Indian pharmaceutical companies whose global revenues were affected by their exposure to foreign currencies and slump in the US sales have seen significant revenue growth in the newer or emerging markets across continents.

Even drug majors such as Ranbaxy and Glenmark, which saw decline or near flat growth in their global revenues for the December 2008 quarter, have registered steep growth in the emerging markets such as Russia and Brazil.

The emerging market focus is to reap better dividends as and when the companies enlarge their product portfolio in these regions, analysts feel.

Glenmark, which registered a 14 per cent decline in its net revenues during the quarter, saw its revenues from Asia, Africa and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) region leap almost 60 per cent. The company attributes it to its aggressive attempt to penetrate newer geographies.

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“We will continue our emerging market strategy more aggressively. In the next couple of months, we will have several medicines registered in countries such as UAE and Egypt. The newer markets offer significant growth opportunities,” a Glenmark official said.

The importance of emerging markets increased after sales in the world’s largest drug market, the US, slowed down.

Analysts feel that Indian companies, who specialise in the production of low-cost alternatives to patented medicines, will find easy entry to several of these markets, including some of the “semi-regulated” regions in Asia and Africa.

While Russia continues to be the biggest market in the CIS region, Indian companies are also focusing on countries such as Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The companies, including Dr Reddy's and Glenmark, have active presence in these regions.

Ranbaxy, which recorded 6 per cent increase in its global sales in the three-month period, saw an 18 per cent revenue growth in the emerging markets. “Emerging markets will continue to show the fastest growth for Indian drug companies as they are introducing new products in these markets. Product registration is a continuous process and hence growth,” Ranjit Kapadia of broking firm Prabhudas Liladhar said.

A recent KPMG report has highlighted the growth opportunities in the newer markets. "Indian companies are now also looking towards emerging markets such as Russia and other CIS nations, Eastern Europe, Brazil and other Latin American countries and South Africa. These markets, similar to Indian market, have branded generics and high entry barriers that leads to less competition and higher profitability," the report said.