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Very soon we are going to see a huge gap for “right talent” in Indian pharma industry. In my view following could be the reasons and steps to be taken by industry:

1. Gender:
a. At +2 level, boys are for engineering, girls are for medicine, and those who fail to get medical seats opt for pharmacy. Hence there is an increase in trend of girls graduating out of pharmacy colleges.
b.  Most of Indians prefer their girl child to get married immediately after graduation or sometimes even when they are in their final years of course. (The latest demographic indicators provided by the health and family welfare ministry reveal that the national average age of marriage for girls was 20.6 years in 2008, up from 18.3 years in 2001. http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-indian-women-push-back-marriage-age...)
c. After marriage probability of girl continuing higher studies or getting into job is reduced.
d. Most of recruiters have bias in considering girls as they are uncertain on when these girls leave the job for the reasons of marriage, re-location due to husband’s place of job or maternity.

2. Quality of institutions:
a. Number of pharmacy colleges mushroomed in the recent past and the quality of infrastructure and faculty needs lot of focus and improvement.

3. Quality of faculty:
a. Very few are selecting this profession with passion.
b. Most of them indicate that they are in the profession because they could not get job in industry.
c. Interestingly when we go for campus interviews few of them approach and ask whether there are openings for them.

4. Quality of students:
a. Needs lot of improvement mainly on the behavioral aspects.
b. One should understand Pharmacy is a SERIOUS & RESPONSIBLE profession serving diseased people.
c. Current generation needs quick money, fast growth which is very good provided they also put in quality efforts.
d. They should realize that doing job is not just part of their profession; learning, solving problems, training their next generation completes the Job Description.
e. Ownership, dedication, positive attitude are to be demonstrated by new generation.

Couple of steps industry to take:
1. Have a certain percentage of recruitments to fresh graduates.
2. Have a specific quota for women.
3. Deputing senior members to colleges as visiting faculty to share industry’s expectations.
4. Providing training to middle management on
a. how to train their team members and
b. not to consider their team member’s improvement as threat rather a stepping stone for their growth.
5. Recruiters are requested to think twice before considering resumes of people who have not completed at least 3-4 years in the current organization if the candidate is fresh, at least 2-3 years if candidate is experienced as far as possible to provide stable platform to candidates to learn, demonstrate & deliver not just projects but their first line executives also.

- Vikram Choudhary
Email ID: director@opf.org.in

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