What Today’s Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the Founder of World’s Sixth Largest Pharma Company


Pharma pioneer and Lupin founder Dr. Desh Bandhu Gupta passed away on 26 June in Mumbai. The 79-year-old visionary, who founded Lupin in 1968, was one of the founding pillars of India’s drugs and pharmaceutical industry and turned a mere INR 5000 investment into a billion dollar company.

Today, Lupin is the sixth largest generic drugs maker by market capitalization in the world. But all of this success did not come easily to the teacher-turned-entrepreneur, who dedicated his life to bringing medication to those who needed it the most.

Here are few lessons today’s entrepreneurs can learn from the charismatic business leader:

Taking the Hard Way

Lupin was known as a local drug maker at the time it started and the Indian market was dominated by big corporations. Doctors, too, were skeptical about the quality of medicines made by local companies. But Gupta was determined to create drugs for life-threatening infectious diseases at an affordable price.

“The struggles that companies like Lupin went through, helped us learn. I think the industry has high standards of corporate governance because of leaders like Gupta, who worked really hard to put them up,” said Dilip Shanghvi, chairman and managing director of rival Sun Pharma. “We take a lot of things for granted. He had to work hard to achieve these,” he added.