COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s Sunshine Holdings group said it will expand its healthcare business in a big way, investing 100-150 million rupees to open more retail stores, and also setting up outlets overseas and making drugs locally.
“We’re the number two player in healthcare distribution. We want to be the leader in every business we do,” Sunshine Holdings group Managing DirectorVish Govindasamy said.
The group will expand its healthcare retail chain from 20 stores to 50 stores by end-2017 with investments of around 100-150 million rupees, he told a news conference.
“It will not be just any old pharmacy. We’ll focus on the pharmacy, wellness and beauty sectors.”
The company is also eyeing opening up Healthguard pharmacies overseas.
“I’d be really proud if I can put a Healthguard pharmacy in a neighbouring country,” Govindasamy said.
Having started as a small family pharmaceutical business in 1967 in the hill-country town of Gampola, Sunshine Holdings is now a conglomerate employing more than 12,000 people, including workers on plantations.
The group has a presence in key growth sectors like the pharmaceutical and healthcare business, plantations, fast moving consumer goods like branded tea and energy, which it wants to grow.
“Over time the company entered into partnerships with big international business groups like India’s TATA and more recently Wilmar in Singapore, Govindasamy said.
Sunshine Holdings is also considering manufacture of drugs locally in line with government policy of encouraging the local pharmaceutical industry.
“We want to produce generic products locally,” Govindasamy said. “We’re still waiting for more information and government incentives to be given. We’re seriously looking at that space.
“The government wants to see if we can manufacture locally. The issue is to see if we can do it any cheaper than what we are already importing, for which you need scale.”
Correction – correcting investment amount in first paragraph to rupees, not dollars.