You have more than 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical industry. How do you see your journey so far ?
Milan R. Patel: The journey has not only been challenging, but also very satisfying. We started with a very small set up and over the last 30+ years, we have evolved manifold as a company. So yes, both on a professional as well as a personal level, it is satisfying to see Troikaa where it is today.
Troikaa as a company has always believed in innovative products. Be it like DYNAPAR AQ (world’s first painless diclofenac injection), DYNAPAR QPS (world’s first transdermal diclofenac) or NASO B12 (world’s first methylcobalamin nasal spray). What drives Troikaa for these innovations?
Milan R. Patel: Innovation and thinking differently is in the foundation of the company and is its inherent DNA. Innovation, particularly in such a technology-driven space like pharma, is the only way to deliver true value, both to the company as well as to the customers who use its product. Any organization in the technology space cannot grow consistently beyond the industry average, unless it stays one step ahead in every which way. Moreover, for us at Troikaa, innovation is our passion. Not only does it give better products to the customer, which in itself is very satisfying, but it also helps the company gain lots of respect and goodwill in the customer’s mind.
We have learned many pharmaceutical technologies in theory or text books like encapsulation, duo phase technology. Troikaa is one of few pharma companies which brings out such technologies to practical use. Is it a deliberate attempt from your side to work on novel drug delivery systems?
Milan R. Patel: We have a very result-oriented approach towards innovation. We believe NDDS is one such affordable way to deliver vastly improved products with superior safety and efficacy profile. All our research is with a goal of getting it commercialized. Yes, some of our ideas do fail, but whenever an idea succeeds at Troikaa, there is always a good commercial potential, which is always thought of even before a research starts. We believe that any innovation or research should have commercial application, because only then can we offer superior products to the customers.
Troikaa is coming up with State of the art injectable plant with a capacity of 1.25 million units per day. Would you like to tell us more about this new development ?
Milan R. Patel: This plant is coming up at our site at Virochannagar near Sanand. Obviously, it’s a state of the art facility with complete automation and the best of its kind machinery in the segment. It will also be a green project where a lot of thought has gone into the design to ensure very high energy efficiency. Technically and even aesthetically, we believe that it will be one of the best parenteral manufacturing facilities in India, which will cater to all the markets of the world, including the US and the EU.
Troikaa has come up with new division of nutrasciences for nutraceutical products. It is using cutting age & novel technology in nutraceutical products as well. Does it give distinctive advantage over other nutraceutical products ?
Milan R. Patel: Nutraceuticals have been evolving at a very rapid rate in last decade. In the coming years, only those products which will be evidence-based, scientifically designed and have GMP which is equivalent to pharmaceuticals, will succeed in the market. We believe that with the depth of our R & D in pharmaceuticals, we can apply the same science of novel technology in many of the nutraceutical products. We have already done that successfully for some products and are confident that we will create a very good space for our products based on these technologies. This segment is also going to grow very fast in the coming years, with more and more customers realizing the importance of maintaining high immunity levels and overall body health due to the current pandemic situation. Moreover, with customers being able to access knowledge easily through online information, they will be more receptive to health supplementation and will be consulting nutritionists more often for consultation.
Two generations of Patels (Honorable your father, honorable You & honorable Your brother) have worked in Troikaa Pharmaceuticals. Now, third generation is coming up to write a new chapter in history of Troikaa. What vision would you like to pass on to them ?
Milan R. Patel: Our next generation is already actively involved in the operations of Troikaa, since last 5-10 years. They have truly absorbed the philosophy and the vision of Troikaa. Our vision has always been to build an ‘Institution‘, which would be a legacy for generations to come. Each generation, at least the next one, which I can vouch for, should have the same passion for innovation and play their role in building a company over the coming years, which is recognized as a torch bearer of being innovative and difficult to manufacture products. Luckily, the coming generation has the same passion and belief in the vision of the company. The most important value which we have inculcated in them, is the capacity to work hard with passion and the satisfaction of creating great value for the company and its customers. Another important value is not to work as a businessman only for profits.
Troikaa’s DNA has always been innovation & be innovative. What advice you would like to give to pharmacy students who are currently working on the projects related to new research or innovations ?
Milan R. Patel: Research has to be meaningful and have a feasibility of commercial application. Research should add incremental value over existing solutions/treatments in the same domain. Don’t do research which does not have any feasibility of implementation for the sake of publishing a paper or completing your thesis. So it’s very important, not only for the students, but also for the research guides to identify projects which can deliver products/processes/solutions and which can be meaningfully commercialized. Bottomline is, research should comply with the parameters of incremental value to the end product.
You have decades of experience in pharmaceutical industry so what advice would you like to give to young entrepreneurs who are starting their pharmaceutical journey ?
Milan R. Patel: Each new entrepreneur has his own belief and a plan to succeed. So I respect that. But, having said that, I would advise them to not follow the herd, and to think differently. Innovation doesn’t mean a large expenditure by way of funds. It is all about an idea which can differentiate you and your company. It can be the smallest and the most commonsensical idea which can do the magic. So, play to your strengths and become a domain leader, rather than trying to do too many things.