INVENTYS, One of the Leading Specialty Chemical Manufacturing Company
“The journey has been fulfilling, to say the least. There have been ups and downs, challenges, successes and of course failures. I am grateful that I was able to survive and keep standing” Dr. Deepak B. Birewar.
Chemistry is what defines Inventys Research Company Pvt. Ltd, the brainchild of Dr. Deepak B. Birewar, Chairman and Managing Director, and Dr, J. Lubosch, Executive Vice President, it is one of the leading specialty chemical manufacturing company, serving both a sizable domestic market and an expanding global market.
They are a fully integrated manufacturer based in India for Specialty Chemicals, Advanced Intermediates, AIs and APIs in the space of both Contract Manufacturing and Custom Synthesis Manufacturing. A research-based company with more than four decades of the heritage of demonstrated excellence in-process research and development, scale-up and manufacturing.
Their corporate head office is in Mumbai and DSIR-recognized R & D (Knowledge Center, Kilo Lab, Plants) and manufacturing facilities in Nagpur at Butibori, it is an ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 and WHO-GMP certified manufacturing organization.
THE FORCE BEHIND THE IDEA!
Dr. Deepak B. Birewar
As a Chairman & Managing Director, Dr. Deepak is responsible for building the Inventys vision and guiding the company’s success. He holds a B Tech from IIT Bombay and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh. With his vast experience in the field of chemicals, he keeps an eye on the quality and continues his efforts in strongly defining the future of Inventys. Dr. Deepak has also served as Vice President of i2 Tech and also worked with Dupont Experimental Station. Prior to this he also founded & ran two software/consulting companies handling large, complex projects for clients worldwide.
Dr, J. Lubosch As Executive Vice President Dr. Johannes Lubosch is ensuring the strategic development of Inventys and the optimization of the product & business portfolio. He holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry (University of Heidelberg). His global business experience of more than 30 years includes his work for Bayer, Lanxess and Saltigo in various managerial positions like Strategy, Business Development, Portfolio Management, Marketing, Procurement, Research & Innovation, Production, and Quality & Safety & Sustainability. He was a member of scientific communities as well as European industry associations.
Globally there is a wave of desire to move Chemical Products dependencies away from China. However, there is a shortage of competent and capable Chemical Manufacturing companies which have world-class business processes, technical capabilities, and ability to build dependable supply chains for these global customers. India is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this wave.
There are very few countries in the world which have developed the large and diverse ecosystem of various competencies required to design, build, produce and operate complex chemicals manufacturing plants. India also has developed a fair competency in developing chemical manufacturing technologies. In short, a very capable ecosystem of entrepreneurs exists in India.
For Inventys, innovation is the key success factor. We believe, without innovation, you are not even a contender – in today’s fast-changing world of global competition. Research is a cornerstone of our growth strategy. We heavily invest in technology and science. In 2017, we invested more than seven percent of our revenues in our R&D, which represents a remarkable commitment for a company of our size and sets us on top of the list of our competitors. If we actually consider the resources channeled to Inventys’ new R&D and Pilot plant facilities over the past three years, those investments equal to our one year’s revenue! As a matter of fact, almost all our profits (and some more) of the last ten years have been invested in R&D and related facilities.
Business Connect: What are the challenges that your company currently faces?
Dr. Deepak: We have embarked on an ambitious strategy of launching 15 more new products in the next 18 months. We have developed technologies for manufacturing these products. Our new plants are getting ready during Q3 2019. Our key challenge in the coming months would be to effectively execute and capture adequate market segments for these new products.
Business Connect: What is your current business model?
Dr. Deepak: Inventys is in the business of doing Contract Manufacturing and Custom Synthesis Manufacturing for global innovator companies in Agrochemical, Pharmaceutical, and Specialty Chemical space.
Inventys Research focuses on providing customized manufacturing services for specialty chemicals, advanced intermediates, and APIs as well as agricultural intermediates/actives. Originally purely a custom manufacturing provider, we have gradually complemented our business with our own catalog of products over the past three years. We have developed thirty-six new products including six generic APIs and thirty intermediates / Specialty Chemicals. The first ones of the Catalog Product have been successfully introduced in the market end of last year.
Business Connect: Who are your clients?
Dr. Deepak: Our client base includes some of the global innovator companies in Agrochemical, Pharmaceutical, and Specialty Chemical space. We have been working with the world’s leading innovators for over a decade, although currently most of our CDMO efforts are centered on innovators’ mature products. For a few of our products, we started cooperating with our customers even before these products’ introduction into the market: we, therefore, developed the laboratory samples and are now about to enter the launch and growth phase for those products. As we own an integrated site, we can offer the full gamut of services from Lab Chemistry to scale-up and chemical process development to plant design, construction, and operation conforming to world-class GMP standard.
In a conversation with Business Connect Magazine, Dr. Deepak B. Birewar talks about Inventys, how they are able to complement this ecosystem, the global wave of moving chemical manufacturing away from China to India, future plans and more,
Business Connect: What problem does your company solve and how are you different from others in the field?
Dr. Deepak: Inventys delivers customized manufacturing services as sustainable value adding solutions for innovative, established, and emerging life science companies.
Considering our size, what sets us apart is our drive for innovation. For some of the intermediates, Inventys’ extremely strong engineering – one of the best in the world in fact – has been an important factor. For many of the advanced intermediates, our success has relied on our absolutely cutting-edge technology, often offering unrivaled and unique chemistry.
Business Connect: What advice can you give entrepreneurs who want to venture into the same domain in the future?
Dr. Deepak: Offering quality with consistency and long term reliable relationship is the key. Backward integration and a sustainable Supply Chain along with strong sales and marketing execution can help insulate the organization from disruptions emerging out of local developments like what is going on in China. This can help in position the organization as a true alternative source for many MNCs.
Innovation is the key success factor in the contract manufacturing business. Without innovation, a company is seen not even as a contender – in today’s fast-changing world of global competition. The cornerstone of a competent contract manufacturing organization is R&D.
Full range of capabilities from route scouting and all the way to full-scale production; preferably in an integrated site, coupled with good Project Management is critical for a contract manufacturing organization. Experience in a large range of chemical reactions as well as the capability to go with this from gm to Kg to MT scale is another prerequisite for being selected as a contract manufacturing business partner.
To use the capabilities to create value understanding the needs of a pharma company is essential. It means looking at the business through the customers’ eyes. Always answering the questions: What are the needs of our partners/customers? What is creating value for them? Which solutions should be offered? How can we drive clear, precise, and effective communication between our customers and ourselves?
Smooth communication and sustainability are important too. Pharma companies need sustainable supply. The costs of disruption cannot be overemphasized.
Business Connect: With such a fast growing team, how do you make sure everybody stays motivated and how do you support the corporate culture?
Dr. Deepak: Motivation comes from enjoying your work, to become the best you can be, in a fair and ethical environment. We strive to provide ever increasing opportunities for our team – in such an environment.
Business Connect: What are the big milestones you are looking to achieve in 2018 and beyond?
Dr. Deepak: Over the next two years we have set ourselves ambitious targets to complete the following key tasks and to achieve the milestones as summarized below:
- Grow our product offering from a set of 2-3 products to more than 15 products in a short span of 2 years. These products will serve the Agrochemical, Pharmaceutical, and Specialty Chemicals segments.
- Start manufacturing APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) and AIs (Active Ingredients for Agrochemical uses). This will enable Inventys to move up the value chain from the current focus on advanced intermediate. At the same time, we will also add some mid-value intermediates to expand the customer base substantially and to achieve healthy growth in the top line.
- We further aim to receive at least two DMFs and one CoS from the US FDA and from European Medicines Agency respectively.
- We also plan to expand our customer base to cover new geographies like Japan and the USA. Our entire customer base currently resides in Western Europe.
- We also intend to start supplying to the Indian market. So far Inventys has been exclusively an exporter with no sales within India. We now intend to supply certain high-value advanced intermediates, APIs as well as mid-value intermediates to support Indian Agro and Pharma sector. The focus here would be to establish a dependable supply base of sustainable manufacturing as an alternative to Chinese and European suppliers.
- For achieving these objectives Inventys will need to implement several new chemistries as well as challenging unit operations. We also intend to start construction on a new 17-acre site to complement our current 7-acre site. This site is expected to support future growth post-2021.
- By 2023, Inventys is looking to achieve milestone of USD 100 million business.
Business Connect: How do you learn in your life and what is your biggest dream?
Dr. Deepak: I learn from peers, leaders, customers, and suppliers. I try to understand what other people are doing better than us and how I can learn from my own employees who are better than me in their own respective strengths.
My biggest dream would be to build a world class chemical manufacturing company that becomes one of the many strong pillars that our nation needs in order to become a prosperous society that gives every citizen a chance to achieve their full potential. My endeavor is to achieve such a dream while adhering to global best standards for sustainable and ethical operations.
Business Connect: Who are your peers?
Dr. Deepak: Other Specialty or Fine Chemical manufacturing companies like SRF Ltd, Divis Laboratories, PI Industries, Deccan Fine Chem Ltd, Hikal Ltd, etc.
Business Connect: Tell us about when you failed. How did you overcome?
Dr. Deepak: I failed in one of my ventures to build an enterprise software company while I used to live in the USA. This happened around 2001-2002 when there was
a massive upheaval in the dot com/software world. I moved back to India and took my families help to start a new company in an area where I had better strengths. In 2005, I started Inventys Research Company to focus on Custom Manufacturing services for global corporations. If I look back, I would say I was able to overcome primarily because the help my father gave me, because I didn’t break, and because I kept working extremely hard despite a very large failure. I could not have done this without help and support from my near and dear ones – the support and help from my family as well as my friends.
Business Connect: What was the most difficult lesson you have learned as an entrepreneur?
Dr. Deepak: The most difficult lesson I would say was learned when I had to shut down my previous software business (2001-2002) in the USA. Shutting down the business you have started is not very different from losing your loved one. The most important lesson I have learned from this episode is to build safety reserve and not to overleverage. Because global markets could change in a blink and all your plans could go awry. As it happened in America in the software domain in the 2000-2002 period.
Inventys, with research and development as the cornerstone, envision firmly establishing themselves as a partner of choice for the customers in both overseas and Indian markets.
This interest would be highly supported by their backward integration, state-of-the-art automated plants, sustainable ethical business practices and high competence in process engineering and in-house research. They are committed to delivering on-time, in-full and in-spec solutions, and strive for continuous improvement of services. Their responsible behavior towards the environment, people and society is the core value they encourage and further hope to grow on.
“I have always approached change with open arms. In fact, I would like to change before the change hits you. Rather than waiting for the change to happen, we like to innovate, improve, and change for better through our initiative” Dr. Deepak B. Birewar.