Kallam Anji Reddy, Founder and Chairman of Hyderabad-based pharma major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), and a man with a net worth of $1.39 billion, passed away on Friday afternoon.
The 72-year-old was an acknowledged pioneer in reverse engineering and held in esteem among the scientific community dealing with pharmaceuticals.
He was known for his significant contribution in making pharma products globally competitive and ensuring that medicines were affordable to the common man. He was especially recognised for his passion in leveraging genuine technological interventions and making active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and formulations effective by getting out medicines into the market in the shortest possible time.
Apart from his pre-eminent position in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Reddy was active in “giving back to society” and established the Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, Naandi Foundation and NICE (Neo-Natal Intensive Care and Emergencies), the only new born institute in Asia that also runs a large-scale community outreach programme that saves young lives every day.
Born in 1940 in Tadepalli in Guntur district, he studied at the Zilla Parishad High School till Class X, got his first Bachelor’s Degree in Science from A.C. College, Guntur, in 1958, and a B.Sc. in Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals from Bombay University. He got a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, in 1969.
Before setting up DRL in 1984, with an initial capital of Rs.25 lakh, he worked in the State-owned IDPL between 1969 and 1975. He then left to start Uniloids in 1976 for which he was MD till 1980 after which he established Standard Organics Limited. Since 1984, DRL grew to transform the Indian bulk drug industry from being import-dependent to export-oriented.
Dr. Reddy, who was conferred Padma Bhushan in 2011, was a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry, a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation.
He was also President, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, apart from serving on the board of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Switzerland, and Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), New York.