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Drugmaker Novartis India may lay off around 170 people as part of its workforce rationalization in the wake of Covid-19 impacting its business in India, sources said. “The layoff plan has been drawn as part of ‘fit for future’ project. The communication to identified employees will be made by March 31,” a senior executive told TOI.

 

NEW DELHI: Drugmaker Novartis India may lay off around 170 people as part of its workforce rationalization in the wake of Covid-19 impacting its business in India, sources said.

“The layoff plan has been drawn as part of ‘fit for future’ project. The communication to identified employees will be made by March 31,” a senior executive told TOI.

“Novartis is constantly looking at ways to best meet our patient’s needs with our innovative products and pipeline while strengthening Novartis competitiveness. This is an ongoing process as part of which we constantly evaluate scenarios that enable us to make decisions in accordance with both our business needs and those of our patients and customers,” Novartis spokesperson said in response to a detailed query.

The proposed development assumes significance as this would probably be the first job cut of this scale in the local pharma industry after the pandemic hit last year. Besides, the pharmaceutical industry is considered one of the most stable sector even in times of economic crisis.

According to the senior executive, the proposed downsizing currently entails only the pharmaceutical segment of Novartis and can be extended to other divisions going forward.

Earlier this month, the Indian arm of the Swiss drug major reported a net loss of Rs 71 lakh for the quarter ended December 31, 2020. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 7.73 crore for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. Revenue from operations of the company stood at Rs 93.77 core for the quarter under consideration. It was Rs 117.46 crore for the same period a year ago.

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