India’s Pharmaceutical Industry Stands Tall in the Post-COVID Market

By Vishal Bhardwaj

March 1, 2022

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4 min read

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Introduction

The COVID pandemic brought the world to a standstill and several industries had to suffer heavy losses. Some companies also had to curtail their operations and expenses, which included letting go of their employees. However, in these tumultuous times, the pharmaceutical industry held its ground. Not only did the industry function at nearly full capacity throughout both waves of the pandemic, but the hiring scenario also remained at a constant high. As mentioned by Ashutosh Kotwal (Aurigene Pharmaceutical Services), “Except for the first 14 days of the lockdown, called up by Mr. Modi, we have been operational throughout, at 100% capacity”.

A diverse panel of seasoned industry leaders from the pharmaceutical sector participated in one of the events hosted by Vishal Bhardwaj, Chief Digital Transformation Officer at Taggd. It focused on the hiring trends and the workforce takeaways of the pharmaceutical sector.

The pharmaceutical industry has helped India become an essential global player even in these trying times. The effect of the pandemic has been positive on the employment of this sector and is likely to grow with time. The attempt to identify these changes in hiring trends of the pharma sector continues with Taggd’s Think Tank series.

The third session of the series has seen a flurry of talented leaders from the pharma sector. Each participating leader shared their experience of managing employees and field workforce during the past eighteen months and cited their challenges and solutions. As stated during the conversation, the macro and micro-indicators show that the hiring in the pharmaceutical industry will be on an upswing for the next few years.

Participants, such as Mr. Udbhav Ganjoo (Viatris), stated how the digitization of the sector is the need of the hour. However, they also pointed out the shortage of skilled professionals in the pharm-tech sector. While India is seen as the hub for the pharmaceutical industry, and many global players are looking to set up their manufacturing and R&D facilities in the country, we fall short of talent in the niche spaces such as API and pharmacovigilance.

Most leaders at the round table panel agreed that there is a supply and demand gap when it comes to the workforce. While companies are hiring at an all-time high, employees are now being picky about the profiles they choose, focusing more on the ‘employee experience’ rather than their pay. As Mr. Anil Gaur (Akums Pharmaceuticals) states– “HR function is more about employee experience”. However, companies are finding it challenging to hunt the right talent.

The pharmaceutical roundtable offered much promise for the future and highlighted the employment potential that the industry holds in India for the next few years. While most organizations are re-writing their HR and work policies, they are also focusing on retaining employees, hiring the right talent, and creating a talent pipeline by hiring freshers from colleges directly. Retention of employees must become a priority and company policies must become more flexible to accommodate the post-COVID workforce. Also, most panelists expect the industry to grow exponentially in the coming years and the recent hiring trends are sure to stay dynamic for some time.

Key Takeaways

The session unveiled several interesting industry insights and trends. The Decoding Jobs Industry Sectoral Report for the Pharmaceutical Sector 2022 helps further dive into some of these insights by offering the key hiring metrics across the industry. Here’s an overview of some of the insights covered in the report.

  • India’s pharmaceutical industry reported a positive hiring intent for 2022.
  • The sector reported a 30% increase in hiring in 2021 and 95% employers reported a positive hiring intent for the year 2022.
  • Hiring intent in the pharmaceutical sector remains inclined towards tier 1 cities and the industry is set to hire more professionals with up to 5 years of experience in 2022.
  • Gender gap remains wide with only 15% females in the workforce. Much remains to be done in the sector to bring gender parity up to speed with a ratio of male to female working professionals.

To learn more, you may read the full report here

By Vishal Bhardwaj