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‘We promote diversity and inclusion amongst all our clients’

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Qwazent has been able to bring in leaders and healthcare practitioners from different countries for different countries. Deepali Jetley, Managing Partner, Qwazent Health Search in a conversation with Usha Sharma reveals more about hiring women in the lifesciences industry

Tell us the objective of Qwazent Health Search and its functioning mechanism.

Qwazent was conceived with a unique idea of serving the talent acquisition and management need of the entire healthcare industry. Executive search practice was next to negligible, especially in healthcare delivery systems. Qwazent Health Search has been one of the pioneers in establishing this practice in the industry and is trying to further evolve the sector by bringing in and shaping up leaders from different sectors into this industry. We are an all women organisation and believe that we bring a 360 per cent perspective in fulfilling the need of our clients. We are long-term custodial of people who we place and our deep process make sure that we bring best fit people for our client. We have built a ‘phygital’ model of search wherein we analyse extensive data, profile matching and supplement the same with personal interaction prior to bringing the candidate to a potential hirer.

Why is the company’s focus mainly on the healthcare industry and how did it become a trusted advisor for healthcare enterprises?

Healthcare industry in India has been growing at a phenomenal pace however, there is no firm which focuses specially on talent gap – there are many firms which are generalist in nature and can fulfill the general need of healthcare providers. We have invested the last two years in building teams, network and technology wherein we can find and fulfill specialised needs of healthcare service providers. Our relentless focus, diligent pursuit on delivery quality has helped us to earn the trust of our healthcare clients.

How do the methods of hiring top-level management differ from mid-level management? What are the challenges in each segment?

To be very honest, these days it’s not drastically different. Organisations are super conscious in hiring mid-management personnel as well. Ultimately it’s this management that’s going to form leaders of tomorrow. Thereby, our strategy and process remains the same for both levels. Just a little more sensitive towards top management hiring and involvement by senior consultants would be the only striking difference at our end. Professionalism and ethics seem to be dying down across levels thereby facing the same set of challenges across segments. Misinterpretation of profiles, lack of commitment, material objectives are some of the common traits that makes it hard for us to look for genuine candidates. Moreover, healthcare is a very small knitted industry, so at top-level management hiring, lot of times it’s the same pool of candidates shuffling from one place to another. We are forever on the look-out for leaders from other sectors who could fit the bill for our clients who are willing to experiment and bring innovation in their business.

How to convince passive candidates for job switch?

That’s been our forte. There is no set formula and is purely case to case basis but formulating a strong pitch by evaluating and understanding the role thoroughly from different stakeholders and thereby customising that pitch to an individual’s personal circumstances and eco-system is what helps us in convincing passive candidates.

What services do you offer for the pharma sector? Do you have plans to offer any value added services?

Besides the CXOs, we have been handling some of the niche positions like Head Quality, Head Regulatory Affairs, Head Investor Relations etc. wherein it’s a limited pool again and it’s about pitching and convincing the candidate even if he/ she is not seeking a change. We do offer other value added services to our clients like Compensation Benchmarking, Organisational Restructuring and Cultural and Organisational Transformation. Besides, we are also helping organisations with diversity and inclusion.

Why are there considerably less women in the pharma industry? What efforts will your company put in for scaling up the numbers?

One of the reasons we decided to make Qwazent an all female employee firm is to establish among our clients that women are equally effective if not superior to their male peers. Now we have seen the trends are changing and more females are emerging in the sector. I remember we were trying to fill an extremely niche position in sterile injectable space wherein it was a limited pool of just about three to four relevant candidates and we were able to successfully close the position with a female leader. We promote diversity and inclusion amongst all our clients and we have been able to place females across multiple positions in the sector. Currently our male vs female placement ratio is 70:30 and it’s our constant effort to bring it at par.

The company is an expert in cross-border hiring, brief us on it? (kindly provide segment wise details like sector, countries etc.)

That’s again our forte wherein we have been able to bring in leaders and healthcare practitioners from different countries for different countries. Would like to quote a few case studies here:

  • Placing Indian doctors and management personnel in countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uzbekistan, UK etc. largely for a healthcare delivery system
  • We got a Sri-Lankan management professional for an Indian medical device company to head the country
  • We were able to get a female HR leader from Finland for a strategic acquisition there by an Indian medical technology and diagnostic company
  • We helped a NYSE listed Pharma company with their Head Investor Relations from the US.
  • We helped a diagnostic company in Dubai get their Lab Director from Germany
  • We helped a hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo get a team of doctors from Tunisia and Morocco.

What role will the company play in scaling up health personnel for making a success of Ayushman Bharat?

Ayushman Bharat has come as an evolving point for Indian healthcare industry and we all will be witnessing multiple changes in the system, including the Human Resources side of it. We are helping our clients in healthcare delivery systems standardise compensation across levels including that of medical practitioners. This is going to be a key factor to make it a win-win situation for both, organisations and the government. We are extending our full support to our clients in bringing about this cultural shift and bringing doctors in-tune to this model.

Do you see the positive impact of brain drain in pharma or healthcare and how effective is it?

Yes, definitely there’s been a positive impact across the healthcare sector. We know for sure that Western markets are definitely evolved and are known for their practices and innovation. With the US FDA playing an active role in the pharma sector, it now helps us bring back those candidates to India from the US who are well acquainted and have thoroughly experienced the functioning of this committee. Similarly, doctors who had migrated to serve the US or NHS in the UK are now willing to come back to India and serve their own nation with the expertise and advanced practices they have gathered from their respective countries.

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