With International rights for Shelcal still with Elder Pharmaceuticals Ltd, the company has aggressively started marketing this superbrand globally. Elder Pharma has already started exports of its leading calcium supplement brand to about 25 countries with many more on the anvil. For the year 2015-16, the company is likely to notch up sales of over Rs 25 crore and the demand is coming from some of the most unusual countries like Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Maldives, Zambia, Uganda, Yemen, Guyana, Burkinafaso, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Papua New Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Burundi, Rwanda etc. Shelcal is currently exported in the form of 250/500 mg tablets and Syrup but new line extensions are also being planned which will include Shelcal CT (Calcitrol), Shelcal OS (alpha Calcitrol) and Shelcal HD (high dosage of Vitamin D3).
Says Alok Saxena, Director, Elder Pharmaceuticals Ltd, “About a year back, Elder had sold the rights for the domestic markets of Shelcal and 30 other brands to Torrent group for a consideration of Rs 2000 crore but had retained the rights for the international markets with itself. With overwhelming response and acceptance of its product in all these markets, the company is looking at strong prescription base in over 70 countries by March 2017.”
Elder is also targeting the markets of Europe, CIS and LATAM. Shelcal’s European thrust will be spearheaded by Neutra Health plc, its wholly owned subsidiary in the UK which will market it across the EU. Sold through the ethical route, Shelcal has found support from health conscious persons as the source of calcium used in Shelcal is from ‘oyster shell’, which provides calcium in its purest form. Because of its organic origins, it is highly bio-available and gives significant increase in BMD (Bone Mineral Density). Other calcium supplements have synthetic origins and hence their contribution to BMD does not match up to Shelcal. Shelcal’s success also stems from the fact that it targets different segments like management of calcium deficiency, osteoporosis, pregnancy and lactation and is suitable for all ages.
Adds Saxena, “Earlier our production capacities were barely able to fulfill the domestic demand for Shelcal and hence we were not pursuing the exports markets in a big way. Now that we have sold the domestic rights of Shelcal we can focus on the vast global markets.” Judging by the response received so far, Elder should be able to garner a turnover of about Rs 100 crore from the International operations of Shelcal by 2017-18. The company is also looking to export another nutritional product, Thrive, a natural supplement that helps fight chronic metabolic disorders.