Samprada Singh

Age: 90

Wealth Creator: Alkem Laboratories

Residence: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Hurun Ranking:#1240 Global Rich List

Net Worth: US $1.7Bn

Self-made Score: 1

25 words: Samprada Singh is the founder of the three decade old pharmaceutical company Alkem Laboratories Ltd, which is also the 5th largest pharmaceutical company in India.

500 words: Ninety year old Samprada Singh is a self-made billionaire who kicked off his career in a chemist shop in Patna before venturing out on his own distributing pharmaceuticals. Today under his leadership and guidance, Alkem has become one of the global names in the pharmaceutical industry and is also the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in India in terms of domestic sales. Alkem has factories all over India like Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Daman and few others.

Born to a farmer and brought up in Bihar, Samprada Singh wanted to be a doctor. As his dream of being a doctor could not be fulfilled, he set out to explore other options. Once he obtained his graduation from Gaya College, Patna University in 1946, he thought of following his parents and becoming an agriculturist. However, successive droughts in Bihar forced him to change his plans once again and in 1953, he started a small medical retail store in Patna. During these years, he established good relationships with pharma companies that helped him set up a sole distributorship in the state of Bihar.

Later with an intention to expand his business, he moved to Mumbai and confident about his entrepreneur traits, he set up Alkem Labs with a small capital of Rs 5 lakh and focused mainly on antibacterials and NSAIDs which at the time were prime therapeutic segments. Alkem’s initial years was financially tough but in 1989 the company witnessed a turning point as it successfully manufactured and marketed Taxim, a generic version of the antibiotic cefotaxime that helped the company gain a brand footage along with more credibility and visibility. Taxim helped change the profile of the company and contributed to 15% of the company’s revenues. Singh wants to more than double Alkem's revenues to $1 billion in 2016 by expanding into overseas markets in addition to domestic consolidation.

Samprada Singh is 90 years old and is the oldest entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry but still regularly attends meetings and goes to the office every day. He believes that all his success was possible due to the constant support of his younger brother BN Singh who also shares a portion of the fortune. His son N.K Singh is the founder of Galpha Laboratories Ltd. According to Samprada Singh "gaining people’s trust and commitment is one of the most important things to succeed. You have to make sure that all people you work with, whether they work within or with the company, are happy and you have to make them grow too, as the company expands."

Mr Samprada Singh, valued at Rs. 104 billion, has also received various prestigious awards such as the ‘Life Time Achievement Award’ by Pharma Business and Technology in 2000, the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the Pharmaceutical Leadership Summit 2009, ‘Asian Grid Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award 2006’ and the ‘Life Time Contribution Award’ by the Express Pharma Excellence Awards in 2004. He has been bestowed with the ‘Pride of Bihar’ award at the Bihar Healthcare Achievers Awards 2014.

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