Home Pharmaceutical Exploring Career and Business Options in Pharma and Allied Industry

Exploring Career and Business Options in Pharma and Allied Industry

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“Even if you are not a medical doctor, with multiple options for subjects in your graduation or post-graduation, clubbed with a Business Management degree; the list of career options becomes long when it comes to the Pharmaceutical /Biotechnology/Healthcare Arena”

I was riding my LML scooter with a leather bag full of samples and promo literature for doctors. The bag was tucked diagonally near the footrest area, so that I could use my right foot for braking while supporting the bag with my left leg to prevent it from slipping off. On the pillion seat was tied a carry bag with an extra set of clothes and utilities for the overnight stay in a small town near the UP-Bihar border. It took two hours to navigate the 110 km distance, and my ankles were severely swollen due to the awkward position of my bag in the footrest area. I spotted a pothole few meters ahead and Screeeeech… as the brakes usually sound. With a soft thud and a momentary Screeeeech, the airplane landed at Berlin airport, and I realized that I had dozed off during the flight and was dreaming about my early career days as a Medical Sales Executive. Starting as a front-line sales representative and now hopping flights between European cities for business meetings as Vice-President, my 24-year career has been a mix of ups and downs but with tremendous learnings related to the hard and soft skills for business management required at each stage of your career.

Not many professionals are fortunate enough to get repeated opportunities and progress to such a level; and I owe a lot to my seniors and mentors and the fantastic team members I have had throughout my career: without their support I would not be where I am today.

Looking back again to my final year of B.Sc., on the day of my last exam, as my classmates moved out of the college gate, the atmosphere was one of exuberance. Obviously, there was excitement about the end of college and rigorous studies… but I was lost in my own thoughts.

Until then I had my college to attend, but what would I do from tomorrow? With no daily schedule and routine for the forthcoming days I was apprehensive of what the future held for me. 25 years ago, there was no internet, no career counsellors and not as many mentors to guide you towards the next stage, to help you prepare for your professional life. The future was unclear.

Paradigm Shift: Beyond Sales & Marketing or Patient Services Even if you are not a medical doctor, with multiple options for subjects in your graduation or post-graduation, clubbed with a Business Management degree; the list of career options becomes long when it comes to the Pharmaceutical /Biotechnology/Healthcare Arena.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is growing at a rapid pace and currently holds a respectable place in the international pharmaceutical market due to immense manufacturing and supply capabilities.

Under the umbrella of the pharmaceutical domain; sub-domains and verticals have come up providing numerous career options to the forthcoming generations of professionals and new graduates with skills related to IT, legal services, human resource development, administration, production, sales and marketing, production, and so forth.

“Globally, India is the largest provider of generic drugs. The Indian pharmaceutical-sector industry supplies over 50% of global demand for various vaccines, 40% of generic demand in the US and 25% of all medicine in the UK. India is the largest contributor in UNESC, with over 50-60% share”

For Gen-X entrepreneurs, there could not be a better atmosphere to identify their own niche and investment capabilities and come up with new business ideas and align themselves in this fast-paced industry. All are welcome to join the world of Pharmaceutical Business – both the domestic and international communities welcome you to showcase your skills and capabilities as a professional or as an entrepreneur.

Globally, India is the largest provider of generic drugs. The Indian pharmaceutical-sector industry supplies over 50% of global demand for various vaccines, 40% of generic demand in the US and 25% of all medicine in the UK. India is the largest contributor in UNESC, with over 50-60% share.

Career opportunities abound in the pharmaceutical business in:

  • Active Sales & Marketing • Start with the domestic Indian market and progress into the international business environment • Start your career as a Sales Executive/Medical Representative in a pharmaceutical company or make inroads into product management • After ten years of an active career, having learnt the required skills, you may cross various hierarchies and see yourself at a senior/mid-senior level role in your organization. • With a proven track record during your initial years you may get noticed in your own organization, or another company, and get an opportunity in sales, marketing, business development, or support services teams managing international business.
  • Back-End & Support Services Skilled professionals are employed in the pharmaceutical industry in human resource management teams, training and coaching, office administration, legal department, research and development, business data analytics, web development and graphic design, e-commerce for pharmaceutical OTC products, distribution and supply chain, logistics, clinical trial management, quality control, accounts, finance and auditing, IT department, medical content writing, and so forth.
  • Business Opportunities There is an abundance of business opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry today – there is great potential for development of pharmaceutical distribution agencies, pharmaceutical logistic service centers, warehousing and cold-chain services, analytical laboratories, supply of packaging material, outsourced HR and recruitment services, clinical trial and product development centers.

Vishal Chandra is currently Associate Vice President at Venus Pharma GmbH, Germany. He has previously worked with Tulip (Alkem Group), Macleods Pharma and Ranbaxy. With 24 years of experience in the Pharma Industry, Vishal has enjoyed a progressive career journey, moving from the grass-roots level to senior management roles across the Indian domestic market, ROW market and Regulated Markets of Europe. He is multilingual and can converse in German, Russian and of course, English and Hindi. Besides progressing in core areas like International Business Development, Market Access, and P&L Management, Vishal is an avid learner and believes in constantly upgrading of his own skills and those of his team members.

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