India's Ranbaxy Laboratories may get a strategic partner for its research unit that will be listed next year, and expects deals to sell products of global firms in emerging markets, its chief executive said.

Ranbaxy, India's biggest drug maker by sales, plans to spin off its research division into a separate firm by Jan. 1 and list it on exchanges where the parent is listed, Malvinder Singh said on Wednesday.

He told reporters on the sidelines of the Fortune Global Forum in New Delhi that several foreign firms would be interested in such a partnership, and Ranbaxy was open to the idea of a strategic partner, but did not give details.

There are enough opportunities and enough people who want to come to India. They recognise our strengths and capabilities and we'll take it forward from there, he said.

Singh said Ranbaxy also sees big opportunities for marketing alliances with Western majors, which could gain from Ranbaxy's existing infrastructure for operations in 50 countries and sales in 125 markets.

He said 55 percent of Ranbaxy's business came from emerging markets, where it has hired people, acquired firms and launched its products aggressively, while several big drug makers were not strong in those markets.

Ranbaxy, which aims to be among the world's top five generic drug makers with $5 billion in annual sales by 2012, posted net profit of 2.07 billion rupees ($52.5 million) for its third quarter to end-September against 1.4 billion rupees reported a year ago.

Singh said Ranbaxy had stepped up investment in emerging markets in the past two years, and would keep strengthening its position.

That's where a company like Ranbaxy can come in and say -- give me your products, I can take them into those markets. There is co-operation model that will come in.

He said apart from selling generic drugs in developed markets like the United States and Europe, Ranbaxy had developed capabilities to sell branded products in emerging markets.

There are lots of opportunities because generics in developed countries is commodity generics. But in emerging markets, we have branded generics. We work like branded companies.

He said such alliances would strengthen Ranbaxy's business in the years ahead.

That will allow us to have a very robust business model and we'll have far more products, ours and others' products. And I'm hoping we'll have strong partner.

(Additional reporting by Rakesh Sharma)