“India will serve as the pharmacy of the world; we will be truly ‘AtmaNirbhar’ in pharma and healthcare; urges best brains to work together for humanity on priority”: Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, GoI, highlights the significance of innovation and start-ups during the inaugural session of CorpGini’s virtual panel series on ‘The Future of Healthcare, Pharma and Allied Industries’
29th May 2020 : “India is the pharmacy of the world and will remain the pharmacy of the world. A vaccine for COVID-19 will soon be developed by Indian scientists,” Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, GoI, declared in conversation with Mahavir Lunawat, Group Founder, Pantomath, and Co-Founder CorpGini, while addressing the inaugural session of the three-day virtual panel series on ‘The Future of Healthcare, Pharma and Allied Industries’ being conducted on April 29-31, 2020. Encouraging innovations in Pharma, the Hon’ble Minister declared that we should focus on ‘brain gain and avoid ‘brain drain’. Hon’ble Minister suggested that platforms like CorpGini must work on bringing the best Indian brains back home so that India can strengthen its dominance in pharma and wellness sectors and serve humanity. Highlighting India’s rich history in pharma, he urged the sector to foster innovation, acknowledging the significance of a platform like Corpgini that has 3000 plus corporates and solutions associated with it, as a key process influencer and growth driver.
Sharing insights during the virtual panel discussion held on the theme ‘Digital Health – Life Sciences 4.0: Disruptive Technology or Just a Disruption’ with the sub-theme ‘Industry impact and business continuity post-COVID-19: Production, supply, distribution, product innovation, global trade norms and challenges, the Hon’ble Minister pointed out that the topic is very relevant and useful given the current situation. Comparing CorpGini’s initiative with the ‘Samudra Manthan,’ the Minister said that the sessions being held over three days will yield a nectar that will enable India to be self-sufficient and confident, even bigger in the pharma and healthcare sectors, driven by innovation.
Mahavir Lunawat, Group Founder, Pantomath, and Co-Founder, CorpGini, said, “We believe, pharma and healthcare industry is poised to witness unprecedented advancements. Be it ‘point of care’ or wearables or virtual inspection mechanism, or telemedicine or drug discovery by machine learning, technology is going to play an extremely significant role in pharma industry. Towards India’s quest to become ‘pharmacy of the world’, significant efforts need to be taken across segments. Besides, there is dire need to improve medical infrastructure on priority. We are working very actively in pharma and healthcare industry and bring globally curated innovative solutions to help solve industry problems.”
Amit Jain, Co-Founder & CEO, CorpGini, expressed happiness with the government’s support for innovation and said that the minister’s inspiring words would motivate start-ups to raise benchmarks by leveraging the strengths provided by the CorpGini platform, “Our attempt is to see how corporates and start-ups can bridge the gap. We have two more days of virtual panel discussions lined up. In tomorrow’s first session we will be talking about the market from an investor’s perspective. The second session will look at the ‘new normal.’ The start-up showcase will be tomorrow and the day after.”
During his address, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Hon’ble Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, GoI, underlined the fact that “60% of the medicines in the world are exported from India. It is rightly said that India holds a 30% market share. From a situation where we had none, today there are 641 test labs across India. Testing machines, PPE kits have been created within India, making us truly ‘AtmaNirbhar.’ PM Narendra Modi had set a target for conducting one lakh tests a day before May 31st, we have already surpassed that and have done 1,22,000 tests per day. India of 21st century will be a global inspiration for the development of the world. Today we have 600 PPE kits manufacturers making 3.5 lakh kits per day, sending them to all states. ‘Make in India’ has been given a boost, making India self-sufficient as well. Medical colleges have been augmented, we are not just adhering to global parameters but also exceeding them.”
“As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, PM Narendra Modi asked our ministry to start working on a solution. We have been monitoring what is happening across India and the world. A Group of Ministers was immediately convened and we have been expediting the search for a vaccine. Stopping International air travel to India, announcing the lockdown were important steps due to which today we are better off than the world. The Indian government’s thinking has been very good. The numbers are rising but if our PM hadn’t displayed foresight, the situation would have been much worse. Even developed countries having all the healthcare infrastructure and equipment can’t deal with COVID-19,” he added.
“Take care of yourself and others, adhere to lockdown norms. We have to learn to live with COVID-19, be prepared for lockdown 5.0. The government has relaxed norms during lockdown 4.0. Our self-confidence has not reduced and we have despite the circumstances even allowed economic activity to resume, returned migrants to their native place. The lockdown enables us to keep numbers in control. Steps have been taken to ensure that the poor are not left hungry. In which other country does the PM himself call people in villages and ask how they are coping with and managing the situation?” the Minister affirmed.
“A lot of healthcare innovations have been possible in India. The Indian government has been very supportive of innovative solutions. We don’t think just about ourselves, we care about the entire world. Crores of people have benefited from Ayushman Bharat. 21,000 hospitals from both, public and private sector have joined with it. We have 1.5 lakh primary health centres and will be transforming them into Health and Wellness centres, making the shift from illness to wellness. Telemedicine has progressed during COVID-19, connecting to even remote villages. People have benefitted a lot from this. Check-up systems have been enhanced. We want to move towards universal healthcare. We want to make check-ups affordable and easy to access. Health for all is a tradition in India. During COVID-19 we have issued healthcare advisories. We aim to make healthcare affordable with a holistic approach,” the Minister emphasized.
Nilesh Jain, Venture Partner Z Nation Lab, Founder Clinivantage Healthcare Technologies, moderated the panel. “During the last two and half months, while India has been under lockdown, pharma has been looking at innovation in a very different way, PM’s ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ applies to pharma, we need to identify how we can be self-sufficient. Innovation is going to be the centrepiece of the pharma industry going forward” he opined.
Arvind Kumar Pandian, Strategic Partnerships, USAID, said, “The biggest challenge for innovations is access to market and access to capital. We help in solving that. We have made 1.4 bn investments, we work closely with the national and state governments. The challenge for innovators is getting access to large markets. We have partnered with National Health Authority and are providing $50 mn grants for innovators.”
Y.K. Gupta, Technical Committee (GLP Program) Program in DST on Digital Health, explained, “Any drug development requires clinical trial and clinical trials due to COVID-19 have been a challenge. If there is a large missing data, ultimately getting to a conclusion is a challenge. So the question can startups and pharma industry use AI for data usage and study to get more accurate results? The other challenge that can be solved is remote clinical trials and the caretaker can be the moderator.”
Sudarshan Jain, Secretary-General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, said, “COVID-19 is a great opportunity; any adversity has to be transformed into an opportunity. There’s outstanding work that is being done in India. India controls 60% of the vaccine market. The timeframe for vaccine development in India has been reduced from 10 years to 1 year.”
DineshHYPERLINK “https://twitter.com/dinesh_dua” HYPERLINK “https://twitter.com/dinesh_dua”Dua, Chairman, HYPERLINK “https://twitter.com/Pharmexcil”Pharmexcil (Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India), said, “India is a great destination for doing bio-equivalence clinical trials. There is cost-effectiveness, precision, and knowledge in India. I think the first COVID-19 vaccine will come from India. By September or December, we will have a solution to this pandemic.”
Umang Chaturvedi, Head of Policy, Mylan Lab, said “A major concern is the dependence on other countries for the raw materials for medical equipment. The whole medical education infrastructure should be looked after. It is important to have a quick regulatory ecosystem.”
The proceedings concluded with Neha Jain, co-founder, CorpGini, thanking the session partners FICCI and Pharmexcil.
CorpGini will continue to conduct sector-specific panel discussions moving forward true to its ethos of being a global innovation platform connecting corporates and startups across the globe.
Before this, it had organised a Virtual Panel Discussion on ‘Re-thinking Real Estate Marketing Considering the COVID Situation,’ on May 16, 2020. Before that, the ‘Future of Design & Construction’ sessions organised by CorpGini from April 20-22, 2020 had witnessed an amalgamation of expertise from varied professionals within the design and construction community and the financiers backing the construction industry, with globally acclaimed thought leaders Sir Ratan Tata, Padmashri Hafeez Contractor and many more.
These sessions followed the first virtual panel discussion ‘In the fight against COVID-19 to solve corporate sustainability and growth challenges’ held from April 6, 2020 onwards, which witnessed participation from 50+ leaders, 10,000 plus corporates and 100 + startups.
CorpGini, founded in 2019, is an initiative by Pantomath Group and Z Nation Lab that connects leading corporates to innovative startups that are building solutions that solve industry-wise problems. The panel discussion will be followed by select pitches from CEOs of startups which can provide valuable solutions to Corporates around key areas of challenges in present times.
The HPA Punch will, hence, help aid all participants to not just feel a sense of community in this time of crisis, but also aid as a platform for prospective business development and lead generation. Via the virtual sessions, will be a welcome relief in the times of quarantine and self-isolation; helping participants to feel like they belong to a larger global community that is trying to fight this battle together.