India a huge opportunity for Australian / international nutrition brands as demand soars and trade relations improve - Pharmako

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Pharmako took home the prize for SME of the Year.
Pharmako took home the prize for SME of the Year.

Related tags Australia India Nutrition

India is offering a wealth of opportunities for nutrition brands in Australia and beyond, as consumer demand continues to rise and efforts to remove trade obstacles progress, according to Pharmako Biotechnologies, which has been named SME of the Year in the India Australia Business & Community Awards.

The awards, which seek to celebrate the India-Australia relationship while simultaneously contributing to its development, received nearly 300 entries this year.

Pharmako specialises in lipid-based delivery systems, essentially enhancing the body’s absorption of fat-soluble nutrients for the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, functional food and cosmeceutical industries.

It was founded in 2015 by George Kokkinis, formerly a senior manager at Australian regulator the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and ex-Swisse Wellness exec Eric Meppem.

Meppem told us that the thriving Indian market was increasingly becoming a priority for finished product brands from Australia and beyond.

“As many international brands now recognise the opportunities in the Indian market, they are also recognising the importance of receiving the right advice about the market, and partnering or collaborating with the appropriate Indian companies.

“Pharmako knows there are many Australian brands considering how to approach the Indian market. Austrade and other government agencies are also encouraging and fostering these goals.”

We have previously reported on how brands such as Swisse​ and Blackmores​ have identified India as a key market for future growth.

While Pharmako Biotechnologies predominantly exports to North America and Europe, Meppem added many of its clients were now planning their Indian strategy.

“The Indian nutrition sector will definitely continue to grow,”​ he added. “Obstacles to trade still exist, but there is a concerted effort to improve. Improving bilateral relations between countries assist with this, and importance of groups such as the IABCA should never be underestimated. Australia is lucky, in that we enjoy a vibrant and strong Indian diaspora here.”

Patented tech

Pharmako currently imports some key materials from India, before transforming them with its patented technologies.

These are then exported around the world through its partners Gencor Pacific.

“Pharmako has enjoyed the benefits of Gencor’s distribution network in many varied markets around the world, including India. The Gencor team in Hong Kong and Chennai provide Pharmako with a detailed understanding of the needs of the Indian and SEA markets,”​ added Meppem.

The firm believes that improving the bioavailability of products creates more efficacious formulations and better marketing for brands, by reducing dosage, costs and environmental impact, while improving patient compliance, affordability and health outcomes.

We recently reported how Pharmako became the first manufacturing business​ in Australia licensed to manufacture listed medicines (dietary supplements) for use in human clinical studies, as well as regular Listed Therapeutic Goods.

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