Scrip is part of Pharma Intelligence UK Limited

This site is operated by Pharma Intelligence UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13787459 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The Pharma Intelligence group is owned by Caerus Topco S.à r.l. and all copyright resides with the group.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. For high-quality copies or electronic reprints for distribution to colleagues or customers, please call +44 (0) 20 3377 3183

Printed By


Amid Talk Of KKR Stake Sale, JB CEO Stresses Business As Usual

Red Sea Crisis Could Become Industry Headwind

Executive Summary

In an interview with JB CEO Nikhil Chopra, Scrip discusses talk of a stake sale by private equity fund KKR, gains from acquisitions including select Novartis brands, plans to ascend to the top five in cardiology and a ramp up of the CDMO business, which has clients including J&J.

JB Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd., now rebranded as just JB, and its CEO, Nikhil Chopra, often mention "fastest-growing" in their communications.

Arguably, taking a company’s ranking up about 10 notches over a span of three years could be termed an achievement.

During an audio/podcast interview with Scrip, Chopra is clear-headed and focused on further growth, an attitude that allows him to sweep aside talk of US private equity (PE) firm KKR planning to sell part or the entirety of its stake in JB.

KKR had acquired about a 54% stake in JB from the founders, the Mody family, and there have been media reports of stake sale discussions with Indian pharma majors, including Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd.Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. and Mankind Pharma Ltd.

A wide range of issues including acquisitions, increased use of tech and artificial intelligence (AI) in the company, possible headwinds from the Red Sea crisis in the Middle East and what India could do to jump-start innovation are also discussed during the interview.

Less than six months earlier, in late December 2023, JB acquired from Novartis AG a portfolio of about 15 ophthalmology drugs, including products to combat infections, allergies and glaucoma. The deal is effective January 2027, until which time JB will have exclusive licensing rights to the portfolio in India.

Besides, acquisitions of select probiotic and reproductive health assets from India’s Sanzyme and cardiac franchise Razel (rosuvastatin and combinations) from Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited have been overseen by Chopra, who was CEO-India Business for Cipla Limited before his current position.

A three-pronged strategy for the contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) business and a move to improve the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings, also come up during the discussion.

His sights now set on a top five ranking in cardiology in India and an entry of the CDMO business into the US and Europe, the CEO admits the journey ahead is not easy, but he is counting on a leadership style that has served him well both at JB and over more than two decades at Cipla.


00:09 Brief intro to India landscape, Nikhil Chopra

02:26 Performance of recently acquired and own brands

08:34 MNCs licensing brands on loss of exclusivity to Indian companies

10:27 Entry into diagnostics space?

11:49 Tackling competition in the chronic therapy segment

14:29 Doubling CDMO revenues

17:38 CDMO entry into US, European markets

19:50 Jumpstarting innovation in India

22:20 Is KKR planning to sell its stake in JB?

23:12 More brand acquisitions on the anvil?

23:55 Changing family-run firm culture to a PE-firm’s aggressive one

27:45 Digital, AI initiatives

29:55 ESG, DEI initiatives

31:33 Red Sea challenges from Middle East crisis

32:48 Focus on CDMO, India, rest of the world

Related Stories

(Also see "Proposed US BIOSECURE Act - Do Lonza, Other CDMOs Gain And How Soon?" - Scrip, 27 Mar, 2024.)

(Also see "Alphabet To AI Connect, What Favors Drug Development At Indian Institutes Of Technology" - Scrip, 16 May, 2024.)

(Also see "BIOSECURE Act Diluted Significantly, But China Plus Strategy Still Accelerating: Strides MD" - Scrip, 24 May, 2024.)

(Also see "Lilly, BMS, Microsoft On GenAI’s Machine-First Approach Success, Cell Therapy Use, Regulation" - Scrip, 19 Mar, 2024.)

(Also see "A Decade At The Top: Lupin MD On Listing Adjacencies, Creating Healthcare Continuum" - Scrip, 24 Oct, 2023.)

Related Content


Related Companies

Latest Headlines
See All



Ask The Analyst

Ask the Analyst is free for subscribers.  Submit your question and one of our analysts will be in touch.

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts