The FINANCIAL — Luvsan Khurelbaatar started a small pharmaceutical and cosmetics workshop in 1990, using locally-grown herbal ingredients to produce skin lotions, powders and solutions for respiratory diseases. Over the years, it grew into a large factory, with more and more people joining him.
Today, the workshop that became a factory has moved to a large industrial site on the outskirts of Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar – with the help of the EBRD.
Monos has turned into the largest player in the sector in the country: it employs more than 800 people and produces a wide range of cosmetic, medical and pharmaceutical products, according to the EBRD.
The EBRD has committed to provide a second loan of US$ 5.5 million to help Monos build a new production plant, develop training activities and support its wholesale business. The company aims to secure a certification of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and to employ at least 30 new staff trained to GMP standards.
Long-term partnership for growth
“We’re the largest manufacturer in the Mongolian pharmaceutical market and it is very important to us to meet best manufacturing practices,” said Anand Khurelbaatar, the company’s CEO.
“Our cooperation with the EBRD and various investments into both our equipment and processes are helping us to achieve this goal.”
It takes a long time in the medical sector to create new products, usually five or six or sometimes even up to 15 years, he added. That’s why it is so vital to have a long-term partner, such as the EBRD, willing to invest and offer expertise.
The new production facility has allowed Monos to increase its capacity more than fourfold. Furthermore, the company has developed a strong portfolio which not only includes production but also research and development, drug wholesale, retail and distribution. The company is still owned by Luvsan Khurelbaatar and his family.
“It was a very large and complex project in the medical sector – one that was very important to both the Mongolian economy and its people,” said the company’s Chairman Mr Khurelbaatar.
“We’ve developed a lot of new products since we started working with the EBRD. This cooperation has provided us with a lot of new opportunities.”
Building a competitive, diverse economy
Monos has also started to explore neighbouring markets. At the same time, several industry champions from Europe and east Asia have discovered the company and are interested in its production capacity.
The EBRD’s investments in Monos are helping to build a more diverse economy in Mongolia. The European Union supports this project with funding aiming to improve access to finance and know-how in the country.
While the EBRD provided €52.7 million in total in investments, the EU has made available €9.3 million to support this finance.
“The Bank has worked on various projects with Monos, supporting the company in its successive stages of expansions,” said Irina Kravchenko, Head of the EBRD’s Ulaanbaatar office.
“It is one of many examples of how our work helps to develop the private sector and build competitive businesses in Mongolia.”
“This is a tangible example of how the EU and the EBRD can join forces to support the diversification of the Mongolian economy and increase employment at the same time,” said Marco Ferri, Chargé d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to Mongolia.
“We work together for the benefit of Mongolia and its citizens.”
To date, the EBRD has invested over €1.4 billion in more than 90 projects in the country.