Kendle is setting up a facility in a special economic zone (SEZ) in India which will provide clinical support services and be able to rapidly increase staffing in response to spikes in demand.
Quick recruitment of skilled employees is one factor drawing pharmas and contract research organisations (CRO) to India and Kendle intends to make full use of this by adopting a flexible approach.
The site in the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar knowledge corridor in Western India could hypothetically hire 1,000 people in 12 months, Bharat Doshi, senior director of South-East Asia and India at Kendle, told Outsourcing-Pharma.
It is very unlikely that demand will be sufficient to justify employing 1,000 people but the fact that the area could meet the staffing requirements is intended to emphasise the untapped talent pool it possesses.
Doshi added that this gives Kendle the option of making short-term hires in response to spikes in demand, giving it the flexibility to take on very large contracts without necessarily having the associated permanent overheads.
The site will open in mid-April with an initial staff of 50. As demand increases Kendle will hire additional employees and expects to have a staff of 300 “in the near term”, although Doshi was unwilling to give a more exact time frame.
Kendle’s SEZ unit
From the site in the SEZ Kendle will offer clinical trial support services, such as data management, medical writing, pharmacovigilance and biostatistics. Doshi expects Kendle to provide these services to multinational pharma companies.
Setting up in a SEZ gives Kendle staged tax benefits, beginning with five years of 100 per cent tax exemption on export income for the unit in the SEZ. The offer changes over time.
Stephen Cutler, senior vice president and chief operating officer, added: “The new SEZ operations centre will be ideally suited to deliver best-in-class services to our customers seeking high-quality, innovative and cost-effective solutions for their clinical development needs."