More than 70 percent of the 40 global biopharma executives surveyed by The Boston Consulting Group said that they are satisfied with their R&D alliances in India, and three out of four expect to increase their R&D activities in India. Despite such positive appraisals—and the growing prominence of emerging markets as a destination for biopharma R&D funding—India remains a relatively minor player in the development of new drugs, according to the BCG study. (For more on the study, see “Methodology,” below.)
Yet clear signs are emerging that India is poised to play a more substantial role. Several multinationals—having recognized the potential for India’s research sector not only to lower costs but also to spur innovation—are transforming their vendor-based relationships into strategic partnerships. They are broadening the scope of work, bolstering their partners’ capabilities, and ramping up their investments in India. By laying the groundwork for more effective partnerships, these companies will be able to improve their R&D productivity through a combination of higher output and lower costs, thereby gaining an edge over companies that hold fast to a one-dimensional view of India.