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American Pie: Vinita Gupta

November 11, 2010
Vinita 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.

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This meant that by the time the Lupin generic entered the market, doctors would have shifted to other alternatives. Lupin took the leap of faith, and relaunched Suprax two years after it had gone out of the market.

"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.
-Suman Layak
The 30 Most Powerful Women
1. Schauna Chauhan
2. Zarin Daruwala
3. Lynn de Souza
4. Tanya Dubash
5. Shyamala Gopinath
6. Vinita Gupta
7. Kaku Nakhate
8. Vedika Bhandarkar
9. Manisha Girotra
10. Lalita Gupte
11. Usha Narayanan
12. Akhila Srinivasan
13. Leena Nair
14. Vinita Bali
15. Chanda Kochhar
16. Roopa Kudva
17. Naina Lal Kidwai
18. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
19. Zarina Mehta
20. Zia Mody
21. Kalpana Morparia
22. Vishakha Mulye
23. Swati Piramal
24. Meher Pudumjee
25. Madhabi Puri Buch
26. Chitra Ramkrishna
27. Preetha Reddy
28. Shikha Sharma
29. Mallika Srinivasan
30. Sangeeta Talwar

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