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Asian Hotspots

The dynamics of pharma outsourcing and location decisions in Asia are changing. Cost reduction is being augmented and will gradually be eclipsed by ‘footprint growth’ as a key factor shaping decisions. Companies need to set their strategic sights on a future world where Asia is not just a market and manufacturing powerhouse for the pharma industry, but could make a key contribution to drug discoveries as well.

Outsourcing decisions have traditionally been driven by cost factors. However, with the wider global economic balance shifting from west to east, and with the growing importance of end-markets in Asia being matched with increasing Asian pharmaceutical expertise across the value chain, cost is just one of a range of factors that companies need to consider when making outsourcing decisions in Asia.

Increasingly, such decisions need to be informed by strategic as much as tactical considerations. The outsourcing steps that companies make today cannot be divorced from the footprint strides they will need to make over a 10-20 year time period (1). There are four clusters of factors that are relevant to the decisionmaking context faced by multinational pharmaceutical companies when they consider outsourcing in Asian territories (see Figure 1). Increasingly, these factors are also relevant to the outsourcing carried out by fast-growing Asia-based pharmaceutical companies.


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Beatrijs Van Liedekerke is Associate Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers China, where she advises the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. With 12 years of industry experience and six years of consulting experience in food, pharma and biotech companies, holding positions in QA/QC, production, R&D and customer relations, Beatrijs has built up expertise in a wide variety of regulatory compliance issues, operational improvement and overall business optimisation. Beatrijs is a Pharmacist with a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences and holds a degree in Business Management.

Sujay J Shetty has over 15 years of industry experience in the pharmaceutical and technology industry in India, the UK and Malaysia. He leads the India Pharmaceutical/Life Sciences Advisory practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, based in Mumbai. He is a member of the National Pharmaceutical Committee of FICCI for 2008-2009. Prior to joining PricewaterhouseCoopers, he was working with the Corporate Finance practices of UK investment bank Lazard Brothers in London and UB group, Dubai. Sujay is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, two Masters degrees in Law and Finance from the London School of Economics, and is also attending executive education at Harvard Business School, US.

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Beatrijs Van Liederkerke
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Sujay J Shetty
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