Media Report: PHARMACONNECT 2019


Surecom Media’s annual flagship event PHARMACONNECT 2019 – Pharma Supply Chain Conference was convened at The Westin Mumbai Garden City on January 17, 2019. This second edition was endowed with participation by more than 310 pharma and logistics industry professionals from around the country and abroad. Five intriguing panel discussions were held in the conference which touched each and every aspect of India’s pharmaceutical supply chain.

Ajeet Kumar, Surecom Media’s Director, provided the opening remarks and noted the organisation’s commitment to delivering first-rate logistics conferences to the entire industry. The conference formally commenced with the lighting of lamp by dignitaries- Bharat Thakkar, Joint Managing Director, Zeus Air Services; Julian Sutch, Pharma Global Sales, Emirates SkyCargo; Ryan Viegas, Former Head of Logistics – Asia, Teva Pharmaceuticals; Makarand Sane, General Manager – Export Logistics, Sun Pharmaceuticals and Smiti Suri, Publisher – Surecom Media.

The 1st panel discussion of the conference on ‘Mastering Import/Export Compliance for Global, Multi- Layered Supply Chain’ elucidated the elements of export compliance, import compliance and trade agreements. When it comes to making sound and cost-effective decisions related to importing, exporting and trade agreements, it would be virtually impossible for a shipper to independently master all of the intricacies involved. Fortunately, there are technology solutions and solutions providers whose core business is providing expertise in complying with customs, security and trade regulations, policies and procedures worldwide. The panel saw eminent speakers- Bharat Thakkar, Joint Managing Director, Zeus Air Services; Makarand Sane, General Manager- Export Logistics, Sun Pharmaceuticals; Julian Sutch, Pharma Global Sales, Emirates SkyCargo; Ryan Viegas, Former Head of Logistics – Asia, Teva Pharmaceuticals; and Shabana Khan, Chief Operation Officer, Hermes Travel and Cargo, who converged to discuss an integrated framework for international logistics and trade to ensure seamless supply of clinical materials.

In the 2nd panel discussion, Surendra Deodhar, VP- Materials Management, Reliance Life Sciences; Rajesh J Rao, Head- Supply Chain Management, Cadila Pharmaceuticals Limited; Raja Sundaramurthy, DGM – FDF Logistics, Mylan Labs; Balaji S, Sr Director – Industrial & Logistics Services, Advisory & Transactions, CBRE; Rajeshh Rao, Former Head – SCM, Emcure Pharma; Sanjay Kulkarni, Sr General Manager – Corporate Demand Planning, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals; and Rajesh Pednekar, Head – Logistics and Distribution, Cipla, brainstormed on the issues pertaining to ‘End-to-End Optimisation – Seamlessly transitioning operations from Product Development to Launch’. The wide canvas of questions that were debated ranged from basic issues like storage and packaging, personnel management, due diligence, regulatory audits, to complex ones such as greater standardisation and visibility, network design and planning, etc.

The post lunch session kicked off with the 3rd panel discussion on ‘Bridging Clinical and Commercial Operations.’ Addressing a dozen of questions of relevance on development and commercialisation of drugs and devices, accelerating regulatory and marketplace acceptance, and inter-company cooperation between teams- clinical researchers to product marketers so as to achieve accelerated clinical and commercial development, industry leaders- P K Gupta, President, Confederation of Indian Pharma Industry; DD Reddy, General Manager – Warehouse, Aurobindo Pharma; P Balasubramanian, Founder and CEO, Air Cargo Consultancy International Services; Sumedha Nadkar, Sr Director and Site Head, Research & Development, Consumer Healthcare, Perrigo Laboratories India Pvt Ltd; Manoj Subramanian, General Manager – West India, Flyjac Logistics; and Ryan Viegas, Former Head of Logistics- Asia Head, Teva Pharmaceuticals, discussed on the various factors that aims at crafting a balance between science and commercial strategies.

The 4th panel discussion of the conference ‘Why efficiency & efficacy matters and how can we get it delivered’ brought on stage Vinod Mulay, General Manager – Business Operations, Bilcare Limited-GCS; Manas Sahoo, Vice President – Supply Chain, Fresenius Kabi India; Vishal Shah, Executive Director, VXpress (a division of V-Trans (I) Ltd); Stanley Fernandes, Deputy General Manager – Export Logistics (International Business Division) Bharat Serums and Vaccines Limited; Kapil Madhok, Country Manager – Air Services, India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka, Expeditors International (India); and Divyanshu Tambe, Executive Director, Ernst & Young, who briefed on integrated and collaborative approaches to develop sustainable supply and value chains that will enable Indian pharmaceutical companies to steadily reduce costs, increase their flexibility and delivery reliability, and maintain high standards of quality, safety and environmental protection on a global basis.

The 5th and last panel discussion witnessed professionals and specialists from the field- Lalit Patil, Manager – Supply Chain, Roche Pharmaceuticals; M K Roy, Vice President – Supply Chain, VIRBAC India; Vikas Rajput, Head of Logistics, Cipla; Jayanthi Bandi, Head – Global Logistics, Exceed Logistics; Radharamanan Panicker, Managing Director, Dangerous Goods Management India; Brijendra Kumar, Sr Manager – Logistics International Business, Mankind Pharma; and Arloph John Vieira, Sr Vice President, SCM – Kopran, sharing their knowledge and expertise on the topic ‘How do we bring about change in pharma delivery in the country’ and mapping out logistics strategies that need to be closely aligned with a company’s manufacturing and commercial strategies.

The conference concluded with a delectable dinner and bohemian cocktail treats.


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