In an interview with Marce Redondo, José Luis Berenguer, chairman of Farmalíder explains how the company has achieved growth by associating with foreign companies and investing in R&D.

José Luis Berenguer, who studied Economics in Madrid and has led Farmalíder since it was founded 25 years ago, emphasises the importance in business today of having a global perspective and creating synergies with other partners. The company’s most recent project, Eurogel, is a joint venture with India’s Geltec – which makes soft gel capsules – in which each have a 50% stake, and which involves an investment of about €4 mill. over three years. This is one of a number of projects involving emerging markets, where Farmalíder is focusing because this is where more innovation is taking place. The products will go on sale all over Europe.

Berenguer very much regrets the decline in innovation caused by the recent closure of Spanish research centres and the resulting job losses for highly specialized people who had opted to stay in research in Spain rather than accepting lucrative posts abroad. Farmalíder, on the other hand, has not only been able to maintain its jobs but has more than doubled its workforce, which reached 105 in 2013. It is one of the few Spanish companies that has managed to grow in the current climate, despite being limited by the crisis.

For 2013, Berenguer forecasts growth of 15% – a remarkable figure when the sector is in decline. The aim is to consolidate the domestic market, develop the global market – particularly in emerging countries – extend its portfolio of 42 products and invest €8 mill. on the launch of seven products this year, for which it is seeking global investors. Farmalíder is concentrating on areas where competition is less fierce, such as ophthalmology, dermatology, central nervous system and women’s health. It will also be making its stock market debut and looking for partners for 20% of its treasury stock. It will continue to focus on R&D, for which it earmarks between 10 and 15% of its earnings.