After 27 eventful and exciting years of having founded and led Strides as CEO, I have moved on to a more strategic role as the Chairman of the Board. My days as CEO have been undoubtedly the most rewarding period of my career; and I have fond memories of my achievements, failures and lessons in humility.
When I began the journey, I never imagined that our Company would reach the stature where it is today.
A huge proportion of the credit for this enormous accomplishment goes to our stakeholders for their commitment and support in helping me grow this business.
As I move on, I pass on the baton to Shashank, who has joined the Group a year ago. We have also reconstituted our Board to guide the management to take the business to greater heights.
During 2016-17, we realigned our business priorities in line with the broad trajectory of the global pharmaceutical industry. We now focus on a fully integrated consumer-facing business, which is IP led. It will be backed by a robust portfolio with a focus on aggressive market expansion, supported by a strong balance sheet.
Our business includes a leading position in Australia under Arrow, a growing US front-end business, backed by a strong IP-led portfolio. On the other hand, our emerging markets business will include our branded business in Africa, India and Southeast Asia.
Today, a growing number of pharma companies are facing challenges due to compliance issues, pricing pressure and volatility in emerging markets. However, we are suitably placed, owing to our fundamental strengths and prudent strategies.
We have a fully compliant and globally diversified manufacturing footprint. Our leadership ensures commitment and engagement through quality forums. Moreover, we have significantly invested in IT-led quality compliance to embed a culture of quality and compliance integrity.
Price-based competition does not have significant impact on us considering our business is diversified with presence in Australia, the US, Europe, Africa and India. We also have a robust pipeline of products to benefit from faster approvals under the new GDUFA guidelines. We have developed a portfolio of niche products with a high-entry barrier. Our future growth will be driven by new products and market share gain of our key products.
In line with our Strides 2.0 strategy, we exited from the low-margin generics business in Africa. We are focused on a more dependable branded generics business in attractive therapeutic segments.
Our brands are now promoted by a powerful over 1,000-member sales force in Africa and India to medical practitioners.
We announced the de-merger of our Commodity API business into a new entity, Solara Active Pharma Sciences, to be listed. Solara will also have SeQuent Scientific''''s Human
API business. We expect Solara to be among the leading standalone listed API companies in India.
Given the B2C strategy, we have capped our equity infusion in our bio-generics business for a significant minority stake. At a later stage, we will unlock significant value, when commercial revenue generation starts.
We have all the pivots and the pillars to take our business to the next level.
I will continue to play an important role with strategy direction and quality oversight, representing the stakeholder''''s interest; and I am sure we will continue to move forward even more aggressively in the near term under the new leadership.
We are on a historic transformation mission in times of sweeping change around us. We need your consistent support and encouragement to continue to evolve and create sustainable value for all stakeholders.