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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 newborn institute in Asia that also runs a large-scale community outreach programme that saves young lives every day.
This son of a turmeric father was Born in 1940 in Tadepalli on the banks of the river Krishna in Guntur district. He studied at the Zilla Parishad High School till Class X and 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 has grown to transform the Indian bulk drug industry from being import-dependent to export-oriented.
Dr. Reddy, who was conferred with the 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. DRL was the first company to take up drug discovery research in India (in 1993), and in April, 2001, Dr Reddy’s Labs became the first Asian pharmaceutical company outside Japan to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
It has filed several patents worldwide and licensed its discoveries in the anti-diabetes field for co-development to Novo Nordisk of Denmark, a world leader in diabetic care.