The Potion Indian Pharma Sector Needs to Treat its Skill Gap



The Pharmaceutical Industry in India has grown significantly worldwide over the last 10 years. The Indian Pharma Sector has become a global powerhouse and is essential to the supply of reasonably priced, with the country’s pharmaceutical manufacturers producing top-notch medications globally. The Indian Pharmaceutical Industry is currently the third largest in the world in terms of volume, and the country has a big influence on how patients throughout the globe are treated.

Due to a number of variables including a thriving local market, a trained workforce, the upgrading of high-quality systems, and a dynamic worldwide industry, the sector has experienced exceptional compound annual growth and has increased in percentage of the national GDP.

In the industry, the Covid-19 outbreak caused a paradigm change. The epidemic fostered flexibility and learning agility while accelerating digital change. The pharmaceutical industry is constantly changing these days due to shifting laws, advancements in technology, and geopolitical situations.

Even in the success story, problems remain. It's still difficult to find a precise balance between funding research and producing generic drugs. India has to deal with a dichotomy between APIs based on chemical synthesis and fermentation, as well as growing reliance on imports. Concepts like Accelerated Product Development and Implementation, which are prevalent worldwide, need to be investigated.

Areas that Need Upskilling

We do have some inherent advantages, like a sizable patient base, an infrastructure for clinical trials that is reasonably priced, and a vast talent pool.  However, reskilling and upskilling are essential if one wants to remain competitive in the volatile, unpredictable, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) environment.

Discovering Solutions towards Unmet Needs of Patients

Skilled personnel are required to create novel therapies and medicines to address unmet patient care needs as the Indian pharmaceutical industry strives to advance up the value chain. This calls for experts in the life sciences with a solid understanding of research techniques and the ability to use cutting-edge tools like data analytics and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML).

Professionals Must Know How to Make Products Meet International Standards 

Although it offers patients all over the world access to high-quality pharmaceuticals, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has made a name for itself as a "Pharmacy for the world." To maintain its position and keep pace with the changing landscape, quality control professionals must be equipped to ensure that products meet international standards such as International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use/Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (ICH/PIC(s). Since the pharmaceutical sector does not compromise on quality, it is essential that all personnel, from senior to mid-level management to shop floor workers, adopt a "quality" culture.

Professional Must Know How to Convert Data into Insights

Professionals with the ability to build and deploy technology solutions across the value chain, as well as convert data into insights, are in greater demand as businesses embrace new age digital technologies. For businesses, utilizing digital technology to boost creativity, productivity, and efficiency will be essential. For instance, the Life Sciences Sector Skill Development Council (LSSSDC) organized a VR module for high-capex industrial professions including machine operator and manufacturing chemist. Virtual reality (VR) simulation is used to conduct training programs.

Marketing, Supply Chain Management and Sales Also Need Innovation

Global competition is making it more crucial than ever to innovate in areas like supply chain management, sales, and marketing. It's also important to embrace more recent agendas like green technology, environmental, social, and governance (ESG), and cross-functional skill development for staff members. Upskilling and reskilling are required in these fields. Putting money into these projects will provide businesses a competitive advantage.

Need for Constant Update in Education

Indian educational institutions need to regularly update their pharmacology curriculum to prepare their students for the future and keep up with the changing environment. The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and LSSSDC have worked together to build skilling modules for the B. Pharm curriculum. PCI recently declared that it will be improving courses, offering online courses to students who are located remotely, and assisting teachers in concentrating on the curriculum in order to bring about changes to pharmacy education.

In accordance to that Sanjay Vyas, EVP, Global SBU Head-Clinical Logistics & Global Safety Services & Managing Director India, Parexel, in an interaction with CEO Insights magazine observed that, “By the time students graduate, they have acquired a lot of theoretical knowledge but often lack practical know-how”.

Today, this long-ventilated industry-academia gap needs to be bridged more than ever before.

"As a solution Sanjay proposed that, “The industry, academia, and the government must collaborate more and create a more favorable environment for the industry to train the students before their graduation”.

Skill Development Programs and Digitalization Can Bolster India’s Pharma Presence Globally

The pharmaceutical industry in India is poised for unparalleled expansion. Maintaining a worldwide presence requires constant investment in R&D, innovation, and strategic partnerships with international partners. The industry's resilience will be strengthened by skill development programs and the smooth integration of digital technology, positioning India within the global healthcare paradigm.

Tech Talent in High Demand

Employers are competing with one another as well as with other businesses in the industry when they seek talent with the ideal combination of advanced technical and soft skills. As every industry is influenced by the digital revolution, companies in the majority of these industries are hiring more tech talent. Additionally, there are chances for health sciences and pharmaceutical companies to draw digital expertise away from industries like tech that are now experiencing employee cutbacks.

The pharmaceutical industry in India is a knowledge-driven field, and its expansion is largely dependent on research and innovation. For the Indian pharmaceutical business to remain competitive and advance up the value chain, upskilling and reskilling will be essential as the industry changes in terms of people, processes, and technology. The Indian pharmaceutical sector needs talent if it is to realize Vision 2030, which calls for growth from the present $50 billion in 2022 to $120–130 billion by 2030. It will be imperative to invest in the workforce's skill and knowledge development.