Boehringer Ingelheim – Driven by Innovation Towards Change
At Boehringer Ingelheim, the team is driven by the desire to serve mankind by improving human and animal health. Know more about the path-breaking advancements that the brand is bringing in the Indian pet care industry! –by Sunit Kishore
India–a booming pet market
Over the past decade, India has seen an increase in pet parenting, due to rising disposable income largely in the middle class, rapid urbanisation, and the evolving attitude of people towards welcoming pets as part of the family. In 2019, India was home to about 20 million pet dogs and about 19 million other pets, with around 0.6 million more being adopted every year.
Especially during the pandemic, India witnessed an increase in pet adoption as more people looked towards dogs, cats and other pets for companionship. As a result of this push, various segments of the Indian pet care market including pet food, healthcare, grooming and accessories have all witnessed increased demands. At Boehringer Ingelheim India, we are working towards strengthening our presence in the pet care market as we continue delivering value through innovation and enhancing the well-being of animals.
Family-owned since it was founded in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim has grown into one of the most innovative pharmaceutical companies in the world. Today, over 52,000 employees create value through innovation every day for three business units: Animal Health, Biopharmaceuticals and Human Pharmaceuticals. We are entrepreneurs at heart and proud of the resilient pioneers who established our foundation and built the organisation in generations over the last 135 years.
Our founder Albert Boehringer believed in the idea of growing through one’s own efforts. He built the organisation on this set of principles that we now refer to as the Core of the Leitbild, or our overall company mission, and they remain at the forefront of our decisions, actions and strategy.
Boehringer Ingelheim entered India in 2003 and quickly became one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies in the country with market leading offerings in both its Human and Animal Pharma portfolios. Under our companion care portfolio, we focus on anti-parasitic (internal and external) solutions, kidney disease and anti-viral vaccinations. Our pet care medications NexGard, HeartGrad and Frontline are recognised as market leaders globally.
Values through innovation
In line with the company’s vision, the Animal Health business of Boehringer Ingelheim focuses on discovering, develop and manufacturing vaccines, parasiticides and therapeutics to help combat preventable diseases in animals. With approximately 10,000 employees worldwide, the Animal Health business has a presence in over 150 countries. We have pioneered major advancements in vaccines and parasiticides, and our products help prevent diseases like rabies, foot-and-mouth disease and Lyme disease.
Our therapeutic products are designed to manage infection and chronic disease, limit pain and slow disease progression. Our brands are some of the best and most trusted among veterinarians and animal lovers. Products like Heartgard, NexGard, Frontline, Vetmedin, Metacam, Prascend, Ivomec, LongRange, CircoFLEX and Vaxxitek have helped transform the health of pets and livestock across the globe.
Magnanimous Animal Health portfolio
Boehringer Ingelheim’s Animal Healthcare portfolio comprises a diverse range of products for companion and poultry animals. In the companion care segment, we are market leaders in parasiticides, vaccines and therapeutics. With the increasing needs of pet parents, we are committed to meeting and exceeding those needs by bringing world class innovative products across parasiticides and vaccines to India. Keeping in line with this intent, we launched NexGard and Broadline in India last year. NexGard, an oral ectoparasiticide, contains the active ingredient afoxolaner and was the first oral medication to treat both fleas and ticks in dogs. NexGard is the leading brand not only in the tick and flea segment, but also in the Companion Animal Health brand globally. It is also the first and only flea and tick product to receive FDA approval for preventing infections that cause Lyme disease by killing the vector ticks. It has proven to be a safe and trusted protection solution against parasites in dogs and puppies. As an oral treatment, it is convenient to administer and better appreciated by dogs than alternative solutions.
Perils of the pandemic
Due to the lockdowns and restrictions accompanying the onset of the pandemic, a number of people faced greater isolation, thus turning towards pets for companionship and support. This led to pet adoption witnessing significant growth during the pandemic, leading to high demand for pet care products. Many people have chosen to become pet parents either adopting a stray or purchasing a Pedigree pet. This phenomenon is not only prevalent in India but also observed globally across various developed countries. At Boehringer Ingelheim, we aim to leverage this growth and expand our footprint in the pet care segment through our innovative offerings.
Hoping for a bright future
Pet adoption in India has certainly seen significant growth over the last few years. Along with growing adoption, the accompanying need to ensure their overall well-being has also led to an increase in demand for healthcare products including vaccines and parasiticides. Pet parents are also switching from traditional homemade pet food to commercial pet food, which is creating many opportunities for the pet product industry. Further, there has been an increased demand for cosmetic products and facilities like grooming centers and pet parlours will also garner more interest. Lastly, regular visits to vets for periodic vaccinations, control of parasitic infestations and other preventive medical therapies will continue to remain a priority in the future.
(Sunit Kishore is Director, Animal Health, Boehringer Ingelheim India)