Sri Lanka's PC Pharma started operations with an initial investment of Rs. 5 million and has grown, in less than a decade, to a company that makes Rs. 130 million in profits, according to the company's Chairman S.H.M. Rishan. He also added that this success was due in part to making medicines more accessible domestically, and gave the example of the company's role in making oncology medication widely available locally by importing chemotherapy bags for US$ 2 and selling them here for Rs. 1,000.
The keynote speaker at the recently held Sunday Times Business Club discussion on Entrepreneurship, Mr. Rishan also outlined his personal, entrepreneurial journey from his start in a rural school and a job in the merchant navy, to his first entreprenuerial venture buying, refurbishing and selling old boat engines.
Further, he also highlighted some of his personal entrepreneurial achievements in recent times, which were beside building his PC House group to a Rs. 15 billion-in-turnover local market leader.
For instance, Mr. Rishan indicated that, despite a number of people advising him against getting into a declining local garments industry, the PC House group had not only ventured into this segment and showed it to be profitable, but had also surrmounted one of the major issues faced by even the biggest local players, a lack of adequate labourforce, by moving its manufacturing centres to the South, to areas like Kogalla, Weligama, Weerawila and Deniyaya.
Additionally, Mr. Rishan also revealed that a company recently acquired by his group, activated carbon producer Bieco Link, had already turned profitable after just four short months since its takeover. This follows years and millions lost as well as union problems faced by the company prior to its acquisition by PC House.