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Doing Well and Doing Good: Piramal

ajay piramal chairman piramal

Through the years, we at Piramal Healthcare have partnered with the largest and most reputed organizations in the global pharmaceuticals industry to expand our product offering and deliver the best innovations to our customers.

Piramal Group is a global diversified business conglomerate with operations in over 30 countries and a strong presence in more than 100 markets around the world. Since the late 1980s, Piramal Group has evolved from a textile-centric business to a diversified organisation, which operates across sectors such as Pharma, health care information management, financial services, specialty glass packaging and real estate.

As a Group, Piramal have consistently identified opportunities ahead of the curve, even when market situations suggest the opposite. It invested in the domestic formulations business when others were focused on growing international generics. The group’s persistence paid off when a deal with Abbott in 2010 valued its business at US$3.72 billion, an unprecedented 9x sales and 30x EBITDA.

Over the past two decades, Piramal Group has consistently focused on growth and today is ranked amongst the leading business conglomerates in India. The approach has been both organic and inorganic growth. Piramal Group’s balance sheet today is in excess of US$9.5 billion and over 60 percent of the revenues are generated from outside India. The group has a team of over 10,000 people from around the world and at all times have over 21 nationalities working with them.

The Group is involved in various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in the space of primary education, water healthcare, provision of mid-day meals to the school children, etc. The Piramal Foundation has received the most prestigious “Corporate Trailblazer Award” launched by the India Today Group (Safaigiri Awards 2015 as a part of the national campaign called Clean India Mission). The Award was presented by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi. This Award was given in recognition of the excellent work being done by Piramal Sarvajal in the social entrepreneurship space.

Persistence during Perils Led to Success

In 1984, Ajay Piramal was 29 years old when his father passed away, leaving him in charge of a flailing textile business in an industry crippled by one of the longest trade union strikes. The Group entered glass packaging in 1984 with the acquisition of Gujarat Glass, followed by Ceylon Glass in 1999. Piramal Glass has grown to be Asia's only specialty glass packaging company supplying to 17 of the top 20 clients across the globe. In 1988, Ajay acquired Nicholas Laboratories, the Australian multinational. In the 1990s, while Indian firms were being acquired by large international companies, Piramal went on to acquire the assets of other multinationals. Post the 2010 sale of the domestic formulations business to Abbott, we expanded into Healthcare, Life Sciences and Financial Services. We have been recognized as one of the largest custom manufacturing companies in the world. Piramal Group entered the real estate sector and developed marquee real estate projects such as India's first modern retail mall, Crossroads, in 1999, and Mumbai's first organized workspace Peninsula Corporate Park.  At the time of acquisition, Nicholas Laboratories was ranked 48th in the Indian pharmaceutical industry. A decade later it was in the top 5 Pharma companies in India and the 3rd largest in the domestic formulations business. In 2012, Piramal Fund Management Pvt. Ltd. (formerly known as Indiareit) was fully integrated as a 100% subsidiary of Piramal Capital. Currently, funds under management/advisory total approximately INR 75,500 Million including 6 domestic, 1 offshore and 3 third party mandates.

Our Purpose

The values that guide our unique culture are embodied in our purpose: Doing well and Doing Good. We believe that individual success and organizational growth cannot be exclusive of responsible and ethical business practices. Our purpose provides clear guidance to our people and ensures that we identify the right partners to create mutual, enduring value. We stay true to our purpose of Doing Well and Doing Good by following three simple tenets:

  • Making a positive difference
  • Serving people
  • Living our values

The philosophy of Doing Well and Doing Good, along with our core values of Knowledge, Action & Care have been constant in our journey and serve as guideposts to help us become the company we would like to be.

An Elite Organization Driven By Exceptional Values

At Piramal Group, its core values of Knowledge, Action, Care and Impact have been an integral part of its guiding philosophy. These values represent Piramal’s deeply held beliefs and define them at the individual as well as organizational levels. Shaped by its past and collective experience, these determine how the group engage with others, what it identifies with and what it loves and values. Piramal group encourages a deep understanding of these core values and believe in institutionalizing them across its entire organization so as to build a distinctive Piramal culture.


  • Expertise - We strive for a deeper understanding of our domain
  • Innovation - We aspire to do things creatively


  • Trusteeship - We protect and enhance the interests of our customers, community, employees, partners and shareholders
  • Humility - We aspire to be the best, yet strive to be humble


  • Entrepreneurship - We are empowered to act decisively and create value
  • Integrity - We are consistent in our thought, speech and action


  • Performance - We strive to achieve market leadership in scale and profitability, wherever we compete
  • Resilience - We aspire to build businesses that anticipate, adapt and endure for generation

Board Gauge look into the Piramal Healthcare

The group forayed into the health care space in 1988 with a move that was contrarian at that time, as most pharmaceutical players were exiting India due to the existing business climate. It has been 25 years, and Piramal has established ourselves as one of the most recognizable and respected names in the pharmaceuticals industry. Today, the organization has manufacturing bases across India, UK, Scotland, USA and Canada through subsidiaries. Its critical care products are available in the emergency rooms of hospitals across the globe and its products are available in over 100 countries. Currently the third largest player in the global Inhalation Anesthesia (IA) market and the only company in the world with a complete product portfolio of Inhalation Anesthetics drugs, Piramal’s
manufacturing capabilities make it one of the largest custom manufacturing companies in the world. The ‘UN Conference on Trade and Development's World Investment Report 2011' ranks the group among the top 5 in the world.

Pharma Solutions: Pharma Solutions is a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), offering end-to-end services required to bring a drug to the market place faster. Piramal offers pharmaceutical development and manufacturing solutions through collaborative partnerships and work with its customers throughout the drug life cycle. Its development centres and manufacturing sites have accreditations from regulatory bodies in US, Europe and Japan. With a pool of 450 scientists, including 100 PhDs, across the globe, the group offers specialized services such as Antibody Drug Conjugation and are well versed with technologies such as Bio-catalysis.

Critical Care: Critical Care, a unit of Piramal Healthcare is a global leader in the field of anaesthesia. "Save lives with innovative critical care solutions" is much more than a purpose statement for Piramal. Its portfolio includes Inhalation Anesthetics such as Halothane, Isoflurane and Sevoflurane as well as critical care products like Propofol and plasma volume expanders like Polygeline.

Consumer Products: Piramal Enterprises Ltd. entered the OTC market with the acquisition of Saridon from Roche and Lacto Calamine from Duphar in the early 1990s. In 2007 - Piramal Enterprises Ltd. decided to be independent and established its own Consumer Products Division.
Its OTC range straddles the pharmaceutical as well as the personal care space with most-trusted brands in diverse product categories like Vitamins & Nutrition, Analgesics, and Dermatological & Antacids the business boasts of 10 major brands with 30 SKUs

Imaging: A product portfolio of innovative molecular imaging probes, that address major clinical needs in oncology (inter alia prostate cancer), neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, is a testimony to Piramal’s intensive research and development. The group’s lead compound is [18F] florbetaben – an 18F-labeled tracer used in positron emission tomography (PET). Florbetaben specifically binds to beta-amyloid deposits in the brain, a key pathological hallmark in Alzheimer's disease.

PhytoMedicines™: Piramal follows stringent norms for standardization, validation and product development ensuring world class quality and consistent performance; thus applying the rigours of modern science to the goodness of natural medicine. The intrinsic benefits of herbal product include greater efficacy, little or no side effects and availability at affordable prices. The group plans to leverage India's biodiversity and vast pool of knowledge in traditional medicinal systems such as Ayurveda as a source for new medications. Its varied range of products have been developed to help manage lifestyle ailments such as Diabetes, Arthritis, Obesity, Constipation, Liver damage, Anxiety, Sexual dysfunction, Cough and Cold, etc.

Mastermind behind the Masterstroke

Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group: Born on August 3rd 1955, Ajay Piramal is one of India’s leading industrialists, philanthropists and social entrepreneurs. He is the Chairman of a business conglomerate, Piramal Group & Shriram Group (market cap: US$7.5 billion; Revenue US$9.5 billion), with activities in Pharma, financial services, real estate, information services, glass packaging etc. Apart from India, the Group has set-ups in the US, UK, European Union, Japan, Pacific and South Asia, with the products being sold in more than 100 countries. The Group employs 10,000+ personnel and serves over 100 million customers.healthcare piramal

Directorships: Apart from Group Companies, Piramal serves on the Harvard Business School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors and the Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT Indore, and Pratham (largest NGO in the space of Primary Education). He is a Member of the Alternative Investment Policy Advisory Committee (AIPAC) constituted by SEBI, as well as the National Council of Confederation of Indian Industry. He is appointed as the Non-Executive Director of Tata Sons. He is also the Co-Chair of UK-India CEO Forum. Piramal was a Member of the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Council for Trade & Industry and the Board of Trade constituted by the Ministry of Commerce. In addition, he was a Member of the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Task Force on Pharmaceuticals and Knowledge-Based Industries, and served on the Central Board of State Bank of India for 12 years.

Awards: Recipient of several national and international awards such as “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award of UK Trade & Investment Council (2006); Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year in the Healthcare & Life Sciences category (2004); “Business Leader of the Award” instituted by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce; “Forbes Philanthropy Awards” in the Outstanding Philanthropist category in 2013 and 2014. SEN Sustainability Award – Philanthropy and Best of Best - instituted by World Presidents’ Organisation (2015) as well as Corporate Citizen of the Year award by AIMA Managing India Awards (2016). Primal has been attending the annual meetings of World Economic Forum for twenty years.

Education: B. Sc (Hons) from Bombay University; Master in Management Studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies; Advanced Management Programme, Harvard. Piramal has been conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Philosophy (D. Phil) by the Amity University, India.

“We have built solid global partnerships to augment our presence in certain markets and continue to focus on core businesses by consistently investing in them.”