Sunday, December 22, 2013

Leadership and training

There is a need for a new style of leadership in pharma India today!  In the 1990s, the picture was different.  The manager was mai baap!  Processes and policies be damned, keep the boss happy!!  However, now the change required is for collective, value based and process based leadership.  It is becoming more and more professional.

With the world becoming a global village, knowledge exploding thanks to the internet, and people becoming risk takers, more entrepreneurs are dotting the Indian pharma landscape.  It is no more a rocket science to run a pharma company.  Many traders are moving up the value chain to become marketers and manufacturers.  There is huge confidence in the pharma field.  Regional and subregional pharma companies are rising in the Indian pharma firmament.

Pharma success was often a result of give and take (trading spirit) especially with doctors (key opinion builders).  Today, every pharma company is game to this spirit of give and take.  Hence, leadership focus cannot produce adequate profitable results only through this quid pro quo attitude.  A more cerebral engagement is the need of the hour.  It is the era of innovation in pharma India - one has to be innovative, people friendly and motivational.  Indeed it is the era of training too, which provides competence - the foundation on which, innovation (novelty) occurs.


The purpose of leadership is to provide the means, motivation and a platform where ordinary people do extraordinary things.  Leadership should make people in the sphere of influence (employees, vendors, distributors, retailers, doctors, and other associates) willingly and with high involvement go about achieving the preset mission.  Leadership is not just about having a vision but the ability to make people actualize this vision, so people become a part of this collective vision.



The focus of training is to allign itself/trainees with leadership objectives.  Leaders need people, activities, market resources (vendors and other intermediaries) and other resources to attain the vision.  Thus, training modules bring out the vision, knowledge, skills and techniques needed for achievement of the mission.  When trainees are suitably empowered with these requirements, certainly allignment will occur, leading to organizational success.


A key factor of training is to invoke the intense desire to move in the direction of leadership requirement.  This will come through a co-operative attitude, and individual level concentration.  The intense desire to do things comes through education, inspiration, rewards, and punishments or fear of loss.  Motivation is a key trait that can be built through training programs and hence ensuring leadership achieves its objectives.


A key factor of achievement is emotional involvement, an environment rich with assertive discipline, yet balanced with caring and sharing is the cardinal requirement for pharma success.  Training through careful programs can bring out this emotional engagement for team building and bonding, this will be a prima donna force for co-ordinated purposeful working, resulting in mission achievement.

Upward mobility

Young India is restless and wants to progress.  There is abundant youthful energy in India, these young people want to achieve, and they are ready to take pains or go places for the same.  Training will equip this raw energy with a sense of direction and polish, skills and competence, so that there is upward mobility.  Leadership can create a climate of upward mobility through effective training programs so that organizational objectives are realised.


Hope is a powerful element for inducing action.  For a person walking in a desert, mirages of water provides hope, and he plods on hoping to land on the banks of an oasis, to satiate his parched throat and provide dates for his hungry stomach.  Training is a hope generating exercise for trainees.  Hope of improved skills that will give individual progress - drives trainees to engage with training programs.  Hope is a universal feeling for training programs.

Mindspace battles

Marketing is a mindspace warfare, we need mindshare for prescription share.  Training helps generate the right target detailing points in a MR/front line person, so that the detailing helps gain better mindshare and better sales results.

Consumption driven results

The lasting marketing results come through continuous increased consumption.  Marketing creates needs and delivers value to the prospects/prescribers/customers.  Training helps in this process of strengthening the consumption process, so that leadership realises the organizational vision.

Organisational work

The vast network called the organisation is performing a huge work, it is the organizational work: the organization creates outputs, which are recognized in the marketplace.

This huge body of work, is divided into several jobs: each job having performance parameters and outputs. The jobs are executed by people.  Training is the glue, which knits jobs, and ensure jobs are executed with skill and aplomb.  The net result is organizational work and output, which is upto desired standards.

Performance oriented culture

Today's India, including the pharma industry, is increasingly oriented towards a performance oriented culture. Training is all about trainee performance, and training catalyses the creation of a performance oriented culture.  Such a culture is starkly opposed to a perception oriented culture, which makes many organizations meet their Waterloo.  Hence, training enhances performance, and performance oriented organizational culture, thereby strengthening market leadership of the organization.

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Engrossing Yangon Yatra

Our Aug 2013 Yangon Yatra (journey) was very succcessful...Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is the new frontier for pharmaceutical and other marketers. No doubt, 60% of pharmaceutical market in Myanmar (formerly Burma) is already serviced by pharmaceutical companies from India, evidently there is still high growth potential available in this place. Company names like Ranbaxy, Sun, Lupin, Dr. Reddys (DRL), Apex etc are household names. The market in Burma is very fluid, not strictly regulated, hence, the OTX trend is strong. This means, along with doctor oriented promotion, in-pharmacy activity and advertisement promotion of certain category of products like analgesics, vitamins and minerals etc is done on bill boards, car windscreens, POP (point-of-purchase) material, on sun shades at various retail (pharma and non-pharma counters) locations etc.

Which is the special ingredient that helps one succeed?

To achieve a mission one has to get ENGROSSED … that is the trick. It is almost like meditation. When one is highly involved, the chance of an acceptable event is high (what it means, is that the event that occurs may not be as per expectations OR IT MAY BE BEYOND EXPECTATIONS, nevertheless the experienced event will be acceptable to all stakeholders).

Getting engrossed implies total involvement:

Working to achieve an objective is not just about IQ, special talent, great memory, qualifications, superior grasping power, good communication… it is actually about dedicated high involvement with a spirit of surrendering … verily getting ENGROSSED.  When one is engrossed, the result will be positive.

Engrossed behaviour is 24/7 and it includes the pain-staking preparation activity also

To experience a success event, one has to prepare well, sit with a pen and paper, imagine what will be required in forthcoming situations and organise the resources well in advance, with the help of a check list.  This preparation is very vital for a fluid final event.

Our Yangon Yatra was truly engrossing.  The results were good ... the experience thrilling ... the people of Yangon: lovely, friendly, simple, pacific and good.  Since there is good usage of English there is a homely feel. MINGALABA ( a Myanmarese greeting MAY AUSPICIOUSNESS FILL YOUR MOMENTS OF LIFE!)

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sun 'n' Strides

Above: first photo is of Mr. Dilip Shangvi, MD of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Mumbai and below that is the image of Strides Arcolab brand logo

Nothing succeeds like making a lot of money! 

The talk of pharma town are the two financial genius firms: Sun Pharmaceuticals and Strides Arcolabs group - while the former is always making headlines with its bold moves of acquisition and expanding its global footprint, the latter - Strides - is now in the news for its fast unique business model where the Strides group strengthens businesses and sells parts of the business for a fancy sum to retire its debts, and reinvest in other parts of its businesses to further strengthen them. 

The flavour of the season is Sun and Strides! Both make news with their big bang financial moves. While Sun buys up companies with a hefty appetite, Strides makes rapid expansion moves; on 1.3.2013 Strides made a huge bang through it's big ticket sale of Agila (a Strides group company) for Rs. 10,000/- crores to Mylan (a US generic company), the monies earned by Strides through this sale, will be used by the group for paying shareholders, retiring debts and investing in other businesses for improving their operations.

Both company are an interesting study of contrasts and similarities (my perceptions are part of the following analysis):
Sun Pharma
Growth through domestic to international
Growth from international to domestic
Inorganic and organic growth
Inorganic and organic growth
Growth through branded formulation marketing and generic marketing
Growth through contract manufacturing and then through own formulations marketing
Driven by passion and zeal of one person: a one man army: Mr. Dilip Shangvi
Driven by passion and zeal of Mr. Arun Kumar and team of professionals
Profit driven growth - silently pursueing knowledge oriented growth
Profit oriented growth, openly knowledge oriented
Niche market growth
Mass market growth

Customer relationship before brand equity
Corporate brand equity equally important (goes along with customer relationship)

Aggressive global professionalism
Aggressive global professionalism
Calculatedly low profile
As a matter fact image projection

Such is the stuff of legendary successes! Kudos to Sun and Strides - their successes are a feather in the cap for the Indian pharma and healthcare industry.  Please scroll down and read all other posts, kindly recommend this blog.