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A career in pharmaceutical management is more promising than ever before, says Dr Ashok Peepliwal

With the pharmaceutical industry growing in double digits every year, there is a plethora of career opportunities in this field in India. Few other sectors today are more lucrative and promising than the pharma sector which has witnessed over 17 per cent annual growth from 2005 to 2016. The size of the industry is expected to be robust Rs 40,000 crore by 2020.

With such fast growth of the industry, there is an equally fast growth in career avenues in the sector and youngsters with specialised education and training in the field can chart good growth for themselves in a short span of time.

A focused masters programme in pharmaceutical management, like MBA in Pharmaceutical Management is a course that deals with health, management and chemical sciences. MBA graduates in pharma work with these disciplines to ensure the safe and secure use of pharmaceutical drugs.

Roles in Pharma Companies 

Those who wish to start their career after an MBA in Pharmaceutical Management can join pharmaceutical companies in diverse roles like pharmaceutical sales, R&D, marketing, management, and related fields in capacity of Quality Assurance Manager, Drug Distribution Manager, Business Development Manager, Sales Manager, Marketing Research Analyst, or Marketing Manager etc. Experienced MBA graduates can get into post of Deputy General Manager or Regional Manager in reputed public sector pharmaceutical companies.

Those who wish to study after an MBA degree can opt for higher studies like doctoral level courses in field of Pharmaceutical Economics, Health Systems, Pharmacy Management etc.

Starting Salaries

The starting salary for MBA graduates in in pharmaceutical industry has gone up sharply. The starting salary for an MBA (Pharmaceutical Management) is around Rs 4.5 to Rs 10 lakh per annum but not restricted to that for good candidates. Good experience in this field can easily lead to a highly-paid job.    It is important to note that those who start with high packages do not necessarily draw proportionately high salaries ten years later but if the selection of career path is right at the start, with a company of the right profile, then one can attain the satisfaction, good package and a senior position in the industry within short span of time.

It is thus advisable that students give attention to the company profile, company’s good-will, its market value and also their own long-term career plans. It is important to match the long term plans with the priorities of the company. There are a lot of opportunities for overseas placement also after completion of the course. The demand for Indian professional in the field in other countries because of various reasons like cost effective labour etc.  

Eligibility for MBA

The eligibility for the programme is basic graduation degree in Pharma or Science or Life Sciences. The admission process is quite rigorous for MBA programs of top universities. Numerous national level exams are conducted in various universities like Pharma MAT by IIHMR University, CMAT (Common Management Admission Test), GMAT, NMAT (Narsee Monjee Aptitude test).

The entrance test is followed by group discussion and personal interview. The qualities that are judged through group discussion and interview are candidate’s ideas, expression ability, aptitude, attitude, decision making and critical thinking.

There many colleges and universities which offer MBA programme in pharmaceutical management. The prominent ones are the Indian Institute of Health Management and Research (IIHMR University), Jaipur, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMiMS University), Mumbai, Punjab, the Indian Institute of Pharmaceutical Marketing, Lucknow, Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education, and Research (NIPER), Indian Institute of Commerce and Trade, Lucknow etc.

The sector is expected to grow faster with new policies and regulatory framework work. More and more international pharma companies are coming to India which further opens up avenues for these professionals. India has also started exports of pharma products to various countries and the list of such countries is only increasing.

With more export opportunities for Indian pharma companies, there are even more options for a career in this field.

Signs of Maturity

The pharma companies in India are showing signs of maturity and even new and patented drugs are being manufactured in the country. India is increasingly establishing itself as cost-effective manufacturing base for bulk drugs, formulations and other products. As these companies will grow and mature, there will be need for professional management and hence youngsters can look at vast opportunities even in distant future.   

It is a matter of paramount importance to select the right avenue at the right time to make a successful professional career. Presently, the pharma-industry is in need of highly qualified technical, researchers, highly skilled, dynamic, effective managers who can take the company’s challenges forward by taking the complex decisions for the success and growth.

The writer is Associate Professor,IIHMR University, Jaipur

 
 
 
 
 

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