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Vaccine-maker Adar Poonawalla says may start a financial business in 2 months

Updated : October 13, 2018 07:23 PM IST

Serum Institute is one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers. The Pune-based company has currently a market share of 35-40 percent in the vaccines space currently.

With a turnover of Rs 4,000 crore, the company is aiming for sales of Rs 10,000 crore by 2022. While being a private company, Serum does have investments and associations with companies in the listed space.

For example, Serum holds close to 15  percent stake in vaccine manufacturer Panacea Biotech. While there was a lot of buzz that Serum would look to acquire Panacea, Adar Poonawalla, CEO says their stake is currently just strategic.

However, the two companies do have a tie-up on manufacturing the hexavalent vaccine (six vaccines in one dose).  Serum also had investments in pharmaceutical company Orchid Pharma which is now in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) courts.

The company has written off this investment now and in fact, Poonawalla, says it is the only investment mistake made by the company. Lastly, with regards to Cipla, Serum has no plans of merging with the company due to lack of synergies.

While the Poonawalla's core focus remains vaccines, they are planning to diversify into nonbanking financial companies (NBFC). The plan is to launch the NBFC business in two months with a capital of Rs 4,500 crore.

While the current downtick has made Adar Poonawalla cautious on the NBFC space, the plan is to focus on more retain oriented customers and not high-risk segment such as real estate. Plus, they are in no hurry to deploy the entire 4,500 crore immediately.

In an exclusive interview CNBC-TV18, Adar Poonawalla speaks on Serum, its current challenges and opportunities and finally diversifying into the NBFC space.

Read the full interview"The journey started in a very small manner," says Serum Institute of India's CEO Adar Poonawalla
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