This is a note to all those confused minds who do a lot of soul searching and “samudra manthan” when it comes to deciding where they want to head after fourth year i.e. in beginning of third year. This is my first note and I just want to jot down my story from pharma to MBA …. the tussle and puzzles of what to do and what not..!!! There is not much fact and figures in this piece of my work which I have deliberately avoided just to filter the like-minded ones and asking only interested ones to follow the upcoming blog wherein I will incorporate more facts and figures relevant to the followers. Enjoy reading the fight within your grey cells.
The idea of making it big in pharma was what brought me here, as is the case for most of us. Many of us when try for something but somehow miss the target. We motivate ourselves towards a new target with the resolution of making it even better in the next field. For those of my friends who joined pharma after preparing for medical or engineering entrance might connect to what I am trying to say. But alas! The determination and resolution starts fading once you get busy with the daily chores of a course and exactly this is what happened with me. Started struggling with assignments, experiments, labs, tests and semester exams. The “struggle to survival” is maximum in first two semesters for the obvious reasons that you don’t know how to by pass the intended hard work behind assignmentsJ. Time took wing and I hardly realized that I had completed almost half of the course and it was time for me to go for industrial internship. Somehow I got a chance to do internship in a reputed company in Gujarat. But by this time there was also one thing which was pinching me, I was somewhat not satisfied seeing my future. I saw myself in labs for most of the time and struggling with chemistry structures and reactions. It might have been very interesting for chemistry diggers of my batch but obviously I was not one of them. I did not despise any subject but I wanted to do something more lively, more interactive and more creative.
I loved one subject from core of my heart and that was Pharmacology and read it really well but then, by this time I could figure out that in India if I take pharmacology then only future I can make is in research and lectureship, which was not my forte. Puzzled in my unconscious brain, I reached for my internship and with all my enthusiasm started watching the daily go how in the liquid dosage form department. For few days time went well with new seniors, new company environment, big machines on roll and the salutes you get form low profile workers when u join afresh in a company.
Being a product of one of the most recognized university earns you a good image already and you can enjoy all the air around that. But deep within I could sense that picture is not as rosy as I dream it to be. I talked to those seniors who worked there and came to know that those who joined the company right after graduation were not paid well for all the work they did and also the chances to grow were very dim. It is not the case in abroad where you know that Pharmacists are the second most paid people and to tell the patient a different brand name for a generic drug you earn 60 dollars. Meanwhile the miracle happened and the company was informed about a corporate audit. It was then that I saw people working hard to appease their corporate heads. I started gathering information about the Bosses of the company. This was my self realization time and I realized that it was the field where I have to be.
A corporate world exists not only in IT but equally important and dominant in pharmaceutical sector. I might sound mean but with no wrong intention, I would like to say that for a company right from inception to flourishing money has got everything to do with it. And those who provide it and who arrange and manage it have a more say than anyone else. This was a new piece of knowledge for me at that time but it kept nagging my mind and I decided to get into corporate world. Do not take me wrong, I am not the one who was day dreaming of controlling a whole company with money power but I had a dream of having a say in the company and an interesting profile, which was more than labs and reactions because I needed people to interact with while working.
So I was glad that at right time I realized that I was made to do MBA rather than go for higher studies in pharma. I do not want to disappoint or underrate the core workers and the people behind the inception of drugs, people who make the industry what it is and people who need to have a hell lot of passion to work behind the screen silently for years. I just described the scene as per my conflicts and interests. I still remember how much brainstorming and turbulence it took to decide which way to go at the diversion.
It seems very erratic to many people and you will face thousands of piercing eyes asking “ why the hell you study a subject for four years if in the end you leave it and go for business study”? But then it is your own interest at the end of the day which matters. And to tell the relevance of MBA after pharma I would like to point you out that “How many pharma companies do you think without marketing and finance department?!”
For a company out of four major departments of R&D, Finance , Marketing, and Human resource three of them directly come form management stream and one from the core stream. It’s not so only for the pharma company but for many other company as well. So if you are a pharma graduate pursuing MBA and if Ranbaxy looks for a marketing manager, other odds being right you stand more chances than any one else for obvious reasons that you understand the product and hence can market it in a better way.
For more creative minds there are places in advertising industry as well where at the end of the day “educating the mass matters most”. Keep in mind that ad guru Prahalad Kakkar made hundreds of ad for condoms, OCPs and pain relief products. For young ignited pharma graduates there are hell, lot of opportunities to educate masses through ad wherein you can make a good fortune as well. For those pursuing HR specialization after Pharma need not go far but just sit in the campus selection process and see what role a HR has to play and most of them are Pharma+MBA graduates.
Finance wizards take care of new projects, how to arrange working capital for new projects and how to keep track of money. Those who are naysayers and risk averse will show you worthlessness of almost everything, but at the end of the day I think if you follow your interest passionately and it’s rare that success will not follow you.
I just carved out a dream for me as a marketer to start with (and luckily got many of my friends walking parallel track in my own batch) and later on I made myself open for all fields to start with before I restrict myself to particular field of pharma. So take your shot and hit it hard and high, if you are interested, follow your heart in any field where you would love to see yourself years down the lane.
CHEERS in the name of all successful CEOs!!!