His Story

Dilip Shanghvi- From start up to India’s largest Drug maker


Dilip Shanghvi, India’s largest drug maker started their journey in 1983 with a marketing team of 2 men and a small manufacturing facility to make psychiatry drugs and capsules at Vapi, Gujarat.

In early 1970’s, when India’s patient regime gave rise to dozens of drug companies in the countries but only few could match the pace of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries. Sun pharma became world’s 5th largest pharmaceutical company after accuring Ranbaxy labs. The company can only be compared with technological companies not with drug companies and most valuable than market capitalization of its next 3 competitors in India. The man behind the success is “Dilip Shanghvi” (Sun pharma founder and MD)

“I like to win without fighting. But if I can’t, then I’m prepared to fight.”

– Dilip Shanghvi

During 1980s to 1990s, when bigger Indian rivals were taking multinational drugs with assistance from India’s new patent regime but he focused on creating a segment of niche generic drugs that was not a priority of others at that point of time .  He focused on chronic therapies such as psychiatry, cardiovascular, neurology, oncology and dermatology.

In terms of revenue area, the opportunity was small to begin but less competition transformed into higher margin that provides to reinvest in the business. They also began to attain volume and value leadership in many therapies. Sun Pharma logged into this opportunity through a series of strategic acquisitions and investment in branding, marketing and sales, and distribution in all key markets across the globe.

“Money is the outcome of my work and is incidental.”

– Dilip Shanghvi


Dilip Shanghvi was the first drug boss to see through complexity in India’s patent regulations, products approvals, price control and compulsory licensing. In 1996, the major achievement of sun pharma was to acquire bulk drug plant knoll pharma. He also understand the business implications of rising life expectancy especially in North America and Europe. (World 2 biggest drug market).  Sun pharma became 9% market share after his merger with Ranbaxy. In the past three years, Sun Pharma has earned an operating profit of Rs 45 for every Rs 100 of revenue.

“If I look myself as a manager, I have lot more to learn.”

– Dilip Shanghvi

This is much higher than what peers like GSK Pharma (Rs 34.3), Dr Reddy’s Lab (Rs 24.5) and Cipla (Rs 26) earn from their operations.

The Sun pharma pharmaceuticals comes under the investigation of US Congress over allegations of overcharging.

Facts of Dilip Shanghvi- “India’s self-made billionaire”

  • Born in Amreli, Gujarat on 1st October 1955.
  • Leading drug maker of India.
  • He is the one of the richest person of India, top wealthiest and self-made billionaire in Asia.
  • He studied in the J.J.Ajmera High School and then graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Bhawanipur Education Society College under Calcutta University.
  • Dilip Shanghvi received an award from Government of India – Padma Shri.
  • Under the leadership of Dilip Shanghvi, Sun Pharmaceuticals continued its expansion and joint ventures with several European and US drug majors.
  • In 2015, February, he surpassed Mukesh Ambani as the richest man in India, this was when the stocks of his parent company surged in price.

  • From 2010 to 2016, he was awarded Padma shri, CNN IBN businessman of the year and entrepreneur of the year.

“I am not comfortable at all with this tag of being dubbed the richest Indian and all the attention that follows for the reason. The truth is that I like to focus on my work and do it right,” – Dilip Shanghvi.

Dilip Shanghvi has ambitious plans chalked out both for Indian and overseas market. For Dilip Shanghvi and his company, the Ranbaxy takeover can prove to be a big game-changer. It will give him the scope to spread into emerging markets where Ranbaxy products are popular. He looks forward to use his skill at turning around weak businesses and revive Ranbaxy. Apart from focusing on dermatology drugs, his company will also concentrate on enhancing business in Europe.



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