ImageRecession blues could be a thing of the past for drugmaker Dr Reddy’s Laboratories with the company going on a hiring spree, primarily to meet global sales growth.

The Company has already hired close to 2,000 people in India this fiscal and these new candidates filled up positions in sales, quality, manufacturing, production, R&D, process management and engineering services.

“The pharmaceutical industry has been fairly resilient in the face of the financial downturn. We have hired new employees in India, especially in the production segment,” DRL vice-chairman and CEO GV Prasad told ET. Right now, DRL has 10,500 employees.

“Companies in pharmaceutical, healthcare, bio-tech in India are expanding workforce to face competition from multinationals. During these tough times, they are hiring more people for their drug development efforts, although at a slow pace,” said an industry tracker who did not wish to be named.

Recession has forced pharma companies the world over to freeze hiring but Indian companies have left behind their multinationals in recruiting more people. Prasad says while the “export oriented pharma sector remains unaffected by a slowdown or boom, there is a correlation of 1.5% between GDP growth and growth of pharmaceutical firms in India.”

“Therefore, growth may be stunted to the extent of GDP fall,” he added. However, DG Shah, secretary general, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, says that “employee hiring may not be an appropriate parameter to determine the growth of the pharmaceutical industry, unlike the IT and BPO sectors which hire in droves.”

He pointed out that the growth of a pharma company should be measured in terms of sales volumes. “The domestic pharma industry is still growing at 14%-16% per month, while the exports are growing at 25% annually,” he said.

Besides having wholly-owned subsidiaries in the US, the UK, Russia, Germany and Brazil, the drug major also has representative offices in 16 countries and third-party distribution set-ups in 21 countries.

DRL reported a 58.61% growth in its net profit for the third quarter of this fiscal and its overall revenues logged a 49% growth to top Rs 1,840 crore for the same period.