HCL stealing business from CROs via India

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharma companies Business process outsourcing

IT services company HCL Technologies continues to experience rapid
growth through its ability to undercut clinical research
organisations (CROs) on price for clinical data management (CDM)
services through its new operations in India.

The company, specialising in value-added IT solutions, business process outsourcing (BPO) and infrastructure management services, saw a 28 per cent jump in sales in the last quarter, while at the same time operating profit rose by a quarter.

Through its recent alliance with India's leading CRO, Synchron, the US-owned firm is now providing CDM services to pharma customers in the US, Europe, Japan and the Asia Pacific at a fraction of the cost that US and other Western companies charge. As a result HCL's Pharmaceutical Segment grew by 120 per cent during the last quarter, signalling that the move is paying off.

To free up internal resources, pharma companies are typically turning to outsourcing providers, such as CROs, for four key functions: patient recruitment; finding/running investigator sites; CDM and statistical analysis, however, as pharma companies tighten their belts, they are beginning to expect more and more cost savings from these providers.

"HCL is now able to offer pharma companies 70 per cent savings on CDM compared to if they kept the function in-house - this is an additional 30 per cent cost saving than is currently offered by CROs,"​ Pradep Nair, vice president and head of life sciences of HCL told Outsourcing-Pharma.com.

"Realising this, pharma companies are beginning to stop outsourcing CDM to CROs and instead outsource the function to companies such as ours."

HCL's Pharmaceutical Segment is currently only its fifth-largest segment, accounting for 11 per cent of the company's revenue, however, Nair believes that this high-growth sector has potential to eventually move into third spot.

"We expect our Pharmaceutical Segment to double again this year,"​ he said.

"We plan to achieve this through our new strategy, aimed at picking up large multimillion dollar contracts that will support entire IT functions, such as CDM, or sales and marketing support, instead of smaller, more specialised contracts that only cover part of a whole function."

This type of "entire function" outsourcing to specialist IT providers used to go on 15 years ago, however, since then pharma companies have moved away from this practice and been outsourcing different specialised parts of an entire function to multiple contractors, as more and more specialist companies have sprung up, explained Nair.

"HCL is now trying to shift its customers back to the previous model, enticing them with the cost savings that we are able to offer,"​ said Nair.

"We have put a lot of investment into new infrastructure, tools and processes, as well as management teams, to have support in place for these large contracts and we are now seeing more and more customers placing confidence in off-shoring to us."

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Using Define-XML to build more efficient studies

Using Define-XML to build more efficient studies

Content provided by Formedix | 14-Nov-2023 | White Paper

It is commonly thought that Define-XML is simply a dataset descriptor: a way to document what datasets look like, including the names and labels of datasets...

Why should you use clinical trial technology?

Why should you use clinical trial technology?

Content provided by Formedix | 01-Nov-2023 | White Paper

New, innovative clinical trial technology is helping to revolutionize the research landscape. COVID-19 demonstrated that clinical trials can be run much...

Related suppliers