Meet the Khorakiwalas: Gen-Next promoters of Wockhardt
15 Dec, 2014

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Wockhardt has had a fair share of difficult times too. In 2008, the pharma company’s net worth had eroded to near bankruptcy. Global financial crisis and major foreign exchange losses had hurt it as well. To tide over the crisis, the company decided to go in for CDR in 2009.

Corporates cannot be merely judged by their P&L of the quarter or balance sheet of the year, but through the vision they have for their company and also the goodwill built over the years. To execute the vision, should existing promoters pass on the baton to Gen-Next or appoint professionals to carry forward its legacy? Habil Khorakiwala, Founder Chairman & Group CEO, Wockhardt, believes that if capability to run a business exists within a bloodline, one can manage it more vibrantly.

A Harvard alumnus & former president of FICCI, Khorakiwala founded Wockhardt in 1967. His children-- Murtaza Khorakiwala, Managing Director, Wockhardt, Zahabiya Khorakiwala, MD, Wockardt Hospital, and Huzaifa Khorakiwala, CEO, Wockhardt Foundation – are the Gen-Next promoters of the company.

Wockhardt has had a fair share of difficult times too. In 2008, the pharma company’s net worth had eroded to near bankruptcy. Global financial crisis and major foreign exchange losses had hurt it as well. To tide over the crisis, the company decided to go in for CDR in 2009.

By 2012, it became a rare CDR success story. Even the share prices, which had crashed to Rs 70 from Rs 1,500 in 2009, jumped more than 300 percent in one year. That same year, Wockhardt sold off its nutrition business to Danone to generate more cash.

Discussing that phase, Murtuza, who has been Wockhardt MD since 2009, said the company faced a financial crisis and not a business crisis, thus they has been able to make a comeback in one year. Crediting his team for the turnaround, Murtuza said, “We witnessed fastest resurrection from the CDR case in 2 years.”

However, that was not the end of company’s woes. Its two units came under USFDA scrutiny in 2013 and 2014. Habil now expects to see some movement on that front in the next 2-3 quarters and is optimistic that the entire issue will be resolved by FY15-end.

He said the company is awaiting compliance, post which it will get approvals for drugs. He expects Wockhardt to do well UK and other markets next year.

Discussing Wockhardt’s vision for the next 5-10 years, Habil said the company intends to transform and develop research-based new drug products and wants to market it to US.

Meanwhile, another Gen-Next entrepreneur Zahabiya, who manages the hospital business of Wockhardt, said she plans to add the tenth facility with 350 beds in South Mumbai. Though the company wants to spread out beyond Maharashtra and Gujarat, it does not want to list the hospital business.

“We don’t need to list Wockhardt hospital as once you do that it becomes more financially-driven,” Habil replied.

Zahabiya’s sibling Huzaifa is looking after Wockhardt Foundation, set up in 2008, which runs the company’s corporate social responsibility activities.

Check the link for transcript of the interview with Latha Venkatesh and Sonia Shenoy on CNBC-TV18 : Interview Transcript

Tuesday, December 16, 2014. Source: Moneycontrol

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