“Necessity is the mother of invention, and that has forced us to adapt and adopt technology,” said Dr. Sanjay Arora, Global Medical Director, Dr. Lal Path Labs and founder of Suburban Diagnostics, speaking at the Transforming Pharma: Formulating effective upskilling strategies webinar by https://londonbusinessblog.com/.
While Arora argued that the pharmaceutical industry has always needed employees to educate themselves and keep up with the latest scientific discoveries and diseases, he identified automation and the effective use of
“The talent has been pretty expendable over the past year and a half. It’s not just for pharma, it’s in all industries and around the world. But pharma got more of an impact because it’s a knowledge industry, and a lot of people with that knowledge can’t be replaced by someone just coming in with the same number of years or background of education. Hence the need to quickly train the new people coming in and ensure delivery is not affected.” said Amitava Saha, President and CHRO, Biocon Group.
Saha noted that things change quickly in the industry, not only in laboratories but also in production units. “The rules change, as do the efficiency indices,” he said, adding that using technology in such a situation is inevitable.
“Imagine the pace at which the (Covid-19) vaccine was developed without compromising any regulatory process. Digital transformation was the backbone,” said Dr. Anil Kukreja, Vice President, Medical Affairs and Regulatory, Astrazeneca India. He added that real-time data analytics played an important role in gaining research insights and sharing those insights with regulators around the world.
Furthermore, Yugal Sikri, Managing Director, RPG Life Sciences, pointed out that the pharmaceutical industry is unique because “your product is a technical product”. “You have to have techno and commercial, both dimensions obviously, because the industry is extremely competitive. The generic (medicine) industry in particular is extremely competitive, we have (already) 10,000 companies in India. So you have to have both the technical and the commercial skills,” he said.
However, the need for further training is not only the responsibility of the employees. “One of the things we hear during this Great Resignation is that people are changing jobs, and one of the reasons they cite is that they are not learning enough. So they try to learn elsewhere,” said Dulles Krishnan, Managing Director, Coursera Enterprise, India and ANZ. However, he admitted that many don’t spend that much time learning either, and that companies and platforms need to fix that to motivate people to learn.
“When man is challenged, he learns very quickly,” added Dr. A Vehlumani, PhD, Creator, Thyrocare. “Whenever we are challenged more, we learn more and gain more skills. The more problems you solve, the more skilled you become. The bigger the problems you solve, the more powerful you become,” he said.
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