Hyderabad: Kallam Anji Reddy, the founder chairman of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, passed away Friday at a hospital here following brief illness. He was 73.
He is survived by wife Samrajyam, daughter Anuradha and son K. Satish Reddy, who is managing director and COO of the pharma giant.
One of the most well-known faces of Indian pharma industry, Reddy was suffering from lung disorder for last few months and was admitted to a private hospital here 10 days ago.
The last rites will be performed at Panjagutta cremation ground at 11 a.m. Saturday, family sources said.
Industrialists and eminent citizens from various walks of life reached Reddy's house in Banjara Hills Friday night to pay their last respects. The technocrat-turned-entrepreneur, who started Reddy's Laboratories with only Rs.25 lakh in early 1980s, transformed it into $1.6 billion global entity.
Considered as a pioneer of reverse engineering, Reddy made significant contributions in making pharmaceutical products globally competitive and also affordable to the common man.
"Dr. Reddy's mission in life was to provide innovative new medicines at a price that the common man could afford," said a statement from the company
His passion for research became legendary when Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. became the first pharmaceutical company of India to initiate basic drug discovery research in 1993.
Born in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district, he did graduation from Bombay University with specialization in pharmaceutical science and fine chemicals. He obtained his Ph.D in chemical engineering from National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. Soon after his studies, he served in the state-owned IDPL before he founded the company in 1984.
Under his leadership, the company became a pioneer and trendsetter in the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Reddy also set up the Institute of Life Sciences at Hyderabad, which is a public-private partnership with the Andhra Pradesh government for carrying out cutting edge research in life sciences.
Anji Reddy, who was conferred Padma Bhushan in 2011, established Reddy's Foundation and Naandi Foundation as part of his mission to give back to the society.
"Dr. Reddy touched millions of lives through his contribution to the pharmaceutical industry and his philanthropic efforts. In improving access to affordable, high quality medicines and in innovation, his contributions have been extraordinary," said son Satish Reddy.
"His philanthropic initiatives made a difference in the lives of so many Indians in the areas of livelihood, education, clean drinking water and healthcare. A nation is grateful to a man who paved a way for the delivery of affordable medicines to the masses and made us believe and take pride in innovation as a means to prosperity," he added.
Anji Reddy served as a member of the prime minister's council on trade and industry, chairman of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation (APIDC), and president of The Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance.
He also served as a board member of GAIN, Switzerland (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition) and also was on the board of directors for TB Alliance, New York (Global Alliance for TB Drug Development).
Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, Leader of Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu, union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi, leaders of various political parties and industrialists have condoled Reddy's death.
Calling his death a personal loss, Chennai-based Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals chairman and managing director K.Raghavendra Rao said Reddy was a good leader, pioneer, businessmen, friend, mentor, and human being in one.
"Reddy looked at two things ahead of times. While he spotted the potential in generic drugs, Reddy also focussed on basic research and licenced molecules to major pharma companies," Raon told IANS in Chennai.