Top 10 Pharmaceutical Companies in India

Although industrialized production of medicines was only introduced in India after the second half of the 20th century, the production of synthetic drugs has become a rapidly growing industry in India. Presently, pharmaceuticals in India are a $38 billion industry, and this value is predicted only to increase in upcoming years. These are the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in India.

Indian Pharmaceuticals Cover

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries profile

Presently, regarded as the top manufacturer of prescription medicines, Sun Pharmaceutical started its journey in 1983 with only five psychiatry products. It was established by a businessman, Dilip Shanghvi, accompanied by two marketing people in Gujrat. Four years after that, Sun Pharmaceutical introduced its first cardiology medicines in 1987. Although the company was making a decent profit in its first decade of operation, Dilip Shanghvi decided to go into the international market. In 1996, Sun Pharmaceutical expanded its sales network to 24 countries, and this decision proved excellent in terms of finances. The acquisition of Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories from the United States in the following year allowed Sun Pharmaceuticals to be enlisted as a pharmaceutical giant, and since then, it has acquired over 10 pharmaceutical and research companies. While it was already a huge company by that time, the real turning point that landed Sun Pharmaceutical among other global companies came in 2014. Dilip Shanghvi acquired Ranbaxy for $4 billion, which made Sun Pharmaceutical the 5th largest specialty generic pharmaceutical company in the world. Since then, it has been producing and selling medicines in more than 100 countries. Presently, they make medicines for conditions like infectious diseases, neurological disorders, gastrointestinal issues, respiratory problems, and more. Interestingly, they make over 30% of their profit by selling their products in the United States. In 2018, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries made $3.9 billion.

Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Popular Products: Rosuvas, Volini, and Revital

Aurobindo Pharma 

Aurobindo Pharma profile

Aurobindo Pharma produces products for five major fields of healthcare: antibiotics, anti-retroviral, cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal care, and allergies. It was established in 1989 by P. V. Ramprasad Reddy and K. Nityananda Reddy in Puducherry. Despite it only producing semi-synthetic penicillin in the early days, Aurobindo Pharma experienced tremendous success, and it became the world’s top 5 manufacturers of penicillin. Near the end of the 20th century, Aurobindo Pharma introduced new products in its line-up with the inclusion of anti-viral, macrolide, anti-ulcerant, and quinoline. Additionally, they went global during this time and started conducting business in both the United States and the United Kingdom. As the company gained profit, it started acquiring other Indian pharmaceutical companies. Presently, Aurobindo Pharma sells its products in 125 countries, and they are in partnership with companies like AstraZeneca and Pfizer. Interestingly, most of the revenue generated by the company comes from the international market at 70%. Aurobindo Pharma is currently the second-largest pharmaceutical company in India with annual sales peaking at $2.1 billion.

Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana

Popular Products: Vastatin and Cefactam


Lupin Profile

Lupin Pharmaceutical Limited was founded in 1968 by Desh Bandhu Gupta, a chemistry professor in Rajasthan. Unlike other companies that were established by wealthy entrepreneurs or investors, Desh Bandhu Gupta had to borrow Rs. 5,000 from his wife for his startup. Moreover, he also took a loan from the Central Bank of India. After receiving the money, he moved to Mumbai and set up his manufacturing plant, where he produced iron and folic acid tablets. This proved profitable for him, as he was supplying these tablets to the Indian government under their mother and child health program. Shortly afterward, Desh Bandhu Gupta decided to manufacture anti-tuberculosis medicines, and this step lead Lupin to become the world’s largest producer of anti-TB drugs at the time. Since the company was making a decent profit, Desh Bandhu Gupta launched Lupin Human Welfare & Research Foundation in 1988. This organization aimed to support the development of 35 villages in rural Rajasthan and enable people to overcome the poverty line. Unsurprisingly, this initiative was later expanded to other states as well, and by 2018, this organization had helped over 2.8 million people across India. Presently, Lupin has expanded business in over 100 countries, with the United States and Japan being their most profitable markets. Lupin generated revenue of $2 billion in 2020.

Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Popular Products: Lisinopril and Amlodipine


Cipla profile

While the name Cipla only came into existence in 1984, the company itself was established in 1935 by Dr. Khwaja Abdul Hamied, a scientist and a freedom fighter. Originally, the company was known as The Chemical Industrial & Pharmaceutical Laboratories. By the end of 1968, Cipla had already crossed the $100,000 mark. Seeing the increasing success, Cipla decided to venture into the US market, and in 1985 it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for bulk production facilities. A decade later, deferiprone was introduced by Cipla, which was the first-ever oral iron chelator, i.e., it was administered in people with excess iron. Another noble feat was achieved by Cipla in 2001 when they offered medicines for HIV at merely $350 per person annually. In the same year, Cipla became one of the first companies in India to make use of computers for making payrolls. Presently, Cipla sells chemicals required to produce antidepressants to other pharmaceuticals, in addition to producing medicines for respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, diabetes, and depression. Cipla’s annual revenue for 2020 was listed at $2.1 billion.

Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Popular Product: S-Citadep

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories profile

This company was founded by Dr. Kallam Anji Reddy in 1986; however, he had been working effortlessly for over a decade before that to establish his drug manufacturing facility. Before Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Dr. Kallam completed his bachelor’s in chemical engineering and spent six years learning and gaining experience at Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. After gaining experience for six years, Dr. Kallam left the job in 1973 and invested in two drug manufacturing facilities. Finally, in 1984, by collaborating with two other entrepreneurs, the company known as Dr. Reddy’s laboratories came to be. Just one year after its launch, the company was exporting active ingredients to European manufacturers, which made it India’s first pharmaceutical company to do so. Although for the first two years, they only produced chemicals that were sold to other manufacturers, soon Dr. Kallam decided to launch their own medicines that were instantly successful. The company decided to enter the international market in 1992, by selling its products in Russia. Initially, it went well; however, due to accusations, it had to pull out of the market in 1995. During this time, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories established a stronghold in the Middle East. In 1999, it acquired American Remedies which led them to sell its products in the United States. It has a sales network in over 80 countries, and it generated revenue of $2.5 billion in 2020.

Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana

Popular Products: Nitro-Dur and Hanzema

Zydus Lifesciences

Zydus Lifesciences profile

Also known as Cadila Healthcare, it is a multinational pharmaceutical company that was established in 1952 by Ramanbhai Patel with his business partner, Indravadan Modi. Originally, it was only called Cadila; however, both founders decided to split in 1995, resulting in Cadila Healthcare and Cadila Pharmaceuticals. The former became the company that is presently known as Zydus Lifesciences. Despite the separation, the company saw a significant profit of $33 million in the same year. In 2014, Zydus Lifesciences became the world’s first pharmaceutical company to launch adalimumab biosimilar, a monoclonal antibody used for the treatment of arthritis and Crohn’s disease. In the following year, it acquired German Remedies and Nikkho, making Zydus Lifesciences a global seller of generic medicines. In addition to providing synthetic medicines, Zydus Lifesciences also offer herbal products. Moreover, they also produce active ingredients that are sold to other pharmaceutical companies. Presently, Zydus Lifesciences is sixth among India’s top pharmaceutical companies with an annual revenue of $2 billion.

Headquarters: Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Popular Products: Exemptia and Lipaglyn

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals profile

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals was founded by Gracias Saldanha in 1977. Interestingly, the name of the company is a portmanteau of Gracias’ sons’ names; Glenn Saldanha and Mark Saldanha. It is also among the few companies that began life as an international supplier of active ingredients, and its primary markets were India, South Africa, and Russia. Glenn Saldanha was appointed as the CEO of the company in 2001. Thanks to the rapid sales of the medicines, Gracias Saldanha was one of the richest men in India in 2008. After 2010, Glenn Saldanha moved the focus of the company towards research and innovation. Shareholders were not happy with this decision, as the company was making a good profit before this transition. Despite that, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals made $1.4 billion in 2020. Presently, their products are available in 80 countries with 14 manufacturing plants in countries like the United States, India, Argentina, and the Czech Republic.

Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Popular Products: Candid and Zita Plus

Torrent Pharmaceuticals

Torrent Pharmaceuticals profile

The original name for this company was Trinity Laboratories, and it was promoted as such by its founder, Uttambhai Nathalal Mehta; however, it was later changed to Torrent Pharmaceuticals. This company was founded in 1959 in Gujrat. Torrent Pharmaceuticals primarily produce medicines for cardiovascular diseases, the central nervous system, gastrointestinal issues, diabetes, and pain management. The first international acquisition was carried out when it acquired Heumann. Following that, Torrent Pharmaceuticals have been supplying medicines in 40 different countries. They have over 700 scientists for research. As for the profits, in 2020, Torrent Pharmaceuticals made $1 billion.

Headquarters: Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Popular Products: Acnex and Losartan

Alkem Laboratories

Alkem Laboratories profile

Alkem Laboratories was founded in 1973 by Samprada Singh with his brother, Basudeo Narayan Singh. Both of them belonged to Okri village in Bihar. A majority of the residents there relied on agriculture. Samprada Singh was determined to become a doctor; however, he was unable to do so because of his family’s demands. Despite that, he managed to become the only graduate in his village. As for Basudeo Narayan Singh, he did everything his older brother told him. These two were often referred to as Ram Laxman of the pharmaceuticals. The first manufacturing unit of Alkem Laboratories was set up in Mumbai. Two decades after that, in 2006, Alkem become the first Indian pharmaceutical industry to sell over $1 million worth of anti-infective medicine. In the following years, they acquired big pharmaceutical companies like Enzene, Ascend Laboratories, Pharmacor, and more. In 2015, it was approved to be enlisted on both the National and Bombay Stock Exchange. Interestingly, 33% of the company’s revenue is generated from foreign sales in 50 different countries. The listed revenue for Alkem Laboratories for 2020 was $1 billion.

Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Popular Products: Taxim and Dapanorm

Divi’s Laboratories

Divi’s Laboratories profile

Divi’s Laboratories, formerly known as Divi’s Research Center, is both a pharmaceutical and active ingredients producing company. Not only do they make synthetic drugs but they also produce nutraceutical products, i.e., the products that have physiological benefits. Presently, there are over 17,000 employees and 500 scientists working for Divi’s Laboratories. As of 2020, Divi’s Laboratories generated a revenue of $930 million.

Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana

Popular Products: Naproxen and Dextromethorphan

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