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Rashmi Kwatra: Making Unique Finished Dosage Forms Accessible To Emerging Markets

Rashmi Kwatra: Making Unique Finished Dosage Forms Accessible To Emerging Markets

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Rashmi Kwatra,CEOThe Indian Pharmaceutical industry is a booming market segment with impressive growth numbers every year. Both big and small companies have been trying hard to increase their market share and create a niche for themselves in the industry. One company that has been able to do so and make a name for themselves in the industry, is Noida based Xeina Drugs. Operating with a mission, Xeina Drugs is a licensing company that offers in licensing and out-licensing of rare, challenging and highly specialized formulations to pharmaceutical companies across Latin America, Russia CIS and Asia Pacific. They are able to achieve this by focussing on high quality products backed with equally stringent documentation quality norms. Rashmi Kwatra, CEO of Xeina Drugs has been a driving factor behind the success of the company. With her industry expertise and leadership skills, she has helped young, dynamic firm- Xeina Drugs to stand apart from the rest of the competition.

To know more about Rashmi Kwatra and how she has been able to guide Xeina Drugs to success as well as to understand what makes the company different from the rest in the market, CEO Insights engages in a sincere and productive conversation with her.

Enlighten us with your educational background and professional journey.
It was at an early age of 17 years that I envisioned myself working in the pharmaceutical industry. I have amassed over 20 years of rich and varied experience in the industry across various therapeutic categories, business models and geographies. But my core competency still lies in super specialized products with a keen focus in Latin America. The first 7 years of my career were spent in building a strong foundation in oncology in the domestic market and Latin America (as product
manager in Dr. Reddy’s and as the marketing manager for Latin America in Dabur Pharma). My background in Science (from Delhi University) and my MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies helped me hone my technical knowledge and marketing capabilities. My time with Ranbaxy as their Country head for Central America & Caribbean Islands gave me a hands-on experience in direct P&L responsibility and deeper understanding of the intricacies of this industry. The next 8 years of my career were focussed on the B2B model (DSM Anti-Infectives and Jubilant Life Sciences) giving me a more holistic understanding of the legal and regulatory aspects enabling my function for deal structuring and licensing modelling of the business. It was with this experience that I found a need gap existing in the market which eventually led me to establish Xeina Drugs.

As a woman leader, how crucial has industry experience been in shaping leadership journeys? Shower some advice or suggestions on your mind for the budding entrepreneurs in the same segment.
There is no substitute for experience. With greater experience comes deeper understanding¬- of the market, of the customers, of the industry dynamics and of the various business models. As a leader who has experience, you are able to identify with the operational on ground issues as well as strategize for long term sustainability.

For entrepreneurs in this segment, Rashmi would like to share that the industry is highly dynamic and dependent on external factors, so there is a great need for pro-activeness and flexibility. Furthermore, pharmaceutical international business has a long gestation period, so it is critical to not give up and keep ploughing through this phase. Understanding one’s core competency is equally important when one is working in a generic space, as they need to know what differentiates their company and why would a client choose to work with them over their competitor. What sets one apart- that becomes a critical success factor in the sustainability of one’s company

In what manner is the changing behaviour and expectations of the clients exerting influence on the functionality of the company?
Clients often change their expectations based on external dynamic factors and it is imperative to meet these requirements, which Xeina has been doing successfully by reinventing the business modes and by being proactive in ascertaining the clients’ expectations. To continuously adapt to the changes, Xeina developed its “Rapid Xeina Event”- rapid ascertain, rapid assessment and rapid action which has played a major role in Xeina’s speed to market and pro-activeness, resulting in exceptional deliverables for clients. For example, in times of Covid, the portfolio required by Xeina’s clients changed completely. Xeina assessed the constantly changing requirements for testing, treatment and protection and developed a Covid portfolio for India and the emerging markets but at no point of time compromising on their stringent quality standards.

Since inception, how has the company nurtured itself? Illustrate on the growth of the company.
Xeina, since inception has been focussed on bringing differentiated and specialized products to the emerging markets at affordable prices. Xeina has endured its share of challenges but has experienced more ups than downs. However, the one constant at Xeina has been its ability to consistently challenge itself by aiming at a unique portfolio comprising of biosimilars, liposomal technology products and stem cell therapy platform technology products. Xeina established their European subsidiary- Xeina Drugs OU with the purpose of garnering the valuable base of high-quality European manufacturers.

However, Xeina has not focussed only on product portfolio and geographical expansion, but also on team Xeina with additions like their COO, Mr. Shashank Mohan, an industry veteran with complementary skill sets and rich experience in Russia CIS. As we all know, “individually we are one drop, but together we are an ocean”! We, as a company always believe in having integrity, passion and high levels of energy. This is just the beginning for Xeina as Robert Frost said so eloquently “But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep”.

Rashmi Kwatra, CEO, Xeina Drugs
Rashmi is an inspirational figure for many and as an industry stalwart she has brought in revolutionary changes into the sector. Her entrepreneurial and leadership skills have helped her to achieve visionary status in the industry.

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