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Super 30 Companies Of The Year 2018

An Interview with Dilip Surana, Micro Labs Limited Chairman and Managing Director: ‘We Aspire to Deliver Value through High-Quality Products’

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“Micro Labs is possibly the only company in the country having stand-alone, dedicated facilities for the handling of sensitising and potent products.”

There are several pharmaceutical majors based in India, but few have been able to match or replicate the steady rise and growth of Micro Labs Limited. The man behind its unmatched success is Mr. Dilip G. Surana, one of India’s leading visionary pharma entrepreneurs and businessmen.

When he took over Micro Labs from the reigns of his father, the late Mr. C. M Surana, hardly anyone could assume the stupendous success he would achieve.

Presently, he holds the 73rd position on Forbes magazine’s list of 100 richest Indians with an estimated net worth of over $1.3 billion.

The Growth & Magnification of Micro Labs

Mr. Dilip G. took over operations in 1983, and currently serves as the Chairman and Managing Director of Micro Labs and has over 20 years of rich experience in pharmaceuticals.

His younger brother Anand Surana joined him in the year 1993, and he currently holds the Director’s position in the company. The growth of Micro labs has a lot to do with the vision and passion of these two brothers. The brother duo brought in fresh ideas and Micro Labs became one of the few companies in the mid-1980s to have separate strategic business units that focused on areas such as cardiology, neurology, dermatology and nephrology.

He speaks fondly of his father;

“My father’s ability to pick up the chemistry of a drug was amazing. For him, there was no holiday. He lived and breathed business and inculcated the same values in us. Even during my high school days, he made sure I learn the trade, starting from the lowest rung.”

With Mr. Surana’s constant will and dedication, Micro Labs has evolved over time into a diversified pharmaceutical manufacturing company with products ranging from oral solids, oral liquids, to topical and injectables. Under his leadership, the company is rightly regarded as a pioneer in many ways as it has introduced various molecules for the first time in India.

Mr. Surana also established world-class state-of-the-art research and manufacturing facilities covering Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and finished dosage forms as well as infrastructure for new drug discovery.

He has been instrumental in setting up 14 state-of-the-art facilities for Micro Labs. The manufacturing units are designed to meet the current global standards of GMP and safety standards for personnel.

With Mr. Surana’s efforts, today the company is committed to doing world-class research that develops bio-equivalent generics. The well-planned state-of-the-art facilities at Micro Labs have led to its accelerated growth in the pharmaceutical sector.

This Bangalore-headquartered pharma firm is possibly the only company in the country having stand-alone, dedicated facilities for the handling of sensitising and potent products.

Mr. Surana instilled the most stringent quality standards in his pharmaceutical enterprise. As a result, Micro Labs has to its credit, all the international regulatory approvals including US FDA, UK MHRA, MCC, South Africa, Health Canada, WHO, Geneva TGA, Australia Medsafe, New Zealand PAHO (USA), IDA (Netherlands), and many regulatory bodies of emerging markets reflecting the high standards of quality and regulatory compliance of research and manufacturing facilities.

Under Mr. Surana’s dynamic leadership, Micro Labs and its associated companies are a multi-faceted organization with an annual turnover of approximately INR 2500 crores, including global business and exports that contribute 40 per cent to its revenues. From Rs 30 crore in 1987, the firm has come a long way and continue to progress in leaps & bounds and carries zero debt on its balance sheet. It has 14 manufacturing facilities across India and one plant in South Africa, employing over 9,000 people. Micro Labs has been aggressively investing to increase capacity and boost exports and is also planning to set up manufacturing units in the UAE and Indonesia.

Dilip Surana: Early life & Education

Dilip Surana, who was born in Bangalore, hails from the small village of Balrai in Pali district, Rajasthan. He completed his schooling from the prestigious Bishop Cotton Boys high school in Bangalore. Thereafter, he sailed through his Bachelor of Commerce (Accounts) degree from St. Joseph’s College of Commerce in 1985 with flying colours.

Dilip Surana: Known for his Modesty & Down-to-Earth Personality

In spite of all his success, this kind-hearted, visionary chairman of country’s major pharma giant Micro Labs has a simple living attitude as he says: “When you’re an entrepreneur, everything’s on the line. People don’t realize that. You believe so much in it, you’re willing to risk everything, as I did. It’s hard to lose everything and start over again. But I think that’s what separates successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful ones — the ability to fall off your bike, get back on and keep riding. It’s very hard to achieve success but it’s even harder to maintain it. At Micro Labs, we have processes in place and our greatest strength is our people.”

Proud Moment: Awards & Recognitions

It is often said: ‘The more one sows, the greater the harvest.’

Recognizing the hard work, dynamism and contribution of Mr. Dilip Surana to the pharmaceutical industry, he has been honoured time and again with prestigious awards such as the ‘Asia’s Most Admired Business Leader’ presented by White Page International, ‘Dynamic Entrepreneur of the year 2010’, honoured as the ‘Great Son of Karnataka’ by Governor of Karnataka his Excellency HR Bhardwaj in 2011, recognized as ‘Most Dynamic Entrepreneur of the Year’ 2013 and ‘Entrepreneur of the year’ 2014. He was also awarded ‘India’s Most Admired business Leader 2015’ by White Page International.

Future Arrangements: Sky’s the Limit

Mr. Dilip Surana is a true entrepreneur who has constantly worked tirelessly to build a huge business empire while always staying out of the limelight.

Built by a vision to being not just the best, but a leader in the development, manufacture and sales of premium pharmaceutical products, today, this low profile promoter of Microlabs Limited has steered Micro Labs to amongst the top ranking companies in the pharma sector featuring currently among the top 19 pharma companies in India.

While Micro Labs has achieved a commendable position in the domestic as well as global market, it continues to innovate and deliver better results. Mr. Dilip Surana is targeting sales of $1 billion by 2020 and poised to achieve unparalleled status in the global pharmaceutical industry in the near future.

“With Mr. Surana’s efforts, today the company is committed to doing world-class research that develops bio-equivalent generics. The well-planned state-of-the-art facilities at Micro Labs have led to its accelerated growth in the pharmaceutical sector.”