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Out-of the box thinking is the word for success

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Mayank Chandra, Managing Partner, Antal International, gives an insight about the future recruiting trends in pharma sector

The pharmaceutical industry has been going through a series of troughs and peaks in the recent few years. Regulations like the Uniform Code of Marketing Practices (UCPMP) and price caps put by NPPA continue to pose a challenge to the industry.
At the same time, the year 2018 promises to be one where much will be consolidated. For instance, the CRO industry is slowly picking up due to better regulatory environment, streamlined approval process and slowly more clinical trials are also coming to India. Equally, in the months to come, while generic drugs may face tough competition, the biosimilar portfolio will grow. Also, companies will drive growth on therapy areas like cardio-diabetic and Onco.

In fact, there is more to anticipate on the pharma front. Companies are taking several strategic initiatives with the incoming of recent changes in regulations governing the pharma and medical devices industries, primarily to cope up with the loss of business revenue as in the case of recent caps in prices of stents and knee implants. The price caps are being seen to discourage manufacturers, mostly MNCs, from launching their premium products in India. Precisely the time has come for Indian manufacturers to come into their own. As of now, names like Sahajanand Medical Technologies, Meril Life Sciences and Sutures are expanding. Even though the skillset required to manufacture a technologically advanced product like stent remains a challenge, it is foreseen that the companies will put in steps to improve the quality of stents manufactured by local companies and even encourage them to develop more technologically advanced stents, which in turn will help the industry grow in the country.

The impact on recruitment

Manpower recruitment and retention gains a whole new meaning given the current scenario. As far as recruitment needs of the organisations are concerned, candidates with technical skills including in regulatory, clinical research, data analyst, R&D roles, will be in much greater demand since traditional sales and marketing processes are getting obsolete. For candidates in the fray, strategic and out-of the box thinking is the word for success and also stability along with communication skills due to coordination with multiple stake holders across geographies. Job hoppers are a strict no-no and interestingly, a recent trend in the healthcare sector in regulatory affairs domain is that the senior vintage RAQA professionals are slowly moving into consulting professions.

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