American Pie: Vinita Gupta
November 11, 2010Vinita Gupta
42, Group President & CEO, Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc
(New on BT's Most Powerful list)
For Vinita Gupta - daughter of Desh Bandhu Gupta, the founder of pharma major Lupin - life in the United States means there are no servants around and she needs to pick up her household groceries from the supermarket like everyone else. So Gupta's favourite away-from-work activity - to go yachting on her husband Brij Sharma's boat - is well-earned considering that she has almost singlehandedly shown the world how India can succeed in the market for branded drugs in the United States.
The success story of Suprax, an anti-infective, is inspiring. Gupta had been planning the US strategy for Lupin since she started working for it in 1992. Lupin had filed for making a generic version of the drug and was preparing for launch when Wyeth, the company that held the rights to sell Suprax in the US market, decided to stop promoting it.
"Everybody thought we were crazy, but it has transformed the way Indian pharma companies do business in the US," says Gupta. Today Lupin ranks ninth in prescription sales in the US (branded plus generics) and is the only Indian company in the top 10. It is also the fifth-largest in generics sales in the US.