Business Mint- INDIA’S LEADING & MOST CREDIBLE MARKET RESEARCH ORGANIZATION annually conducts “Nationwide Pharma Marketing Excellence Awards”. The purpose behind the award is to acknowledge the outstanding contribution of a marketeer towards the brand or initiatives dedicated to improve patient outcome.
Mr. Priyadarshan Soni, with his enriched experience of 21 years and sharp acumen in the field of marketing, is catapulting the growth as Marketing head for Diabetology portfolio of reputed pharmaceutical organization Mecleods Pharma. With his outstanding adroitness & efficiency, he is playing the role of a torchbearer for business worth more than 360 crs. We have got an opportunity have a dialogue with him under the banner of the awards. With at most alertness & simplicity, he addressed our questions and shared with us the pearls of success for aspiring leaders. For the benefit of all who want to be an acclaimed leader, we published the essence of the conversation here.
Q: 1 Leaders are born, not made…How would you respond to this famous quote?
I believe that unless and until an individual has an inner instinct to understand human behavior and what motivates them, they cannot be a leader. I believe that people follow you for what you believe and what you are. People in the earlier stages of their lives would always believe that leaders are born. The instinct to lead may come genetically. However, with experience, people develop an understanding of leadership by dealing with others.
Q: 2 Many times I wonder, a person laden with lots of responsibilities like you, how do they plan their day? Can you shed some light on how you plan your day?
My routine is a mix of both personal and professional life. The planning of the professional routine starts the night before. I note down important things to do the next day either on my phone or in a diary. When I wake up, I do not want to rush for my tasks. I am prepared for what is supposed to be done by setting priorities. Therefore, planning is very important. I devote some time to my family and exercise in the morning. I also insist my team to set priorities in the first thirty minutes of the day. I advise them to complete their tasks before the deadline and utilize the remaining hours to enhance the quality of the work.
Q: 3 Being a marketer and a leader, you might be the best person to tell us about, what are the virtues/ qualities, which transform a person from a mere marketer to a leader?
When you imbibe the professional knowledge and skills according to the type of your task or job, you are able to do a good job professionally. When you guide other professionals in the field with your knowledge, the people should not only be guided by but should also be inspired. This makes a mere marketer a successful leader for a team. I always reconcile how I add value to my team every day. Every day, I believe that my team should acquire something in terms of new thoughts, knowledge, or skills. Only then, I would justify myself as their mentor, adviser, and a leader. If an individual confidently encourages the team members to come up and discuss, he/she can provide better insights into making valuable decisions. This makes the person a successful leader. A leader is a leader because he can make people confident and creates more leaders in the future.
Q: 4 “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”- when we have an excellent leader like you with us, we are keen to know what are those habits a leader should imbibe?
A leader should always be a good listener. A leader’s decisions at this level should always provide solutions. In that case, one should always listen as well as understand everything that the team shares with the leader. I believe that listening completes half of the task. The second is to listen without bias. Next, a leader should always sharpen his/her skills such as communication and keep setting examples for the team. A leader should also be abreast to stay updated with the transformations within the society. In this way, followers will always perceive you as an updated person. They are likely to respect the leader rather than his position.
Q: 5 Many times in our professional life we face a dilemma between financial growth & intellectual growth, what do you suggest from your experience, the best way forward in such situations?
I would like to say that intellectual growth is undoubtedly important. Financial growth may involve a person to keep selling themselves regarding the value that he/she brings to the organization. Intellectual growth in the right direction is very important for the benefit of the organization. For instance, during the lockdown, I acquired knowledge in two chief fields, financial knowledge and digitalization. Probably, today, I am one of the most digitally-proficient individuals in my organization. I have also received an award for digital leadership. If one does not have an inclination towards intellectual growth, it may not come. One should always prioritize intellectual growth; financial growth will follow.
Q: 6 For the young cadre of marketers who inspires to become successful leaders in their careers, what are the ‘Success Mantras’ you wish to convey to them?
I always encourage young marketers to experience struggle during their phase of consistent learning. For example, the test of quality and durability of tyres is best determined when a jeep runs on a rough surface. Therefore, unless one does not experience a struggling phase, one will not develop the required skills. I would like to say to the young generation out there to slog it out. Unless you are not at an advanced level, you have the liberty to do mistakes and experiment.
Q: 7 In this era of information technology & digitalization, how do you see the digital technologies in healthcare will help improve patient outcomes?
Currently, the use of digital technology by patients has increased awareness drastically. Awareness of diabetes, cholesterol, and heart diseases has developed only after digitalization. I believe that digital technology is touching lives in a significant manner as compared to campaigns and patient education initiatives. Digitalization has tremendously escalated in the last five years which has simplified the lives of the patients because they are increasingly aware of what doctors are doing. There is a significant gap in terms of government initiatives in India as compared to other developed nations. Our country requires the maintenance of a medical record of an individual throughout life. Using digital technology for patient data management will improve the outcomes.