Serum Institute of India is a manufacturer of immunobiologicals including vaccines in India. The company is managed by the Poonawalla group- fully owned by Cyrus Poonawalla. The company is the fifth biggest vaccinemaker by volume, the top four being GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, Merck and Novartis. Half the children in the world are immunized by vaccines made by the company, which is the world's biggest maker of measles and DTP vaccines. Serum produces a billion doses a year selling in 140 countries. It is one of the world's lowest cost producers of vaccines and had sales of $250 million and net profits of $107 million.
The Serum Institute of India was founded by Cyrus Poonawalla and his brother Zavary in 1966. Poonawalla sold horses to raise the initial $12,000 needed to start the company. Using the money and a lot used to bury horses, the brothers founded the company. Because they had no science background, they hired 10 doctors and scientists from the Haffkine Institute of India. After a number of legal hurdles, the company finally received permission to produce vaccines. Sales finally began picking up when the company won contracts to supply state governments and hospitals. Today, 80% of Serum's sales are to groups Unicef and the Pan-American Health Organization as well as immunization programs e.g. of the charity for children's welfare in India, Germany, the majority of which are from developing markets. Serum became accredited by the World Health Organization in... Read More