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Archive for the ‘Indian Government’ Category

Government showing intent for VC fund to support pharma R&D

Posted by fairval on August 31, 2015

In a post in May’15, I had written about the abysmal environment for VC funding for pure-play pharma R&D setups in India. I had written – ‘The Government allocates say USD 250m per annum for VC investments in pure-play pharma/biotech R&D firms, gives it to say 5 funds like ICICI, Kotak etc; they invest on a purely commercial basis’.

It seems there is an outside chance that something this could actually come about. Last week, papers reported that ‘the centre is planning to launch a venture capital fund of Rs 1,000 crore under the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) to support start-ups in the research and development in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry’.

A DoP taskforce which submitted a report recently on ‘Enabling Private Sector to Lead the Growth of Pharmaceutical Industry’ has a specific recommendation: Create and fund an organization to support and promote biopharmaceutical innovation, R&D and national and international academia industry partnership

However, this is not a new plan, it has been in the works for sometime now. In Oct’14, the DoP had released the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for setting up Venture Capital Fund for R&D in pharmaceuticals. At that time, the plan was for the government to provide an amount of Rs 500 crore in a fund of funds mode.

Some of the terms the government has in mind may not be so practical. Government proposed that each Pharma Fund commit to investing at least such amount in Indian companies for their Pharma R&D activities (Innovative Pharma Companies) as is, the higher of Rs.150 crore; and 4 times the amount sought as investment from the government.

This is not going to work. There is no fund which is willing at this point to put even Rs 50 crore into pharma R&D, and the 4:1 ratio does not quite sound right. Government needs to look at a lower ratio. That may prompt some private sector funds to think about setting up pharma R&D funds.

So optimism, but with a caveat: given the pace at which government’s work, it could take a while. It may not also come about if terms like 4:1 ratio do not find any takers.


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Not Big Policy, Modi needs to get bureaucracy reforms right

Posted by fairval on November 13, 2014

Of late, several articles have begun to appear in the media about – Where are the Big Reforms?

It does not matter whether Big Policy changes come or not, unless we kick the butt of Indian bureaucracy, nothing will change in India. Notice this extract from an article in today’s Economic Times. this is an interview of the owner of Huntsman Chemical, a global leader in chemical industry

While manufacturing in India has its advantages, (Huntsman says he is clear that his firm’s interest is not due to cheap labour), the firm is among the many multinationals and domestic firms who have been at the receiving end of bureaucratic delays.

The firm shuttered a plant in Chennai after the local pollution control board delayed clearances. A second plant in Ankleshwar in Gujarat got its clearance only recently after a three-year delay. The Huntsman experience should ring a warning bell to bureaucrats and ministers in the establishment who are pushing Make in India aggressively. 

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No Modi wave in Delhi Bureaucracy

Posted by fairval on November 12, 2014

Poor Modi may not be able to do much better than previous PM Manmohan. The entrenched sloth in bureaucracy will ensure that. I am writing this from personal experience. A client of ours applied for FIPB approval over 4 months ago. This was for FDI into a manufacturing unit. 4 months on, we have no f__king clue of what is going in inside FIPB. The process is too damn opaque. You apply online, but after that it is the same old file system. It seems there is a guy in FIPB, who then sends a physical file to various departments. In this case, the file has gone to many departments which have no role to play. Our client was recently in Delhi trying to trace what was holding the whole issue up. We found several shocking things, like —

  • The file went to some departments where it should not have been sent. These guys were saying – we don’t know why this has come to us. So it seems 1-2 of them simply tossed it aside and did nothing.
  • Amazing, one guy retired in this period, and the file was lying on his desk!

According to the way the govt functions, if the file does not come back from whom it was sent to, next step cannot be taken. So nothing was happening on this case for 2-3 months. Our client is still trying to find out how many other places the file has gone too, and people are simply sitting on it, because the file should not been sent to them in the first place! If this is how bureaucracy is functioning, Modi can’t do much.

Posted in Indian Economy, Indian Government, Make In India | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »