How Adar Poonawalla’s SII shot to fame after Covid vaccine rush

Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is probably going to witness a file surge in revenue as demand for Covid-19 vaccines grows quickly in India and different components of the world.

SII, which obtained a license to manufacture and supply Oxford and AstraZeneca’s vaccine underneath the identify Covishield, has acquired an amazing variety of orders because the second wave of Covid-19 wrecks havoc in India.

In view of the rising demand for Covid-19 vaccines, the corporate’s revenue is predicted to rise sharply in FY21 as compared to 2019-20. The pattern is probably going to enhance additional in FY22.


Serum Institute of India has been rising steadily for the previous decade, however its internet earnings surpassed Rs 5,000 crore solely in FY19 and marginally improved in FY20.

Data from company database Capitaline means that 418 Indian firms posted revenues above Rs 5,000 crore in 2019-20 together with Serum Institute. The information, cited in a report, means that Serum earned the utmost internet revenue for each rupee of income within the monetary yr.

(Credit: BusinessAt this

As per the information, Serum Institute reported a internet earnings of Rs 5,926 crore and a internet revenue of Rs 2,251 crore in FY20.

It could also be famous that the corporate’s earnings and internet revenue have been rising since 2013-14. In FY14, it reported a revenue of Rs 1,741.33 crore; Rs 1,963.89 crore in FY15; Rs 2,179 crore in FY16; Rs 2,057 crore in FY17; Rs 1,912 crore in FY18; Rs 2,252 crore in FY19 and Rs 2,251 crore in FY20.

While SII’s revenues, exports and profitability elevated over the previous decade, the entire earnings — simply over Rs 17,000 crore — are a fraction of what international pharmaceutical firms and vaccines firms earn yearly, reported Business Standard.

One of the components why Adar Poonawalla-led SII has been ready to develop steadily is due to vaccine exports to importing nations at greater margins. It could also be famous that the corporate is licensed to manufacture 20 various kinds of vaccines in India.


While SII was rising steadily until 2019-20, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated its rise sharply since FY21. The firm not solely discovered widespread recognition in India and the world, however it’s got a once-in-a-lifetime alternative to increase earnings and earnings.

The sudden demand for Covid-19 vaccines in India, the world’s second-most populous nation, and several other different nations have led to an acute crunch in provides. SII has stated that it’s working overtime to deliver the large amount of Covid-19 vaccines required just in India.

In India, the corporate is supplying doses to the central authorities at Rs 150 per dose, state governments on the fee of Rs 300 per dose and Rs 600 per dose to non-public hospitals.

Read | Serum Institute plans to start vaccine production outside India: Report

While it’s tough to calculate how a lot it’ll truly make by promoting Covid-19 vaccines in India, even the bottom fee of Rs 150 would fetch revenue given the big quantity of doses required.

Regarding the Rs 150 per dose pricing for central authorities procurement, Poonawalla had stated: “It is not that we’re not making profits… but we are not making super profits, which is key to re-investing.”

For occasion, even when the states buy around 50 crore doses from SII at Rs 300, it’ll earn Rs 15,000 crore — practically thrice its whole income in FY20. This provides a tentative concept about how a lot Serum’s revenue will improve in FY21 and FY22.


Considering that SII will begin importing vaccines to different nations after India’s demands are fulfilled, it is going to be incomes greater margins on them.

Also Read | India’s Covid-19 vaccine shortage will continue till July: Serum Institute’s Adar Poonawalla

It is value mentioning SII can be manufacturing billions of doses for the world, together with underneath the Covax settlement — the worldwide UN-led initiative to assist provide vaccines to lower-income economies.

Even if SII makes conservative earnings by supplying these vaccines, Unicef’s determine reveals that it might be greater than Rs 22,000 crore.

Poonawalla has stated that the corporate goals to scale up the manufacturing capability of Covishield doses from 1.5 billion to 2.5 billion within the subsequent six months and to 3 billion by October 2021 to meet rising demand.

As a end result, SII earnings are probably to rise sharply when non-public markets across the globe begin choosing up vaccines immediately from it at a a lot greater fee. Furthermore, SII additionally has international offers in place to provide one other vaccine developed by American firm Novavax. Its launch has now been delayed to September 2021.

Analysts are sure that each Serum Institute will see a pointy rise in earnings in FY21 and FY22, primarily based on the FY21 earnings of US-based vaccine maker Pfizer Inc, whose revenue in FY21 grew over 200 per cent on a year-on-year basis.


Even if India’s largest vaccine producer sees file revenue in FY21 and FY22, it nonetheless has a variety of catching up to do with international pharma biggies like UK-based AstraZeneca and US-based Moderna.

In the previous three years, AstraZeneca has earned common revenues of $24 billion and earnings of $4 billion per yr. That is a minimum of 10 instances greater than Serum’s annual revenue, reported Business Standard.

The report, citing Moderna’s regulatory filings, means that it has confirmed orders for 520 million doses of its in-house vaccine in 2021, and these contracts are value $11.7 billion.

As huge because the determine seems, Moderna’s whole revenues in 2018 and 2019 had been nearly $200 million. However, due to grants for Covid-19 vaccine improvement, its revenues jumped to over $800 in 2020. In 2021, the sale of its vaccine value $11.7 billion could possibly be greater than what it has earned in a complete decade and the subsequent yr could possibly be even higher.

The similar could possibly be the case of Serum Institute. Though the value for SII’s Covishield is decrease than Moderna, the amount of Covshield’s gross sales are anticipated to be a lot greater. Whatever the state of affairs, it’s sure that each one vaccine producers and builders shall be a lot richer after the pandemic subsides.

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