Anji Reddy, founder of India's second-largest drugmaker, dies

HYDERABAD, India - Anji Reddy, the founder of India's second-largest drugmaker, has died.

Company Chief Financial Officer Saumen Chakraborty confirmed the death but declined to comment on its cause. The company said in a statement he had been ailing for some time, Bloomberg reported.

Dr Reddy, a chemical engineer, founded Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. in 1984 and started funding research with an investment of 60 million rupees (S$1.24 million) in 1993 with the goal of making the Hyderabad-based company the first Indian firm to create a drug and sell it globally.

He spent his early years in the village of Tadepalli in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where his father grew turmeric, an Indian spice. Dr Reddy graduated from the local high school and went on to get a bachelor of science degree from Andhra Christian College in Guntur in 1958.

He taught himself English and earned another bachelor's degree in pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals in 1964 from the University of Bombay, now called the University of Mumbai. He followed that with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the National Chemical Laboratory in the western city of Pune.

In 1985, Reddy started making methyldopa, an off-patent hypertension drug that Merck had discovered. A year later, Dr Reddy listed his company on the Bombay Stock Exchange and four regional exchanges by selling 1.1 million shares to the public.