The Business Year

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Faisal Bindail

Deputy General Manager, AJA Pharma Industries Co. (AJA Pharma)

AJA Pharma is a subsidiary of Saudi Chemical Company. Our sister company is Sitco, which is the only other pharmaceutical firm out of Saudi Chemical Company’s five subsidiaries. The group has been active in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 25 years. We recently decided to expand our activities through our own manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia. This way we can provide contract-manufacturing services to our partners and interested foreign companies to locally manufacture their products. In addition to this, we develop our own portfolio of products. This combination is what makes our business model so hybrid, and the strategy is paying off. We have signed several agreements with different partners to locally manufacture their products. We have four production lines: solids, semi-solids, liquids, and sterile products. This means we will produce a wide variety of products ranging from tablets and capsules to creams, lotions, gels, syrups, injections, and more. We are now fully operational in three production lines, except for the injection line, which will be operational by 2019. The National Transformation Plan aims to increase the share of local pharmaceutical production from 20 to 40% by 2020. AJA Pharma is one of the enablers to realize this target. We already partner with two companies to locally manufacture their products and will soon sign with an additional two.

Alaa Abd El Ghany Gamal

Cuuntry Manager, Pfizer Saudi

We have been in the country since 1960, and the decision to invest was made in 2013. Pfizer applied to have a manufacturing site in King Abdullah Economic City, which we opened in January 2017. We have been in Saudi Arabia for a long time and are committed to the progress here. Pfizer envisioned this as a long-term partnership and having a manufacturing facility is important for us. The plant in Saudi Arabia is one of the few manufacturing facilities that the company has opened in the last 20 years. Saudi Arabia is the anchor of the Middle East for businesses, specifically in the pharmaceutical sector. In addition, we cannot ignore the tireless efforts of the government represented by Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority in attracting and facilitating world-class investments in the healthcare arena. The expected growth of the market and what will happen in the coming years is based on studies and our own vision. The entire pharmaceutical business will grow between 5 and 7% in the coming years. For us, it is a different case. This is because we do many things, starting with basic primary care products and consumer products, to sophisticated biologics, vaccines, and critical health products. At Pfizer, we have the advantage of a wide range of products, which helps us diversify risk.

Yasser Joharji

CEO, Yasser Joharji

There has been a rapid change in the dynamics of our market. There has been a retail transformation happening around the world, and it has transformed the model. It is no longer business as usual; we have to remain agile in order to cope with the future and cater to changing customer expectations. There is also a healthcare transformation happening worldwide and in specifically in Saudi Arabia, which is part of the Vision 2030 agenda and embraced by the Ministry of Health and the government. There is a clear roadmap that involves the private sector, and it creates many rapid changes such as privatization and the government becoming more of a regulator than an operator, as well as a shift toward preventative care. All these impact our business. Throughout the world, pharmacy is considered the first line of defense when it comes to healthcare, and pharmacies all around the world are changing dramatically. There are also a significant number of changes taking place in the customer profile and the increased mobility of half of the population. The latter will improve accessibility of a large part of our customers in our stores, which means we need to be prepared to provide female customers with the best in-store shopping experience.



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