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National Pharmaceutical: A journey of growth and global expansion

27 Feb 2021

National Pharmaceutical Industries Co (NPI), along with four other Omani industrial firms, recently won His Majesty the Sultan’s Award for Industrial Excellence. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion gave away His Majesty the Sultan’s Award for Industrial Excellence 2020 to top five performers in the Omani industrial sector on February 9, marking the celebration of Omani Industry Day. 

NPI is an Omani pharmaceutical manufacturer that was built in 2001 and inaugurated by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik on February 11, 2002. The company has achieved several milestones over the years, starting from being an approved pharmaceutical firm in the GCC countries in 2002 to a European Medicinal Authority approved company in 2018. 

NPI had also won a special commendation for ‘Quality’ in His Majesty the Sultan’s Cup for the Top 5 Factories in Oman in 2010. The company has evolved from being registered in just one country with ten products in 2001 to being registered in 52 countries with over 600 products. 

NPI, which started with initial operations in the Middle East and Africa, now has presence in the CIS countries and South East Asia. It is also aiming to target European and US markets in near future. 

National Pharmaceutical Industries is a group of companies that includes NPI Pharma, NPI Beta, NPI research, Elixir Consulting, Elixir UAE and Elixir KSA. 

While NPI Group generates a major chunk of its revenues from sales in the private markets, it also participates in the government tenders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, NPI stepped up efforts and boosted its capabilities to supply all the required medicines to the health institutions in record timing to better serve the patients in Oman. The company also generates revenues through contract manufacturing and research for international companies in the UK, the US, Hungary and Ireland. 

Dr Waleed Khalid al Zadjali, chairman of NPI said, “Over the past few years NPI has been expanding its production capacities, increasing new product offerings, developing newer markets, and constantly upgrading its quality management systems with the support of major shareholders and the Ministry of Health. The winning of the His Majesty the Sultan’s Award for Industrial Excellence is the result of the overall strategic thrust of the company.” 

Congratulating company on winning the highest accolade for industrial excellence in Oman, Khalid al Khatib, vice chairman of NPI (representing Oman Investment Authority), said, “NPI has enormous potential and will be a significant contributor to the sultanate’s healthcare industry in the years ahead, as it has done during the COVID-19 pandemic. It truly is a beacon of light for all of us.” 

On the back of its growing footprints globally, more than 72 per cent of NPI’s sales revenues today come from exports while local market accounts for 28 per cent of total sales. NPI supplies a wide range of medication products that include cardiovascular, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, gastro, antibiotics, anti-allergic medication, and the commonly used analgesics and mass products. 

Sheikha Amal Suhail Salim Bahwan al Mukhaini, director of NPI and vice chairperson of Suhail Bahwan Group, who has been associated with the company since the beginning said, “Since its inception NPI has undergone enormous transformation from being an Oman centric pharmaceutical producer to a globally accredited drugs manufacturer. His Majesty the Sultan’s Award for Industrial Excellence bestowed is a tribute to the hard work put in together by all the staff of NPI.”

 She added, “NPI gives the top priority to the quality of its products, which is evident from the fact that its products are rated among top three selling brands, not only in Oman but in many other countries too.” 

Four NPI products – MACROMAX (Azithromycin), DICLOPID (Diclofenac Potassium), OMCIP (Ciprofloxacin), and Alka Ur (Urinary Alkalinizer) – are ranked as No 1 in the UAE market, as per the MIS 2019 statistics. The company’s two other products – MOTILONE (Domperidone), a gastro medicine to combat nausea, and HYCOM (Scopolamine), an anti-spasmodic – are ranked as No 2 in the UAE market. 

NPI also has a leading brand in Saudi Arabia which is the largest market in the GCC region. Its Alka Ur is No 1 selling brand in Saudi market, while LEVOFLOX (Levofloxacin), a very potent anti-bacterial product, stands at No 3 in that market. 

Even though NPI has achieved all of these successes, it is still looking to expand and grow its business. The company’s new strategy focuses on growing its operations, capacity expansion, upgrading facility and quality management system, developing new products, expanding into new markets, and increasing penetration in the existing markets. 

NPI, in past few years, has expanded its production capacities in a remarkable way and recorded an average annual growth of 15- 30 per cent. The company has a long list of 21 new products in the immediate development pipeline, and star among them are Rosovastatin, Vidagliptin, Olmesartan, and Tadalafil. 

For the purpose of training and development of its local staff, NPI has several in-house programs such as the leadership development program which sponsors the diploma courses and bachelor degree of existing and potential staff. 

The company also sponsors international training, such as the training for CAM blister packing machine in Italy and Volpack Sachet machine handling in Spain, just to mention a few. All of these are in addition to the company’s ongoing in-house training sessions that exceed 650 sessions annually. 

As part of its corporate social responsibility, NPI plans to step up its efforts by conducting training sessions for outside candidates such as the students from Sultan Qaboos University, National University and Nizwa University. 

Under these training sessions, NPI has been training on average 100 students per year. It also supports local research by allowing the researchers access to its facilities, chemicals and equipment.

 NPI also provide sponsorship for various seminars, workshops and conferences conducted by the Ministry of Health. 

During the current difficult times NPI provided free medicines to needy patients in partnership with Dar al Atta’a and Oman Medical Association. 

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