Thursday, April 5, 2012

EMERGENCE OF GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) as an MNC in Pakistan: case study

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is one of the biggest names in the Pharmaceutical Market of Pakistan. It would not be wrong to say that GSK is the Market Leader among the top Multinational Corporations in Pakistan, as well all other national pharmaceutical companies.

GSK began operating from UK in 1880, by the name of Wellcome and Company.  Glaxo was later formed in 1904. Originally, Glaxo was a baby food manufacturer, processing the baby milk and marketing it by the same name.

In 2001, Glaxo Welcome and Smithkline and French, Beecham Pakistan, merged to form GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) becoming the largest Pharmaceutical Company in Pakistan.  There it launched a Central Nervous System (CNS) Franchise, to combat depression, which affected 33% of Pakistani population.

In 2002, GSK launched ‘Seretide’ a block buster drug to fight asthma, a disease that effects 300 million people worldwide. ‘Augmentin’ became the first ever drug in Pakistan, to cross the Rs. 1 Billion mark.

Providing protection to sensitive teeth, GSK Pakistan begins to locally manufacture ‘Sensodyne’ in 2004, the number 1 tooth paste in the sensitivity worldwide.

In 2005, Pakistan was struck with a massive Earth quake. GSK immediately responded to the earth quake relief efforts by contributing Rs. 400 million and life saving medicines worth Rs. 20 million within 48 hours of the earth quake. Same year, GSK received; Excellence Award in Best Practices’ by the Occupational, Health and Safety by Employers Federation of Pakistan. 

In 2006, GSK achieved a big miles stone, of launching ‘Rotarix’. This vaccine was designed to combat Rotavirus, the leading cause of severe diarrhea in children. This was the only and first of its kid of vaccine available in Pakistan.  In the same year GSK received 50star rating from the Global Internal Audit, the highest rating in the industry. Same year, GSKs site in West Wharf completed its 1 million hours without any injury/illness. As one of the multinational companies in Pakistan, it really gained a lot recognition.

In 2007, reaffirming its commitment towards the Pakistani market, GSK added a 77,000 sq/ft state of the art Penicillin manufacturing site.  Since the minimum requirement for infrastructure by multinational companies in Pakistan is about 60,000 sq ft of area. GSK received ‘The Most Preferred Pharmaceutical Company’ award by the Pakistan Society for Human Resource Management.

GSK Pakistan supplies 71 million of doses of vaccines, the largest shipment in the history of GSK Biological, to the Pakistan Government for Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI). Gsk received the Excellence award for best management practices by the Management Association of Pakistan.

Another merger of Stiefel Laboratories and Bristol Mayers Squib business in Pakistan took places in 2009.  GSK won the Annual Environment Excellence Award in recognition of it polices on safeguarding health.

In 2010, ‘Augmentin’ crosses the Rs 3 Billion mark, in the history of pharmaceutical market. Cervex a cancer vaccine was launched, as a sign of GSKs commitment towards eradicating cancer in women.

In 2011, Panadol entered the club of billionaire, by crossing the Rs. 1 billon mark. It became the fourth GSK brand to in the Pakistani market.

At present GSK has a Market share of around 15%. After about 12 years of enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer, GSK Pakistan stands as the largest Pharmaceutical Company in Pakistan and leading the industry operation and competition among the MNCs in Pakistan by volume, value and prescription.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Contemporary Trends of Multinational Corporations or Companies; MNCs in Pakistan

The future is bleak or is it? Recently I read a report in a local paper about how multinational corporations or companies view Pakistan. As per the article ‘despite several economic challenges Pakistan is currently facing, multinational companies (MNCs) are considering expanding their business in the country by bringing handsome investment, transfer of technology and advanced business practices’. Yes it’s true and many of you reading this might be pinching yourselves to make sure it is real.

However here’s the catch (isn’t there always one?) they want the government to come up with consistent policies and concrete plans before taking any step in this direction. This was revealed by Ameena Saiyid, President Overseas Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) to the press.

In spite of the strife and problems, experts are confident about the importance of Pakistan in the region as a growing economy of the world with lots of business opportunities in various sectors.

Which areas are the multinationals really interested in? Five major sectors have been earmarked for investment including ‘corporate farming’, agriculture, infrastructure, skill development, minerals and alternative energy such as coal, hydel, wind and solar energy production. It seems logical to expect investment to be given for farming given the agricultural based nature of our economy and infrastructure is solely lacking. There’s no question that Pakistan is mineral rich but the field of alternative energy seems like a weak bet. People might feel that if this field was so lucrative wouldn’t the government be pursuing it?

Definitely Pakistan is a huge market with a significant population of middle class, of up to 30 million people. To get an idea about how large 30 million is in terms of figures, we need to remember how the UK has a population of around 70 million. More importantly than the middle class, youth under 25 years of age has crossed the 100-million mark in the country. There are more than 70 million TV viewers and 120 million mobile phone users in Pakistan.

Overseas investors and Multinational Corporations are looking forward expanding their business in Pakistan because they have established themselves and obtained experience to work in the local market. The majority of the MNCs in Pakistan are also thankfully reinvesting profits to fuel their expansions. Speaking of expansion and area: in a survey of the Multinational Companies in Pakistan, it was found that as a habit they have offices over 60,000 sq ft in area. To get an idea how large that is a typical bungalow is a good 1,000 sq ft.

Here’s something really interesting I read in that paper’s piece: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is likely to increase if the government improves the perception of the country, which is far worse than it actually seems.  That raises an intriguing question, we all know how we accuse the non- Pakistani media (yes it’s come to that) of being biased etc. Yet is the situation really not as bad as it seems?

Coming back to the article, the writer also described the way forward as outlined by the OICCI chief. OICCI members will be presenting comprehensive recommendations along with their business enhancement plans and put it forward to the government for its support in future. However no mention was made of the timeframe for these recommendations to be submitted.

“This is high time for the government to cash in on the trends of the global economy and make Pakistan’s environment attractive for foreign investors with curbing the weaknesses in the present system,” stated Ameena Saiyid. The OICCI chief expressed the threat that Pakistan faces – if the foreign firms don’t get the required environment/climate they will change their attention to our well set neighbors (yes India, China even Bangladesh).  Once again Pakistan will lose a golden chance to reap the benefits to be had.

Fortunately the present much maligned government has started showing its seriousness and opened the channels of communication with foreign investors. Only time will tell whether these steps are going to have any impact or just be a false flag. The only thing we can be sure of is we can’t afford to miss the few opportunities we get to change the fate of our nation.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Multinational Corporations and the Future of Pakistan

Pakistan is a third world state with a agricultural based economy. The nation which has nearly 190 million inhabitants is facing numerous issues and obstacles. Yet it is part of the group of emerging nations after BRIC with a potential for growth.

Pakistan economy outlook
The GDP growth rate in Pakistan is at levels that more developed nations such as the USA and Britain would be eager to have. The nation also enjoys a young population with over 505 of Pakistanis under the age of 25. The economy is growing and the per capita income has increased over the years along with the country’s foreign reserves.  The growth spurt has been somewhat decreased in the recent past due to the worsening situation and political uncertainty.

However an idea of the resilience and strength of the Pakistani economy can be gauged from the fact that the global financial crisis did not impact the nation till about a year or a year and a half after it broke.  The country’s growth is attracting major MNCs –those already in the market are gearing up and putting their money on Pakistan while new companies are eager to set up shop. The companies are ready to meet government requirements such as having an infrastructure of over 60,000 sq ft and face extra regulation especially in the pharma sector.

Recently it was reported that big companies such as Unilever and Nestle with a sizeable investment in Pakistan are hoping the country will be a source of growing profits. Figures suggest that NestlĂ© Pakistan  boosted sales by 29% in 2011This is in line with the Swiss brand owner has a target of deriving 45% of total revenues from the emerging world by 2020. Unilever Pakistan also enjoyed sales growth of 15% over the period of January to June 2011. Globally, the company has set a goal of increasing sales 100% by 2020, with most of the growth coming from outside the USA and Europe.

The fact that Pakistan has a largely untapped rural market is a great incentive for big MNCs. Local companies are hard pressed to compete with the incredible economies of scale that these mega corporations (what multinational corporations are called by some detractors) can bring to bear.

Issues of sovereignty and transfer pricing as well as the ability of the MNCs to put pressure on the government which sorely requires the advantages they bring will continue to cloud the issue. However it is clear to people who are realistic that the future of Pakistan depends on multinational corporations and the benefits they bring.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Multinational Companies (MNCs) in the Pakistani Economy

Pakistan today provides an ideal environment for investment by multinationals and other foreign companies and organizations.  The investment friendly climate in terms of government regulations--there are no restrictions on remitting back the profits- is drawing them in droves. Facilities for maintaining foreign currency accounts concessions have also been allowed to foreign firms in respect of rules for borrowing, etc. A large number of multinationals have been operating in the country for many years.

USA leads the way
The multinationals have invested extensively in Pakistan. USA leads with $190 mn, followed by UK $122 mn. Other countries that have brought in investment are in order of FDI:  Netherlands, UAE, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong. China surprisingly appears down the list after these states at number 8, with Japan following. 

The Germanic firm Siemens is perhaps the oldest in the industrial field in Pakistan, having set up in 1932, while ICI is the second. Unilever (formerly Lever Brothers, Imperial Tobacco, Shell and Burma Oil came soon after Independence in 1947. Many European, Korean and Arab companies such as Orascom are active in construction, communications and other fields. Japanese like Toyota, Suzuki, Nissan, Honda are mainly in the automotive industry.

Agriculture as a base
Pakistan's industry is mainly agro-based. Exxon (now Engro in the country) came first in this field in 1960, establishing the urea factory. Hercules of USA were next to arrive, soon big names in the agriculture field Massey Ferguson, Fiat and Belarus established joint ventures. In the infrastructure development as well, the French firm Sogea was involved in the construction of Karachi airport terminal.

Financial institutions such as banks always play a very key role in the development. Presently foreign banks are functioning in the country and have taken the lead in developing the services sector as well as mobilizing deposits and promoting credit card culture. Over 33 per cent of the trade handled by the MNCs was through the foreign banks. The foreign banks facilitated the flow of foreign currency. The burgeoning Islamic banking trend was started off not by any local bank but by Standard Chartered. Islamic options are a viable way for banks and DFIs to circumvent the concerns of people about interest and its usage.  

Multinationals and government
Many complaints are leveled against the presence of MNCs .However multinational corporations in the pharma and health sector are subject to the Ministry of Health. MNCs also are watched over by the regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. Many MNCs that compete against local companies in key sectors are restricted from competing in a fair way as the state favors the local company- companies facing off against PSO are not allowed to open as big stations. Other stipulations such as the requirement of having an infrastructure over 60,000 sq ft to be considered as an MNC are also criticized.

Multinationals and the stock market
These multinational companies are operating in different sectors like pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, food products, including milk and tea and engineering, consumer products, polyester fiber, chemicals etc. They lead the stock market in the same way as they dominate the economy. Out of the total companies on the list of Karachi Stock Exchange, over 50 companies are multinationals. The leading companies include Shell, Unilever Pakistan, PnG etc.