|ET: Can you please elucidate the structure of India’s Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Industry?
The Indian Pharmaceutical industry ranks 10th globally in terms of value and third in volumes. With a well-established domestic manufacturing base and low-cost skilled manpower, India is emerging as a global hub for Pharma products and the industry continues to be on a growth trajectory.
The industry is unstructured and has more than 10,000 manufacturers in the organised and unorganised segments. There are more than 8,000 small and medium enterprises (SME) units, accounting for about 70% of the total number of the Pharma units in India. Indian SMEs are also opening up for emerging opportunities in the Pharmaceutical industry in the field of Contract Research and Manufacturing Services (CRAMS), clinical research etc. These would drive them to play a definitive role in the transitional global Pharmaceutical environment, where a sizeable number of drugs are expected to go off patent in the coming years. The products manufactured by the Indian Pharmaceutical industry are broadly classified into bulk drugs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients - API) and formulations. Of the total number of Pharmaceutical manufacturers, about 77% produce formulations, while the remaining 23% manufacture bulk drugs. 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed under automatic route in the drugs and Pharmaceuticals sector, including those involving use of recombinant technology.
ET: The Pharmaceutical and healthcare industry is anchored on knowledge and experience; hence, one of its most important resources is people. What are the key strategies used by HR professionals in the Pharmaceutical industry to attract, retain, groom and engage talent?
DK: There has always been a major focus on attracting the best talent, as being in an industry where 8% of the annual revenues get funnelled to the research and development function, hiring the best talent becomes a necessity. An effective strategy designed, developed and customized to suit the uniqueness of requirement is imperative in our case. Our Learn and Earn Program is one such innovative recruitment model through which we hire 12th class pass outs and groom them into experienced professionals with a BSc degree to boast at the end of three years. We have over 400 such trainees in the company.
The next and the most important aspect of the HR function is then retaining the talent through training, providing challenging and engaging work experiences and encouraging innovation and idea generation. Focused interventions at each stage of employee life cycle, such as opportunities to pursue higher studies, training in life skills, management skills and leadership skills are attributing to employee’s growth and therefore helping us engage and retain them.
The amount of time, money and effort that goes into grooming and preparing an employee reaps multi-fold advantages to the organization. The organization not only stands to gain from the expertise and experience of a home-grown leader but also benefits from the stable workforce that is constantly engaged and delivers consistently.
ET: The incremental human resource requirement is expected to be about 1.9 million persons by 2022, led by the requirement in the Pharmaceuticals manufacturing sector. What are the challenges and future directions of the Pharma sector in India?
DK: The stage is set for the Indian Pharmaceutical industry to leap to a new level in the global marketplace. The industry's ability to maximize opportunities, however, depends on identifying required skills and attracting, engaging and retaining talent that is crucial to growth. While the Indian Pharmaceutical industry is growing exponentially, so is the need for equipped manpower. While the industry needs to create an unexhausted talent pipeline to cater to its manpower requirements, the organizations are compelled to develop and deploy well designed human resource strategies that would create the framework in which the next generation of innovators can thrive. A strong adhesion of the millennial generation to the organization would be the key to sustained success and incomparable growth.
ET: In recent years, several foreign players have made acquisitions in India to get a foothold in the country’s Pharma market and leverage on the technical and cost efficiency of Indian companies. How will this impact the human resources trend in the industry?
DK: The Indian Pharmaceutical market is emerging as one of the preferred destinations to drive business growth with India-centric strategies among foreign MNCs. They are also acquiring/merging with Pharmaceutical businesses to drive their inorganic growth. The average employable Indian has never before witnessed such surge in opportunities and is making the most of it. Such buoyancy is posing great challenges in attracting and retaining talent with technical and managerial skills. The Indian economy is reeling under the age of millennial, the sparkling new generation of employees who are eager to fast track their career and want to be in the organization that can cater to their aspirations, be it purpose, pay or position. This generation expects quick results and quicker rewards and is ready to jump the wagon if the job does not match their aspirations. Organizations world over, are finding it increasingly difficult to meet these expectations and are struggling to keep the cost of hiring and training fresh recruits under control.
ET: Lupin has been rated as one of the Best Places to Work in the Pharma industry. Please share some of the unique People practices of your firm which make you so special.
DK: Lupin takes great pride in ranking among the TOP TWO Best Company to Work For® in the Biotech and Pharma Sector, THREE YEARS in a row and being the only Pharma company to have achieved this feat. The success is a testimony of the feeling of togetherness and camaraderie that prevails in the organization.
Lupin has relentlessly worked towards creating and sustaining a culture of transparency, fairness and care. The organization believes in the power of an engaged workforce and acknowledges that the employees have not only been the catalyst in achieving higher levels of productivity, but have walked the extra mile when needed and demonstrated positive, contagious energy.
Lupin has built an enviable team though its objective and scientific selection of candidates followed by an elaborate and effective induction program that has been recognized by a prominent body called Udbhav, a centralized and standardized induction program for all new joiners to the middle management level. This program provides the much needed inputs related to the vision, values and culture of the organization along with life building skills.
STEP helps set meaningful goals; it clearly lays down the expectations and the measurement criteria that would be used to evaluate performance at the times of yearly appraisal. Tie-ups with leading institutes such as IIM-Ahmedabad, NMIMS-Mumbai and leading technology institutions such as BITS Pilani, Pune University and Manipal University provides the opportunity to pursue higher education, along with the various technical and behavioural trainings. Specialized Talent Management initiatives like our ‘Top 100’ and ‘Expanding Horizons’, AMEX, ASCENT etc. help us identify and nurture the high performing individuals with potential to grow.
Role based programs have also been designed so that employees are ably equipped to deliver as per the expectations of the role. One such program designed for individual contributors who usually struggle when they are expected to take on supervisory or managerial roles is the Leader Plus Program.
And a comprehensive and objective performance management system ensures that employees never lose focus and are constantly aligned towards achieving the business goals and creating a success story. The performance based reward system at Lupin further emphasises the need to perform and the regard the organization attaches to passion for excellence through achievement orientation.
To add icing on the cake, we have the Lupin’s Employees Stock Option Plan named, ‘Partners in Progress’, a first-of-its-kind plan to be implemented in the Pharma Industry. With it, Lupin stands as one of the few Indian companies to provide stock options to every single deserving employee in the company, irrespective of their grade or level within the organization.
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