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More than making medicine: The multiplier effect of pharmaceutical manufacturing

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Engineering economic growth

In a country characterised by unemployment, inequality and poverty, the challenge to sustain its people in a struggling economy can seem insurmountable. However, when private-sector pioneers and manufacturing industry leaders direct the growth potential of their respective sectors to address this particular challenge, the results can be life-changing.

The manufacturing industry in particular, stimulates more economic activity across society than any other sector. This globally recognised multiplier effect creates employment opportunities, demand for resources, investment, and development opportunities. This invaluable stimulus impact on economic growth is attributed to the many significant links between manufacturing and most other sectors in the economy.

As one of the country’s fastest-growing pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, Cipla South Africa recognises the impact of its business on the economic needs of this country. By actively creating employment and skills development opportunities, the result is more than just economic growth; it’s providing better health for patients and securing socioeconomic wellbeing for communities.

Manufacturing solutions for economic challenges

Employment opportunities

The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Manufacturing recently confirmed the substantial link between manufacturing and economic growth in developing industrialised countries. In turn, South Africa has prioritised employment-intensive growth to address economic challenges, identifying manufacturing as the key sector to drive development, employment and improvement of its citizens’ living standards and fiscal future. Innovation, driven by talent and advanced technology, is needed for South African manufacturing stakeholders to contribute to economic growth, employment and international competitiveness.

At Cipla, we’ve long since directed our innovation efforts in response to the strong correlation between product innovation and direct job creation in our sector. As a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer, our upscaled and smart manufacturing operations result not only in the best medicine at the most affordable prices but in doing so, we also create direct and indirect employment opportunities. Our drive to implement innovative, path-breaking technologies means our manufacturing processes rely on non-manufacturing products and support services, including, among other information technology, logistics and transportation services. This allows us to increase our output with a higher level of productivity.

Upskilling and development opportunities

There is a lot to be done to effectively prepare for and contend with the impact the fourth industrial revolution’s exponential pace and change will have on manufacturing in South Africa. Apart from infrastructure adjustments and business reorganisation, the country’s manufacturing workforce must be upskilled urgently. The quality and quantity of skills play an enormous role in determining manufacturing competitiveness and sustainability, which invests in training and development programmes crucial for the sector’s success.

At Cipla, we recognise that a significant part of our success is rooted in our skills development capability. We consider our employees’ skills (acquired through either education, training, or experience) essential assets because they add value to our manufacturing process. Moreover, we encourage entrepreneurial skills as vital in establishing new ventures that often lead to innovative new products and processes. To help address the significant unemployment challenges among the country’s youth, our Graduate Program provides work experience for graduates and helps us secure new talent for our business. The recruitment for this two-year programme takes place annually and is based on our business needs. Our drive to attract, retain and develop skilled employees is supported by the need for such resources in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry at large.

Opportunities to make more than medicine

Localised industry is one of the most effective stimulators of economic growth and job creation. As a proudly South African pharmaceutical manufacturing company, we welcome the opportunity to boost the economy and make a lasting difference. That is why our commitment to manufacturing the highest quality, affordable, life-saving medicines goes beyond ensuring access to essential medicine; it’s about helping people to live long and healthy lives. It’s about caring for life.

Our role in the multiplier effect of pharmaceutical manufacturing extends beyond the industry and into our patients’ daily lives. The employment opportunities we create allow families’ living standards to improve and their quality of life to increase. Being involved in the lives of those for whom we develop our products, allows us to develop our Cipla Foundation Initiatives to address their specific needs. From empowering communities with direct access to medicines, to facilitating early childhood development, to raising funds so children born with cleft palates and lips can receive corrective surgeries, we employ our economic standing to improve the wellbeing of our patients.

As Cipla South Africa, we not only recognise, but welcome the role we have to play in stimulating economic growth for the betterment of the country in general and its citizens, our patients, in particular.

About Cipla South Africa:

Cipla Medpro South Africa (Pty) Limited (Cipla Medpro) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cipla Limited, India (Cipla) and the third-largest pharmaceutical company in the private sector in South Africa. Through Cipla’s ethos of “Caring for Life”, Cipla Medpro produces world-class medicines at affordable prices for the public and private sectors, advancing healthcare for all South Africans. 

For more information, visit 

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