Yusuf Hamied: The Global Celebrity of Pharmaceuticals and Non-Executive Chairman of Cipla.

A Polish-Indian scientist, Yusuf Hamied, was born in Vilnius, Lithuania (Poland), with an Indian approach to developing the generic maker company, ‘The Cipla’. His humanitarian approach towards selling medicines at an affordable price made him stand at a level with many recognitions and international honors.

By Deepanshi Sharma Sep 24 2021 6:26PM 3752 Read
Yusuf Hamied – The Philanthropist Man behind Generic Medicines in India

Yusuf Hamied, son of an aristocratic Muslim scientist with the thought of Mahatma Gandhi, is a well-known personality in today’s times with his patriotic approach to make medicines affordable to every person in need. His down-to-earth thinking has led him to global recognition in the field of pharmaceutical companies. Despite being born in Poland, Yusuf Hamied, non-executive chairman of Cipla, has been a true patriotic person who thinks that India ought not to be at mercy for the medicine in front of the foreign companies. He has synthesized several key medicines in various disciplines, including steroids, antimicrobial, HIV/AIDS, breathing, and cancer.

Note : Yusuf Hamied has played a major part in the Indian indigenous pharmaceutical industry’s growth, development, implementation, and adaptation during the past 6 decades.

Yusuf Hamied - Statistics

  • Full Name – Yusuf Khwaja Hamied
  • Born – July 25, 1936 (current age 85)
  • Birth – Vilnius, Lithuania, Poland
  • Occupation – Businessman, Scientist
  • Marital Status – Married (wife – Farida Hamied)

Yusuf Hamied – Early Life

With the remarkable union of his parents, Yusuf Hamied blends the scientific knowledge of his father, his entrepreneurship and Indian patriotism, and the compassion of his mother to the poorest of the wealthy. He was born in Poland, but as he saw his dad fighting beside Mahatma Gandhi for the people of India, he dedicated his own life to giving medications at a reasonable cost for those in needs and to aiding impoverished people whenever necessary.

Yusuf Hamied - Family

Yusuf Hamied’s father, Khwaja Abdul Hamied, founded the Cipla Company in 1935, at the time when India, along with Mahatma Gandhi, was fighting for independence. He had two siblings Mustafa Hamied (brother) and Sofia Hamied (sister). His mother, Luba Derczanska, was Russophone Jew. Yusuf Hamied was raised in Mumbai and attended the John Connon School, the Cathedral, and Saint Xavier’s College, respectively.

He reached 18 years of age and attended Cambridge and, in 1960, received a PhD in Chemistry under the leadership of Nobel Laureate Alexander Todd.

Yusuf Hamied : The Cipla Pharmaceutical Company

  • Background : 1935 - 1960 The Cipla Company was mainly founded by Yusuf Hamied’s father, Khwaja Hamied, in 1935. It was registered as a public limited company with a capital of Rs. 6 lakhs. Without charging any fee, the founder provided the firm with all its patents and proprietary formulae for medicines and other products, bringing forth his selfless love and sincerity for the company.
  • Development : 1960 - 2001 After the 20 years of dedication of Yusuf Hamied’s father towards the Cipla Company, in 1960, Yusuf Hamied joined the company with the government’s permission due to the ‘British Raj’. The patent law change transformed the Indian pharmaceutical industry, enabling his and other companies to grow by manufacturing generic drugs. It has also entered the power generation domain recently.
    Cipla has played an important role under Yusuf’s leadership in establishing import replacements, making them self-sufficient companies, and positioning them at high-quality exports. Fun Fact : In 1961, Yusuf Hamied founded the Association of Indian Drug Manufactures.
  • Business Expansion Hamied wracked the global healthcare sector in 2001 by offering a triple medication combination, Triomune, which helped combat HIV and AIDS at prices considerably cheaper than those internationally accessible. After 52 years with the firm, Hamied was appointed Cipla Management Director in March 2013 and presently serves as the non-executive President.
    Cipla introduced medicines to people with the condition, one of which was a generic version of Remdesivir, which the firm linked together with Gilead Sciences, during the Covid-19 epidemic. Interesting Fact: Yusuf Hamied claimed emphatically that every third person is receiving Cipla medicines for treating with AIDS in Africa.

Cipla & Yusuf Hamied - Achievements & Recognition

  • Cipla established a cancer patient treatment center in Pune in the 1990s, offering comfort.
  • Now in over 150 countries, the 8-decade-old pharmaceutical company distributes over 1500 medicines in numerous medicinal categories.
  • In the late 90s, three anti-retroviral medicines were novel and combined to form one dosage therapy to make treatment effective and inexpensive, It was a great accomplishment that led to millions of lives being saved in Africa alone.

Fun Fact : Yusuf Hamied helped persuade the Indian government to change the Indian patent law in 1972, permitting medicines to be copied even if they were under international patent, as long as the process was not the same.

Cipla - Top Competitors

  • Sun Pharma Inds.
  • Dr Reddy’s Lab
  • Arobindo Pharma Ltd.
  • Gland Pharma
  • Cadila Health
  • Torrent Pharma
  • Abbott India

Yusuf Hamied : Awards and Honors

2004Honorary Fellowship, Christ’s College, Cambridge
2005Padma Bhushan, 3rd highest civilian award, Government of India
2012Honorary Fellowship, Royal Society of Chemistry
2013Honored by NDTV as one of India’s 25 greatest living legends
2014Honorary Doctorate, Cambridge University
2016First Alumni medal, Department of Chemistry, Cambridge University
2017Public Health Hero award from Columbia University, USA
2017Honorary Doctorate of Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.

Yusuf Hamied - A Philanthropist Pioneer to Giant Cipla Ltd.

The courage and the compassion towards the people in need led this polish turned Indian scientist to speak up for the people when the whole nation was in expectation of some relief from the ‘British Raj’. With the knowledge and support of his father and the people close to him, he jumped as the roar of a lion in the pharmaceutical field to make India not beg for the patent with the international companies and be independent enough to save the life of its people when required. In the end, we can conclude from his life that he can’t be called a freedom fighter but is no less.

Deepanshi Sharma
Deepanshi Sharma View More Posts

Deepanshi is a Chandigarh-based architect who believes that every place has a story to tell. This idea became her inspiration and she started to share her experiences in the form of stories. She has a passion for exploring different cultures across the world and a will to understand people by reading and writing about their way of life!

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