Dr. Parvinder Singh's immense contribution with bold new ideas, to Indian pharmaceutical industry has made him an ideal Sikh role model in the modern world. Dr. Singh obtained a Master's degree in pharmacy from the Washington State University and was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He joined Ranbaxy in 1967, was appointed as its Joint Managing Director in 1977 and elevated as Managing Director in 1982. He rose to the position of Vice Chairman & Managing Director in 1987 and took over as Chairman and Managing Director in 1993.
Ranbaxy achieved tremendous growth during his tenure as CEO spanning the last 17 years. While its turnover increased from Rs.36 Crores to over Rs.1400 Crores, Ranbaxy established its presence in several markets overseas, with international business accounting for more than 50% of its current revenues. The market capitalization of the Company went up from about Rs.3.5 Crores to over Rs. 7300 Crores during this period.
Dr. Singh was a member of several key committees constituted by the Government of India and played an active role in the formulation of policy related to science and technology, intellectual property and the pharmaceutical sector. He was an active member on the governing bodies of several leading educational and management institutions in India. He was committed to uplifting the standards of education in pharmacy and piloted the setting up of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, the premier pharmacy institution in India.
Dr. Singh was a man of simple tastes and spiritual inclination. Despite his busy schedule, he made time for his spiritual practices.
Dr. Singh was recognized as a visionary and a source of great inspiration for the Indian pharmaceutical industry. His thinking was clearly ahead of its time and brought about a sense of pride and recognition for the Indian pharmaceutical industry.
His focus on research and internationalization, paved the way for new paradigms in the Indian pharmaceutical industry. He recently took the initiative to evolve a " Code of Practices" (that was accepted by the Board at its meeting held on June 8, 1999) that would serve as a platform for embracing the best practices internationally for enhanced standards of Corporate Governance at Ranbaxy.
He was the man who virtually saw tomorrow. At a time when the entire industry was clamouring for protection, Parvinder Singh was sure that the Indian pharmaceutical industry would only be shackled if it was sheltered. The CEO of Ranbaxy was clear that India had to fall in line with the global patents regime; it would trigger investments in R&D and would prepare corporate India for competitive battles in the global market.
Which is why, in the early 1990s, the visionary CEO set up a state-of-the-art R&D centre to prepare his firm for the future. But new discovery takes time. It hinges on a firm's exposure to the global customer and global regulation as well. Naturally, Ranbaxy made every attempt to acquire a thorough knowledge of the global customer and the US Food and Drug Administration and the UK's Medicines Control Agency rules and regulations. Singh's new drug discovery plan will take some time to bear fruit, but there is no doubt that he pioneered a bold new way of globalisation.
Dr. Parvinder Singh breathed his last on the evening of July 4 1999 evening, at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi. He had been suffering from cancer for the last two years and undergoing extensive treatment in the US and Japan.
On the same day Dr. Singh announced his succession plan and named Mr. D S Brar to be the next CEO and Managing Director of the company and expressed confidence in his abilities to lead the Company to even greater heights.
In the words of Dr. Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister of India: "Dr. Singh demonstrated the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and corporate ethics and set an example for Indian industry. In building an organization that has done the nation proud, Dr. Singh has made an indelible mark in the history of corporate India. We have lost in Dr. Singh an industry captain and a visionary."