strategize their methodology of work by adopting innovative methods to keep the business going effectively and profitably.

The normal business jargon “cash is king” is just correct in the current scenario. Management of cash flow is the essence for company survival in this liquidity crisis time and the strategies are:

  • Prioritise crucial payments such as salaries and contractual obligations and avoid statutory defaults and penalties.
  • Focus on the cash-to-cash conversion cycle.
  • Review debt retirement schedule and covenants.
  • Incentivise debtors by offering discounts for earlier settlement of receivables.
  • Revisit variable costs.
  • Revisit capital investment plans and ensure your internal earnings are adequate to finance the CAPEX.
  • Focus on inventory management.
  • Review Forex exposure.
  • Ensure that there is a robust review process of calculating financial loss due to supply chain risks.
  • Ensure statutory dues and taxes payables are adhered to.
  • Periodically checking the feasibility of the business model.
  • Plan policies for next 3 months/ 9 months/ 18 months.

If we consider it as a 3-month problem, an instant halt on variable expenditures like hiring, marketing, travel, etc. can help. However, if the crisis continues for more than 9 months, company will have to reconfigure its business strategy to reduce the variable expenses, renegotiate fixed expenses (rent, salaries, equipment lease payments, etc.), and focus only on the crucial essentials for survival. It may be a good idea to revisit sales strategy – selling online versus in-person. Some serious reconsiderations would be required if the effect of the pandemic continues for 18 months or beyond. Businesses will need to strategize, communicate, and act with compassion. They would require a revision of sales revenue goals and product timelines along with a new operating plan.

Management will have to keep the communication transparent as much as possible with its investors and employees.
Few tips to stay connected and afloat during the shutdown:

1. Communicate transparently with your customers: Customers can empathize with companies facing a crisis, as long as the communication is transparent. Communicate with customers to understand their perception of the product/solution offered by you.

2. Maintaining healthy relationship with contracted parties: It would be helpful to give your vendors, suppliers, landlords’ etc. sufficient notice in case there is going to be any delay in payments so that they can also be prepared and there is no bitterness in this already difficult time.

3. Managing employees & related optimization: For large companies considering layoffs, the primary option should be to cut the salaries of the higher paid exec/employees and to retain people who can’t afford to lose their jobs.

4. Keep your team engaged: The team relies on the team leader to keep them updated about every development and it is the responsibility of the Team Leader to keep the team members engaged and stay connected with them through video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts. It is very important to maintain high spirits within the team and understand the general mood within your remote workforce.

5. Communication to stakeholders: The Leader to have an honest conversation on the situation and its impact on your business with the entire leadership team. Any negative message should be delivered with utmost empathy along with transparent reasons. Entire world is coping up to this challenge so why can’t we? Let’s address impact of covid19 positively by applying our basic principles and execution by new digital ways. Stay safe!

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Bridging the Gap between Nutraceutical Regulations and Enforcement

India, well-known as World’s Pharma hub, finds its root of Traditional medicines in Ayurveda! This legacy of curative knowledge is far older than the modern medicines. With Covid-19, world has accepted the role of preventive measures, thus “alternative” medicine becomes “mainstream”.

As per research, there is surge in global demand for nutraceutical products. The European consumption is influenced by innovation and research, the USA demand is driven by growing health awareness, whereas, Asian preference is due to the trust in conventional medicines.

India, having an inherent advantage in this space, is poised to benefit. Hence, to tap this potential, multipronged approach is needed, such as increasing grants for R&D, Ensuring end-to-end supply chain and redefining the regulatory system.

Efforts are being put by regulators to give the industry the required boost and allow it to contribute substantially for the public healthcare. So, let us have a look at some of the reforms done in regulations in Corona times.


11th June 2020: FSS Act, 2006 permits use of nutrients in products such as health supplements, nutraceuticals, etc. in amount not exceeding Recommended dietary allowance (RDA) prescribed by ICMR. – all the central and state licencing authorities are advised to strictly implement the limitation of ‘Not more than one RDA’ for nutrients as per section-22 of FSS Act, 2006 while granting licenses to FBO except for Food for Special Medical Purposes and Food for Special Dietary Uses where use of more than one RDA is permitted (as per schedule III of Nutraceuticals Regulations).

16th July 2020: Surveillance and enforcement to prohibit the sell of health supplements and nutraceutical products contains PABA- a banned ingredient-re. FSSAI has banned the use of PABA in the products covered under Nutraceutical regulations due to safety concern with immediate effect. No further manufacturing is allowed and products already manufactured and imported shall be withdrawn from the market.

 11th Aug 2020: Products covered under FSS (food or health supplements, nutraceuticals, food for special dietary use, food for special medicinal purpose, functional food and novel food) are required to comply with the general labelling requirements under the FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.

1 Oct 2020: The ministry of health and family welfare has framed Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill 2020 and introduced 70 amendments in the 2006 Act to revamp FSSAI functioning and its jurisdiction.                                With the amendments, the government has proposed to bring regulation of animal feed industry under FSSAI.Government has also decided to specify standards for “food contact material”, which would mean specifying standards for food packaging material.
The government has also proposed to make the Act more stringent prescribing enhanced penalties for violations, including manufacture and sale of unsafe food, adulteration of food causing death, carrying out business without licence and repeat offences. The amendments propose enhancing maximum fine for manufacturing and sale of unsafe food from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.

8 Oct 2020: FSSAI invites EOIs (Expression of interest) for selection of Training Partners empanelled under FoSTaC for training of Food Handlers- working with MDM, Aanganwadi, Govt. Canteens and Place of Worship for FSSAI. Organization invites EOIs from experienced and well-established agencies with valid empanelment as Training Partners under FoSTaC launched by FSSAI and who are ready to provide their services with due care and guidance to the users so as to get maximum utilization of resources.

FSSAI will reimburse the amount with due verification, as deemed fit, considering the number of trainees per class. (EOI_TP_ FoSTaC pdf)

12 Oct 2020: The order on “Requirement of Non GM cum GM free certificate to accompany imported food consignments-reg” is presently applicable only to food crops mentioned in annexure I of the order and not to processed products in general. Comments received from different countries will be studied before order comes into effect. (Clarification_GM_Food pdf)


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Navigating Towards Future of Nutra Industry

As most of us are in lockdown at home we are wondering how the post- lockdown world would look like. Opening up economic production, even partially, has brought lot more challenges.

In recently published manual, The Union Health Ministry has addressed the preventive measures that cover all types of workplaces including manufacturing plants and corporate offices.

The Covid 19 situation is disrupting and challenging the entire world like never before. I believe, it will help in making companies the world over more humane than alone profit oriented. The social distancing will in fact help in bringing the people more closer.

The present crisis will make a new difference in the human kind’s equation to 3ps i.e. People, Planet and Profits. It will help in making each of us more humble, caring, empathetic and self-sufficient; create more awareness about the importance of preserving and protecting our planet and its air, water and food resources; there will be a corporate behavioural shift where more importance will be given to people and planet over profits.

New workplace Norms:

Some of the highlights of the new workplace norms are like gap of one hour between shifts, staggered lunch breaks to ensure social distancing, sanitization of workplaces between shifts, frequent cleaning of common surfaces and hand washing. Thermal screening will be there for all those entering and leaving the work premises is mandatory and a list of COVID-19 dedicated hospitals in the vicinity should be available at the workplace.

One of the biggest consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the workplace transition to the home front, i.e., work from home (WFH). WFH has radically changed traditional work arrangements.

Essentials of WFH style:

The WFH has become survivor of for many industries including Nutraceutical as it has opened a window for physical and virtual collaboration. This has accelerated the workplace transformation and digitally transformed environments.
But to successfully navigate through this new way of working, organisations need to address it differently. The people strategy and business strategy need to be reframed in a manner that the focus need to be shifted from business-first to people-first, that is, be employee-focused and client-centric in operations.
With remote work environments becoming the new norm it is necessary that workforce is reskilled and relevant for the times ahead. Hence organisations need to ensure continuous training and learning programmes for employees

Even assistance with healthcare support (doctor on call, fitness sessions), stress management (counselling and meditation) and social connections (virtual coffee meets) can be provided by the organisations.


Essentials to Make Progress Nutra Industry in Near Future:

Amongst the industries in this COVID-19 crises health has become very precious industry and being at home everybody is consuming home food and looking for how to fight with COVID-19 infection by improving immunity.


By and large immunity has become a focus and everybody is trying to improve immunity to fight with any viral load is confronted. Absence of vaccines and presence of tests increasing new number of suspected and infected patients. Although the mortality rate is very low in India, community has engulfed in lot of fear of life.


As long as community remains in fear, for few who do not fear at all and disobey social distancing as well as other provided norms you would find the situation would remain same with mixed feelings as well as plethora of concerns attached to this crisis issue.


As a result it is important to bring hope in community from fear which will perhaps provide discipline on one hand by improving one’s immunity and also hope and on the other hand align them to be work forward to make industry more profitable.


It is a reality that WFH is going to be new work culture and even in the offices as they open the same remote working culture would always remain in future. It is a matter of balancing on the spot working and remote working for variety of businesses. As this proportion will vary from industry to industry, industries like IT, would have more component of remote working while construction, travel will have more focus on the spot working. Considering this kind of scenario industries are taking innovative approaches.

As a result it is important to bring hope in community from fear which will perhaps provide discipline on one hand by improving one’s immunity and also hope and on the other hand align them to be work forward to make industry more profitable.

It is a reality that WFH is going to be new work culture and even in the offices as they open the same remote working culture would always remain in future. It is a matter of balancing on the spot working and remote working for variety of businesses. As this proportion will vary from industry to industry, industries like IT, would have more component of remote working while construction, travel will have more focus on the spot working. Considering this kind of scenario industries are taking innovative approaches.

For any business or basically health business following essential functions need to, progress in a profitable way

  1. Decision making: Business progresses on day to day decisions based on articulated plans. Here management has to manage with right proportion of On the job and remote working
  2. Business development is an important activity and companies have different strategies to implement ,in the-right proportion
  3. Manufacturing, logistics, trading and availability depends on which way it progresses with technology.
  4. Communication in physical or digital way and on line business is becoming a fulcrum of business model
  5. Performance Management is a crucial piece of all activities and our HR professional will make it happen

For Nutra industry to grow further it is necessary to leverage its strengths and future .In given environment ,challenges are many and the Industry leaders will have to adapt the new ways to manage their businesses.


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Review of Natural Ingredients Business

Natural ingredients have multifaceted applications in many growing industries such as pharmaceuticals, food, personal healthcare, cosmetics and obviously Nutraceutical. Applications of these ingredients could be at different levels. They could be at active ingredient level, excipients level, additives level or applied in flavors and colors.

Multiple Industries: The scope for natural ingredients is wide and can be applied at multiple levels. In fact, pharmaceutical industry is getting integrated through natural and nutraceutical ingredients in mainstream of their business as the business is changing towards health. In case of pharmaceuticals, natural ingredients like amino acids, polysorbate, vitamin and mineral mix, herbal extracts, vegetable extracts, enzymes, slimming agents, joint health improving agents, etc. are consumed at different levels. In case of Vit E you would observe its usage and applicability of in multiple industries.

Fig 1: Multifaceted Vit E

Food Industry: In case of food industry production and consumption of range of package foods and beverages are catching up the market share, use of many ingredients as emulsifiers, sweeteners, flavors and food enhancers, and preservatives would increase. As emulsifiers, lactose and lactose syrup, molasses, seaweed extracts, pectin and starches, tapioca, sago, arrowroot starch, rosin products, chickpeas and broad & horse beans, kidney beans, onions, tomatoes, garlic, carrots and olives, vegetable saps and extracts are showing good growth. Flavoring agents in beverages, dairy products, bakery, savory and convenience foods will need to abide by the new rules. The worldwide emulsifier industry was expected to exceed a volume of 2.5 million metric tons in 2017. Emulsifiers are used not only in food and beverage products but also in the personal care industry. Consumers are readily opting for natural emulsifiers. The market is also being driven by the trend of fat replacement in food products and product innovation.

Personal Healthcare Industry: In personal healthcare industry natural, organic and Ayurvedic ingredients are preferred in different types of formulations. As per Nielsen report (2017), consumption of such ingredients is growing fast as much as 1.7 times. Applications at active ingredient level are more predominant in personal care products in comparison to other level of applications in various industries. This industry is expanding beyond moisturizing agents and sun protection to anti-pollutant and antioxidant protection. Globally many active ingredients are getting replaced by natural ingredients as the evidence and science behind these ingredients is getting available at efficacy level as well as this makes a lot of sense at commercial level also. In Indian context market is getting developed in I, II, III tiers cities.

Cosmetics Industry: In cosmetic industry the preference for natural ingredients is particularly strong among consumers, who have been exposed to traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. As most of the cosmetic products are changing their market definition to skin health and other appropriate domains, there is need for replacing synthetic ingredients and also preventive agents as many are looking for natural, active as well as preventive agents. As a result, there is a need for developing R&D, product development, rigor of regulatory needs such as human studies, clinical trials expertise in cosmetics and also overall skin care and ageing market.

Nutraceuticals Industry: In case of Nutraceuticals industry, besides food and beverages, functional foods and dietary supplements take major charge of applications as well as consumption. Processed foods and beverages like cereals, soups, food fortifiers, fortified juices and other similar products have direct consumption as active ingredients of Nutraceutical ingredients.

Fig:2 Global Nutraceuticals Market


Formulations market has dependence on Nutraceutical ingredients which was amounted to USD 25 bn in 2015 to the tune of almost 15-20% of its total formulations and as the formulations grow role of ingredient with its growth would further increase. USA and Western Europe account for 77% of the total volume and China and Japan are following the trend, the ingredients are also traversing in the same direction. Probiotics and fatty acids derivatives dominate this market along with herbal and non-herbal extracts.
Along with these, other ingredients like Asthaxanthin, Polyphenols from pomegranate, Glutathione and extracts of

Fig 3: County_wise Dominance


In case of such extracts high technology places a very important role in maintaining quality, safety and traceability as these are the two major corner stones in making ingredients further grow in this domain as well as in other industry domain.

Fig 4: Share of Nutraceutical ingredients

Innovations: Obviously, innovations which will improve bioavailability and also novel delivery system would further improve the differentiating factors for industry. From industry point of view the demand for right mix of different ingredients is also becoming more common as it becomes convenient for manufacturers to provide desire level quantity in safety, quality and traceability.

Fig 5: Three Corner Stone

IoT: Other way of looking at these applications and consumptions, primary source of information could be through internet of things as you can get direct feedback from consumers through what they say on social media and other digitally powerful media.

Fig 6: Internet Thing

Recent data from Nutraceutical world reveals that, 20 key health ingredients have already made head-way in the hearts of the consumers as they reveal what they feel.
Ingredients Journey: Being a fascinated journey from creating something in the laboratory and seeing as well as visualizing its ramifications on different industries for their applications give tremendous satisfaction and perhaps this may lead to quantum jump in business for few ingredients as it has already happened for lutein, spirulina, lycopene, vanillin, as all these ingredients have grown in different dimensions. It is a right way to say that unlike pharmaceutical active ingredients, natural active ingredients can be branded as they are multi-faceted.


  • Nielsen report (2017) 
  • Interlink Knowledge Cel 
  • Nutraceutical ingredients, Specialty chemicals update program, IHS Markit, July 2017
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Reshaping and propelling business

A new-normal is gradually moulding our way of leading life. Considering impact of pandemic, though it has affected the profits across value chains, we should glance at positive things. I think entire world has realized that human life is a prestigious life and we are accountable to keep “Our earth a great place to live”. So, henceforth our equation should be 3P’s; People, Planet and Profits. This article briefly explains the impact of pandemic on Pharma and Nutra value chain and way ahead for chief executives to think on.

Since the past few years, 2020 was touted to be a revolutionary year with terms such as 2020 Vision marking its presence in most corporate and industry plans. Surely, the year is turning out to be revolutionary but in a way that no one imagined.
Even with a plethora of research going into development of vaccines and curative treatments, we have been made aware of the strong mutation capabilities of the virus. It is now clear that the virus is here to stay and we must be the ones adapting to a change in our lifestyles, both on a micro and a macro level to be a ‘new-normal’.
Weneed to quickly, but rigorously, assess our current relevance to our customers, understand our competitive exposures, and re-tool our offerings and go-to-market strategies to get back on track, and capture new ground, in a landscape rich with potential new opportunities for our businesses, employees and communities.

Disruption in Pharma and Nutra value chains:
Drug discovery & Clinical trials
As we are aware that entire world is focused on discovering treatment for Covid19. As of now 200 drugs and vaccines are under development with almost 80% in pre-clinical and phase 1 of clinical trials. It has been observed that pandemic has halted almost 1300+ US-based clinical trails. On the contrary, 1800+ covid19 related trials that are focused on observational and interventional studies are in process. Thus, this has directly affected the discovery of new molecules which were in pipeline.
If we talk about Nutraceuticals, trials for ingredients exhibiting anti-viral, immunity boosting as well as symptomatic relief are ongoing. More than 18 such trials had been undertaken till the month of April and more in the pipeline.

Drug Launches

There has been no major impact on drug approval process. The number of FDA approvals has increased by 50% in 2020 as compared to last year. Some companies like Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Acacia Pharma has postponed their launches. A chance of drug launches in 2Q & 3Q is likely to be affected.
Nutraceutical industry has witnessed a spike in the market demand for its products. It is predicted that the industry will grow rapidly in the initial quarter and gradually lessen through the year. The ingredients such as vitamins, omega-3 and minerals have seen an impetus.

Raw materials

US and Europe are heavily dependent on China and India for bulk drugs like KSMs, APIs and intermediates. US imports around 80% of APIs, major chunk from China and India, whereas Europe’s imports around 50% of APIs from China and India. The pandemic has severely affected the generic drug producers in US and Europe. Mobius Capital Partners foresee that many buyers depending on China will try to stay less dependent on China and hence alter their supply chains. Atleast 57 APIs that are required in production of crucial antibiotics, vitamins, and hormones or steroids can go out of stock in case of prolonged disturbed supply chain in China.

With a steep rise in demand for Nutraceutical ingredients, availability and price has been a hurdle. Although, India is a biodiverse region with 4 out of 25 biodiversity zones, thus giving an edge to manufacturing and sourcing of ingredients from within the country without having to rely on imports.

Finished products and supply chain

Medicines being part of essential commodities, local government has supported the Pharmaceutical industry and has allowed working with minimal restrictions following proper precautions. As logistics and distribution is hampered, the industry is running on low production capacity that would affect the availability in coming months. In the month of April, at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh, where major production is carried out,Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories operated at 15% of capacity at its two units there, Abbott at 25-30% and Cadila was running at 35%, among others hindered by the lockdown.

The supply chain has been one of the worst affected links in the value chain of the industry. As the lockdown is being lifted and operations resuming with higher capacity, it is expected that these sections will continue to normalize.

Doctors call visits play a crucial role in pharmaceutical sales and marketing. Sales team are the game changer in Pharma industry. But because of risk of infection, their work has been suspended. Many companies have adopted online sales channel, like emails, virtual and digital communication to interact with physicians and even with team. However, in near future digitization is going to be applied for doctor visit, now it is done by means of virtual communication. Even personalized messages or customized videos explaining product can be shared with Doctor, which they can observe in their spare team and can lead to effective value adding calls.

The road taken by Nutraceuticals on the other hand, is slightly different. Owing to the surge in awareness amongst consumers, we can expect a shift in the marketing model from doctor/influencer based to a more direct marketing style. We can already see advertisements incorporating buzzwords such as ‘immunity’ in their products. Online marketing is also a major tool that should be incorporated by these companies.

Leading our way via consumers:

Having an experience of more than 50 years in Wellness industry, my ways and methods always drill down to consumer level. We are living in consumer era, no doubt that my 3P’s strategy that prioritizes first people, followed by planet and then profits will work out towards a better world.
Here are few key points that arise from consumer survey done by Mckinsey India in April 2020. These points can help us in strategizing our ways to deal with current pandemic situation.

Following percentage is of respondents who were doing the activities as mentioned but after pandemic has started to do more. So, to retain our consumers we need to tap these points.

  1. More than 50% of consumers are thinking more wisely than usual while spending money.
  2. 45% are considering cheaper products to save money.
  3. 40% are making wise decisions by researching the brands and products before buying.
  4. Word of mouth or reference through family and friends are acting as powerful tool for marketing.




  1. Drug discovery & Clinical trialsAutomation has increased in Pharma industry to accelerate R&D, data entry and analysis which suggests an upward future trend in automation. Looking at the impact of covid19, regulatory authorities should incorporate digitalise clinical trials in the testing. Well, digitalising the clinical trials is already started by few companies, now at this stage it is need of the world to apply technology widely. The UK National Institute for Health Research has also released a framework to resume clinical trials.
  2. Product Launches

With time the industry will stabilise and as unlocking is already in process, both the industries will resume its activities and probably by 2021 product launches will peak up depending upon the market needs.

  1. Raw materials/ ingredients

Opportunity is knocking at the door and government has already taken steps to grab the chance. The PLI Scheme – Production Linked Incentive Scheme for manufacturing of KSMs, APIs and drug intermediates has already been rolled out. The decision maker has to realign priorities and focus on manufacturing the raw materials. This will help in reducing the imports from China.

Sanofi a leading Pharmaceutical MNC, is planning to become 2nd largest API manufacturer in world by 2022, with projected revenues of €1 billion by 2022. The strategy of CEO Paul Hudson’s plan is to simplify the global drug giant and focus on growth products, one of them is atopic dermatitis star Dupixent. As per his statement, the drug can generate €10 billion in peak sales.

  1. Finished products and supply chain

The disruption caused in the section has paved way for a more streamlined system. Incorporation of technology in terms of digitisation in logistics and supply chain as well as use of Blockchain technology would be beneficial in managing the entire supply chain system and would improve performance.

  1. Marketing

Marketing is also one of the areas that is likely to see a complete transformation. As few top companies have already started digitizing the way of communication with doctors, I feel companies should take advantage and check their performance using virtual communications system. As looking at benefits, interaction with physicians at their convenient time, physicians may love digital channels or choose a hybrid model of communication whereby face to face visits can be planned once in a month.

Bain research shows that more than 70% of B2B buyers—and a growing number of sellers— feel that virtual sales calls are as effective as in-person calls for complex products, even those involving a high degree of customization or configuration. This conclusion only proves the necessity of having a robust and functional digital infrastructure which can become the key in determining success of the company.

Further looking at current consumer behaviour we need to plan our marketing strategy accordingly. Considering availability, affordability and accessibility and streamlining logistics to resume the supply chain is crucial. Simultaneously, keeping brand value and products in list of consumers is required, so use of online marketing tools like advertising in journals, magazines can be preferred. Sending personalised messages to customers telling them how your services are responding to pandemic and about CSR activities will help in spreading word of mouth.

What’s next?

Unlike many industries struggling to identify a suitable response to the COVID-19 impact, the healthcare sector has infrastructure in place, with technologies such as remote patient monitoring, automated manufacturing facilities, and AI in drug discovery. The pandemic has resulted in very heavy lifting by healthcare workers, but the sector as a whole is somewhat immune to effects of a downturn. The crisis has largely acted as catalyst for transforming the sector, making it more sustainable and better prepared for future exigencies.




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Role of Nutraceuticals in COVID-19 Pandemic

India’s 6 weeks lockdown has impacted Nutraceutical and Dietary supplements industry on multiple fronts. But COVID-19 makes everything different because people are really, first and foremost, concerned with their and their loved ones Physical health.

India has been declared as a country of Malnutrition and main reason for this situation is Hidden hunger! It is a lack of vitamins and minerals. The quality of food people eat does not meet their nutritional requirements as food is deficient in micronutrients.

In India almost 15% of the population is undernourished. These people may not have access to nutritious foods for one reason or another, so supplements can help fill gaps in their nutrition.

The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic can further deplete essential nutrients that the body needs to maintain health. So, although supplements have no direct effect on the COVID-19 virus itself, they can certainly help support overall health and wellness during this very stressful time.

Role of Health Supplements:

As everybody thinks of nourishing well on one side, however they also feel that they should improve their immunity to face this crisis of Corona. There are many nutraceutical ingredients which are useful for building and enhancing individual immunity.

The supplements for immunity and prevention have shown increase in the sales. In this list Ingredients like Vit D, Vit. C and Zinc are on the top. Even immune boosting products like Curcumin, Selenium and Probiotics products have been growing since the outbreak.
Along with these, other ingredients like Asthaxanthin, Polyphenols from pomegranate, Glutathione and extracts of Indian spices like Ginger and Garlic and are also considered to be important ingredients to build immunity.
In case of providing support in nutritional deficiencies, RDA based multivitamin/multi-mineral supplements are advisable to reduce the rate of acute respiratory infections, shortens the duration of flu-like symptoms and improves the rate of recovery.

Fig 1.1 Role of Health Supplements

Along with these there are few traditional herbs which may possess beneficial nutraceutical ingredients to boost immunity and shows anti-viral properties. Virgin coconut oil is one of those ingredients. The active ingredients like Luric acid and Monoluarin from Virgin Coconut oil have shown to be effective against viral infections. Also ingredients like Fucoidan have some immunomodulatory properties and reduce allergic responses and activate Natural Killer Cells and T cells.
Common Indian spice like Cinnamon Bark in the extracted form of compound IND02 has shown anti-viral properties against H1N1 and H3N2. But the anti-viral activities against COVID-19 need to be further studied and confirmed. Also ingredients like Luteolin, Apigenin, Quercetin and Chologenic acid have been studied to function as anti-viral. One of the major ingredients like Palmitoylethanolamide, present not only in egg yolk, but also in other foods, such as soy oil, peanut oil, and corn has shown anti-inflammatory action and symptomatic relief of flu symptoms.

In case of market response to this crisis has been phenomenal. As many of above mentioned ingredients and herbs are not only getting used as immune-boosting but also for preventing side effects. The demand of such products is increasing as per the awareness and knowledge of consumers. In India, even healthy snacks like protein bread has shown increased demand. The Indian start-up specialised in making protein bread and cookies has seen online sale go up by 15%.

Propagation of Integrated Medicines has been seen beautifully woven in this crisis period. Along with the modern medicines, the ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) sent out a new advisory to states suggesting “add-on traditional medicine interventions to conventional care”. The advisory suggests intake of Tulsi, Ginger, Guduchi (Tinspora cordifolia) and Turmeric in diet. Also use of Sesame oil along with inhalation of Eucalyptus oil is advised to lower the incidences of respiratory tract infections. Yet, efficacy of all ingredients is very important here, particularly in cases such as this, where many aspects of the virus are still unknown and claims need to be backed with clinical evidences.

Challenges for Nutra and Dietary Supplements Industry:

Some supplement categories could see sales declining. The ingredients like Ashwgandha, Lycopene, Lutein and segment of Sports Nutrition are likely to see lesser demand during this time.
Even supply chain is experiencing losses in terms of exports as most of the ports are closed. Likewise, most of the companies are facing supply chain disruptions. But there are chances that new channels may emerge!
The outbreak of COVID-19 has highlighted that businesses should adopt Hybrid Model. The Hybrid Model will encompass both in-person interaction and digital touch. This can include channels like online stores and adopting subscription models.
The use of Artificial Intelligence to trace and track entire value chain will be much useful and will be accepted by consumers for its efficiency and effectiveness. Video conferencing and digital friendly education platforms will be much useful to update the employees amidst the period of lockdown.
Common communication platform can be generated for all stakeholders that will help them to make business deals and trade purpose.

In this situation consumer awareness and consumer engagement will be a key to success and it can be done with the help of social media. As well as knowledge sharing can be used as a tool to engage and retain customer. And Subscription model will lead to expected growth in these volatile conditions.


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Disruption in people’s habits, healthcare business practices will take place in Corona Times

The Covid 19 (ARV- Acute Respiratory Virus) situation is disrupting and challenging the entire world like never before. I believe, it will help in making companies the world over more humane than alone profit oriented. The social distancing will in fact help in bringing the people more closer.

The present crisis will make a new difference in the human kind’s equation to 3ps i.e. People, Planet and Profits. It will help in making each of us more humble, caring, empathetic and self sufficient; create more awareness about the importance of preserving and protecting our planet and its air, water and food resources; there will be a corporate behavioural shift where more importance will be given to people and planet over profits.

Profits need to be earned, as profit has five vital functions to play in business. Business should be sustained for future, so it should be useful to readily available for 1) Any sudden changes in technology and disruption and business becomes vulnerable 2) any calamity like Covid 19; and people ,products and planet needs to be supported 3) Any sudden economic requirements are increased due to amendments in corporate laws 4) yearly welfare of people through increments 5) Reward of risk taken by owners or investors ..It is vital for any living company to make profits, but not to have a profit ring attitude!

Throughout the world, the global pharma industry (including India, US, and Europe) depended on China for the raw materials and active pharma ingredients (APIs) needed to make the final products. Many of these economies faced severe issues in securing ingredients on time during the present crisis. From now on, the governments of these countries will not allow them to be over dependent on China. India is no exception.

I see Indian government encouraging more start-ups to manufacture many of these raw materials and APIs to make the economy self-reliant. Also, multiple non-pharma and non-healthcare players would enter the sector and invest in manufacturing of APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients), generics, medical equipments and wearables. It is the right time for Indian medical start-ups to make wonders in the global healthcare arena.

The global pharma industry will move from a product-centric approach to a people’s need – centric one. Till now it used to be purely product centric, meaning first the product was launched taking into consideration the market benefits, before taking it to patients. However, I believe, the situation would change after the present crisis. There would be many industry leaders, whom I believe, would plan, design, research on new pharma molecules based on what the society’s healthcare and medical priorities are. Profits will come on its accord.

There will be an increased adoption of data analysis to understand disease patterns, patient responses, drug development would be based on that. More plans and methods will be developed for better patient engagement, better accessibility to doctors and medicines, and increased patient adherence. There would be more evidence based therapeutic tools. I would say, all of this would make the industry more socialist.

The ongoing situation will accelerate the Digital Transformation of Healthcare or e-healthcare. It will lead to more e-health usage and accessibility in the country – be it in the area of telemedicine, electronic health records, medical billing software, hospital management systems, telemedicine, patient management programmes, healthcare wearables. There will be more usage of video-conferencing through zoom and skype calls.

Jugaad will work hand-in-hand with innovation. During the present crisis, we have converted train coaches into ICU centres and isolation wards. Likewise, our labs have been able to develop low-cost ventilators during this time of need. Why cannot our-start-ups continue to do the same even after the crisis.

Staying at home, people would realise the importance of balanced nutrition, sanitation and sanitisation. Even after Corona leaves the earth, we are going to move forward with our newly acquired habits. In effect we are becoming an inclusive healthy society in the challenging time. New family bondings will be created. This is the perfect time to go higher into spirituality. The new moment is inspiring healthcare and scientific research institutions in the world to leverage all their might to find new solutions towards bacterial and viral resistance.

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To educate attendees on the regulatory framework for functional foods in important jurisdictions, and detail important market developments 

To facilitate optimal business strategies and encourage innovative product development within the industry

To provide an ideal platform to disseminate the values of functional ingredients, novel foods and finished products, and their contribution to the consumers’ health

Interlink’s Presentation: Unlocking the Potential of Nutraceuticals



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Organizer: UBM in India is the country’s leading exhibition organiser that provides the industry with platforms  that bring together buyers and sellers from around the world, through a portfolio of exhibitions, content led conferences & seminars. Established in 2006, UBM in India hosts over 25 large scale exhibitions and 40 conferences across the country every year. This enables trade across multiple industry verticals including advanced manufacturing, business services and infrastructure, fashion, food, hospitality and leisure, jewellery and gem, lifestyle and brands, life science & healthcare, pharma and biopharma, resources, technology, transport & logistics.  As part of UBM Asia, UBM India has offices across Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai

Date: August 10 & 11, 2018 HITEX Exhibition Centre, Hyderabad

About Event:

PharmaLytica conference, collocated with the exhibition is the knowledge forum and important industry gathering that brings you entire range of topics in analytical, outsourcing, laboratory, scientific & biotechnology sector. PharmaLytica is evolving as the leading marketplace for products and services along the entire value chain in niche segments within the Pharma industry.

Interlink’s Presentation: Quality Culture Parameters Concept & Practices

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