Sun Pharma Success Story | How it became the 4th largest Pharmaceutical Company in the world?

Sun Pharma Success Story | How it became the 4th largest Pharmaceutical Company in the world?
Sun Pharma Log

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It was in the mid-1800s when pharma industries started by distributing botanical drugs such as morphine. Gradually, with applied research studies, the industry started picking up pace, which resulted in the development of new drugs.

The post-world wars gave birth to a wide variety of new antibacterial drugs. Ever since pharmaceutical manufacturing companies have been significant in creating potential drugs, that many of us are familiar with in our day-to-day lives.

In the 1980s, a lot of pharmaceutical companies started to hit up the market, and one of them was Sun Pharma. With their continuous efforts and innovations, Sun Pharma became the largest pharmaceutical company in India and the fourth-largest speciality generic pharmaceutical company in the world.

This article covers all the suitable information related to Sun Pharma, like its success story, its founders, its key products and services, its business and revenue model, and more.

Sun Pharma - Company Highlights

Company Name Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Headquarters Mumbai, India
Sector Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing
Type Public
Founded 1983
Founder Dilip Shanghvi
Revenue $4.7 billion (FY22)
Market Cap. $27.85 Billion (October 2022)

Sun Pharma -About and How Does It Work?
Sun Pharma - Industry
Sun Pharma - Founder and Team
Sun Pharma - Startup Story
Sun Pharma - Mission and Vision
Sun Pharma - Name, Tagline, and Logo
Sun Pharma - Business Model
Sun Pharma - Revenue Model
Sun Pharma - Revenue Growth
Sun Pharma - Investments
Sun Pharma - Mergers and Acquisitions
Sun Pharma - Advertisements and Social Media Campaigns
Sun Pharma - Awards and Achievements
Sun Pharma - Competitors
Sun Pharma - Future Plans

Sun Pharma -About and How Does It Work?

Sun Pharma, founded in 1983, is a global pharmaceutical firm that develops and sells pharmaceutical formulations and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in over 100 countries worldwide with around 40 manufacturing facilities. Its R&D centres throughout the world, as well as a multicultural staff of over 50 nationalities. Countries like Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Romania, and South Africa are some of its key emerging markets. The company likes to promote excellence via strategic innovation, which is supported by strong R&D capabilities that include about 2,000 scientists and R&D spending of more than 7-8% of annual revenues.

Absorica, Acamprosate Calcium, Alendronate Sodium, Amifostine trihydrate, Budesonide, and Carvedilol are among its API products. Psychiatry, anti-infectives, neurology, cardiology, orthopaedic, diabetology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, nephrology, urology, dermatology, gynaecology, respiratory, oncology, dentistry, and nutrition are among the therapeutic categories served by Sun Pharma. The company claims to have more than 37,000 people employed across its global offices.

Sun Pharma consists of having a diversified speciality and generics portfolio that further consists of nearly 2000 high-quality compounds, which is available in a variety of dosage forms, including tablets, capsules, injectables, inhalers, ointments, creams, and liquids.

Sun Pharma was placed on the stock exchange in 1994, with an issuance that was 55 times oversubscribed. The original family still owns the bulk of the corporation.

Sun Pharma - Industry

One of the biggest industries in the world is the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, as per records, the Indian Pharmaceutical industry ranks third in the world in terms of pharmaceutical production by volume.

The pharma market has seen tremendous growth over the past few years, especially after the pandemic. The total revenue of the global pharmaceutical market was valued at $1.27 trillion in 2020.

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Sun Pharma - Founder and Team

Sun Pharma was founded by Dilip Shanghvi in 1983.

Dilip Shanghvi

Dilip Shanghvi - Founder of Sun Pharma
Dilip Shanghvi - Founder of Sun Pharma

Dilip Shanghvi is the founder and MD of Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. He was born in the Indian state of Gujarat to Shantilal Shanghvi and Kumud Shanghvi in the tiny village of Amreli. Dilip Shanghvi's career took a turn when he began by assisting his father at his business, a wholesale dealership of pharmaceuticals, primarily generic drugs in Kolkata. But later, he considered producing his pharmaceuticals rather than selling those manufactured by others. Today, he is one of the country's richest people with a net worth of $14.3 billion. In 2016, the Indian government bestowed upon him the civilian honor of Padma Shri. After a year, India Today magazine rated him eighth on its list of the country's most powerful persons.

Dilip Shanghvi was nominated to the Reserve Bank of India's 21-member central board committee in January 2018. He is also the head of the IIT Bombay board of governors. There's a book on him, which is the first and only biography of Dilip Shanghvi, 'The Reluctant Billionaire' written by journalist Soma Das. The book was nominated for Tata Literature Award in the Best Business Book category in 2019. Dilip's wife's name is Vibha Shanghvi. The couple has two children, one daughter, and one son.

Israel Makov

Israel Makov was the Non-Executive Chairman of the Company. He recently retired from the company in August 2022. Before becoming a part of Sun Pharma, Israel Makov served as the President & CEO of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd from 2002 to 2007. He had directed a variety of enterprises in diverse areas before joining Teva. Among them was Interpharm, his first biotech firm, which he started and later took public in the United States.

Israel graduated from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with a B.Sc. in Agriculture and an M.Sc. in Economics. He is a member of the Weizmann Institute of Science's Executive Board and Management Committee, the Technion's Board of Governors, and a Director of Yeda Research and Development Company Ltd. Israel Makov is also the Chairman of Israel's leading theatre, the Gesher Theatre.

Under Israel's leadership, the company transformed from a $1.7 billion organization operating in India and USA to the world's fourth-largest specialty generic pharmaceutical company operating in more than 100 markets.

Sun Pharma - Startup Story

The startup story of Sun Pharma started in Vapi, Gujarat, which is a few hours' drive from Mumbai. Dilip Shanghvi set up his first manufacturing plant there with a capital of Rs 10,000. In the initial days, the pharma company manufactured only psychiatry drugs but it soon scaled up its business. By 1997, the company's business was a hit and was able to make its first acquisition by acquiring Caraco Pharma, an American company.

At present, Sun Pharma is the market leader in fields like diabetology, cardiology, urology, gastroenterology, ortho, dermatology, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, with nine other distinct specialties of specialists.

Sun Pharma - Mission and Vision

Sun Pharma's vision is, "Reaching People And Touching Lives Globally As A Leading Provider Of Valued Medicines"

The firm wants to offer medicines that are of prime quality and affordable to most people.

The company follows its idealogy based on five core values:

  • Reliability
  • Trust
  • Quality
  • Innovation
  • Consistency
Sun Pharma Logo
Sun Pharma Logo

The name Sun Pharma is based on the idealogy of the sun.

The tagline of Sun Pharma reads, "Science is at the heart of Sun Pharma" The logo of the company is a symbol that is similar to the shape of the sun in bold orange and light orange colour combinations.

Sun Pharma - Business Model

Sun Pharma operates its business by manufacturing and selling pharmaceutical formulations and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Sun Pharma produces an extensive variety of therapeutic segments, specialty medicines, generic medications, and over-the-counter (OTC)/consumer healthcare products with its brand names like Faringosept for sore throat treatment, Revital (multivitamins), Volini for topical analgesics. It further includes other categories of brands such as Coldact & Flustat, Brustan, Painamol & Paduden, Gestid, Aspenter, Aspacardin, Chericof, and Nudrate & Fortifikat.

Sun Pharma's business operations also involve a wide range of Anti Retro Viral Medications (ARV), which are all qualified by WHO. The supplies ARVs to diverse National AIDS treatment programs in Africa. The company wants to contribute significantly to fighting HIV/AIDS by producing first-line and second-line Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). Its business operations are present in almost 100 countries.

Sun Pharma CSR Activities

Sun Pharma also focuses on serving and helping society. There are a lot of underprivileged communities in India, and Sun Pharma with its CSR activities aims to serve the community in three primary areas: health, education, safe drinking water, and sanitation.

The CST mission of Sun Pharma is, "To leverage our people, expertise, and networks to address the needs of the communities that we serve and thereby catalyze overall development."

Sun Pharma has the following CSR projects:

Malaria Elimination Demonstration Project (MEDP)

A partnership between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Government of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP), and the Foundation for Disease Elimination and Control of India (FDEC India) is a non-profit enterprise with a primary focus on reducing malaria cases in over 200 villages of the Mandla district.

Mobile Healthcare Units (MHUs)

MHUs deliver primary healthcare services to more than 650,000 people who live near Sun Pharma's manufacturing sites and other establishments. It offers services like health-check ups and free medicines.

Model School Development

This project is implemented to empower students coming from rural areas to give them the basic right to education and other development opportunities.

Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation

This project by Sun Pharma aims to provide access to hygienic and clean drinking water and good-quality washrooms and toilets in various regions in villages.

Sun Pharma Science Foundation

The Sun Pharma Science Foundation is a recognized non-profit organization under the Societies Act. This foundation gives motivation and encouragement to those who excel in the medical and pharmaceuticals line.

Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) programs

The program of EHS by Sun Pharma aims an establishment of a safe and healthy workplace as well as a clean environment for all workers and the communities it serves.

Sun Pharms CSR

Sun Pharma's Covid-19 initiatives

The company was deeply engaged in providing Covid-19-specific medicines to help curb the virus and the community in general. Some of the initiatives launched by Sun Pharma are:

  • 'Sunkalp’, is a special initiative by Sun Pharma for the welfare of doctors, their families, and the community.
  • Teamed up with MSD, popularly known as Merck in the United States and Canada. MSD gave special rights to Sun Pharma to manufacture, market, and distribute Molnupiravir in India.
  • Sun Pharma donated a sum of Rs 250 million of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQS), Azithromycin, other related drugs, and hand sanitizers in India. It has also made other donations related to Covid-19 medicines and PPEs within international boundaries.
  • Set up manufacturing units just to produce Covid-19-specific medicines such as Vecuronium (anaesthesia), Midazolam (anxiety), Ivermectin (antiviral), Azithromycin (antibiotic), and HCQS.
  • Sun Pharma launched FluGuard (Favipiravir 200 mg) in 2020. The tablet is set at an economical price of Rs 35 to treat mild to moderate Covid cases in India.

Sun Pharma - Revenue Model

It is reported that over 72% of Sun Pharma sales are from markets outside India, predominantly in the United States. Furthermore, the USA is the largest market area for Sun Pharma from where the company gets 30% of its total revenue from the USA markets. The revenue comes from its 44 global locations in India, the USA, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Sun Pharma - Revenue Growth

Sun Pharma made a revenue of Rs 39,576 crores, which is equal to $5.0 billion in 2022. It had a net income of Rs 3,405 crores. It is reported that after deducting extraordinary items of Rs 3,935.7 crore and exceptional tax gain of Rs 76.4 crore, the adjusted net profit for the quarter was Rs 1,582.1 crore, which is up 18% year on year.

The contribution of Sun Pharma's global specialty business has nearly doubled from 7% of consolidated revenues in FY18 to about 13% in FY22. Moreover, the company claims that in FY22, India formulation sales were at Rs 127 Billion, up 23%, and accounted for about 33% of overall revenues. Excluding the contribution of COVID products, the underlying business of Sun Pharma performed well, with about 20% growth over the previous year.

Sun Pharma - Investments

Sun Pharma has invested in four companies. Their investment is in Zenotech Laboratories, a pharmaceuticals company in India, which raised ₹53.2 million on March 21, 2022. Following is the list of investments by Sun Pharma:

Date Company Name Amount Invested
March 21, 2022 Zenotech Laboratories ₹53.2 million
September 10, 2018 Tarsier Pharma $3 million
August 8, 2017 Krystal Biotech $7 million
January 4, 2017 scPharmaceuticals $45.6 million

Sun Pharma - Mergers and Acquisitions

Sun Pharma has bought seven companies. POLA-Pharma was their most recent purchase, which occurred on November 27, 2018. The acquisitions are:

Date Acquiree name Amount
November 27, 2018 POLA-Pharma -
July 28, 2017 Zenotech Laboratories ₹855 million
November 23, 2016 OJSC Biosintez $24 million
October 27, 2016 Ocular Technologies Sarl $40 million
September 15, 2015 InSite Vision $48 million
April 6, 2014 Ranbaxy Laboratories $3.2 billion
November 9, 2012 DUSA Pharmaceuticals $230 million

Sun Pharma - Advertisements and Social Media Campaigns

With a strong social media presence, Sun Pharma has launched multiple campaigns related to its brands. In 2021, Sun Pharma ran an advertisement about their brand Revital, titled: REVITAL H 21 Days Challenge with the #rahocharged. The advertisement features Bollywood Actor Akshay Kumar promoting their multivitamin supplement product Revital. The ad by Sun Pharma promotes taking up the 21 days challenge by having revital to feel energized in just 21 days.

During the pandemic, Sun Pharma released a thank you campaign titled: Sun Family Stands United With All Corona Warriors to extend their support to every frontier to stay united and fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sun Pharma - Awards and Achievements

Some of the awards and milestones of Sun Pharma in recent years are:


  • Sun Pharma was recognized as the No. 1 generic pharmaceutical company by patient groups in the annual PatientView ‘Corporate Reputation of Pharma’ survey 2021
  • Acquired the Uractiv portfolio from Fiterman Pharma in Romania


  • Sun Pharma bagged the DIANA (Distribution Industry Award for Notable Achievements in Healthcare) award for ‘Best New Product Introduction/Promotion’
  • Sun Pharma received the Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility, 2020
  • Received the Best Innovative Company of the Year 2021 at Indo-American Corporate Excellence Awards.
  • Launched a specialty dermatology product called WINLEVI in the U.S. for topical treatment of Acne Vulgaris


  • Sun Pharma was listed among the Forbes World’s Best Employers 2020


  • Sun Pharma was ranked No. 1 in the pharma sector and No. 16 overall in the BW Businessworld list of India’s Most Respected Companies
  • Sun Pharma acquired Pola Pharma in Japan to strengthen its global dermatology presence
  • Sun Pharma Foundation for Disease Elimination and Control of India received the Mahatma Award for Social Good in 2019


  • Sun Pharma received the Best CSR Practices Award from The Economic Times
  • Sun Pharma was listed among the Forbes World’s Best Employers

Sun Pharma - Competitors

Here is the list of top competitors of Sun Pharma:

  1. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories
  2. Divi's Laboratories
  3. Cipla Limited
  4. Torrent Pharma
  5. Gland Pharma Ltd.
  6. Abbott India
  7. Alkem Lab
  8. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd.
  9. Zydus Lifesciences Ltd.
  10. Lupin Ltd.
  11. Ajanta Pharma
  12. Pfizer
  13. Glenmark Pharma Ltd.
  14. P&G

Sun Pharma - Future Plans

Sun Pharma has mentioned in its future plans that its top focus area for FY23 is to ramp up its global specialty business. It also plans to have a business expansion that is both sustainable and lucrative. The company is planning to have a proper maintaining supply chain continuity while focusing on inventory management along with increasing investments in IT to allow business and digital transformation and to improve overall return ratios.


Is Sun Pharma the top most Indian pharma company?

Yes, Sun Pharma is the top pharma company in India in terms of market capitalization.

Revital is among one of the most popular products by Sun Pharma.

Who is the CEO of Sun Pharma?

Kal Sundaram is the current CEO of Sun Pharma.

Where is the head office of Sun Pharma?

The head office of Sun Pharma is in Goregaon, Mumbai.

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