Business Mint- INDIA’S LEADING & MOST CREDIBLE MARKET RESEARCH FIRM annually conducts “Nationwide Pharma Marketing Excellence Awards”. The purpose behind the award is to acknowledge the outstanding contribution of a marketeer towards the brand building or an initiative deviced to improve patient outcome.
Under the banner of the awards, We got an opportunity to interact with Mr. Ajit Thakur, the winner of “Nationwide Pharma Marketing Excellence Awards” in the category of “Excellence in Marketing: Semi Chronic Disorders”. Mr. Ajit is a distinguished marketeer, currently associated with the leading pharmaceutical organization Cipla Ltd. as a Group Brand Manager and bringing in rich experience of 12 years in marketing. His current assignments are in semi-chronic therapies with a specific focus on therapies for COPD & Asthma. After congratulating him, for winning “Nationwide Pharma Marketing Excellence Awards” for “Excellence in Marketing: Semi Chronic Disorders”, We had an informative dialogue with Mr. Ajit. I am sharing a glimpse from an insightful and inspiring conversation for the benefit of all readers.
Q.1: Today you have been awarded as the best marketeer in the semi-chronic disease specialty, tell us, what inspired you to pursue a career in the profession of pharma marketing at first?
I pursued my post-graduation in biotechnology and I was oriented towards a research-based job. However, I stepped into this industry and went for a training session. At the training session, the manager became my role model. I was motivated to be in a profession where I can make an impact on the lives of people. I always strive to contribute to the betterment of society. Hence, I decided that I wanted to be a part of the management team as a marketeer.
Q.2: Can you tell us about your journey as a marketeer, your learning curve & what was that inflection point in the journey that transformed you into a successful marketeer?
I started my journey after post-graduation in an organization where I understood the concepts of groundwork, doctors, and patient profiling. This was the most potential job for me in the industry. When I was in GSK, I got an opportunity to do a presentation on the topic of antibiotics. Initially, I was very nervous but excited at the same time. At that point, I realized that I want to be a part of a profession where I can present, create an impact, and deliver various strategies to achieve the pre-defined objectives.
Q.3: Being a successful brand manager, according to you, what are the traits of trade that a brand manager should inculcate to excel?
After the rise in digital exposure, post-COVID-19, I believe that the way a marketeer thinks helps him or her to stand out in the industry. A marketeer should have a thorough knowledge of the product and should remain scientifically sound. He/she should also be able to simplify things and create strategies that are simple to execute with clear objectives. For a successful marketeer, relativity matters. If you are able to relate to some examples, you are able to implement things. You should know the pulse of your team, brand, and you should also be able to interact with your customers.
Q.4: For the year 2022, you have been awarded as the best marketeer in the semi-chronic diseases specialty, tell us something about you last year’s marketing initiatives that make you stand tall in this highly competitive industry.
At Cipla, we always strive for the betterment of the patients. My team has started this initiative ‘Healthy Lungs for Life’ that works for people with respiratory diseases like asthma, COPD, and bronchitis. In these diseases, it is essential to develop awareness among the patients. The patient should understand the dos and don’ts, myths, and facts related to these diseases. As a part of this initiative, we are doing patient awareness camps, initiatives for testing and diagnosis, and risk factors.
Q.5: How have your marketing initiatives improved the quality of life of the patients?
For patients in the initial stages of COPD or asthma, we can identify the risk factors with the help of campaigns and strategies. Once it is discovered that they might develop a disease, they can get treated at the right time. They can also adopt strategies which includes healthy lifestyle habits to prevent the development of these diseases.
Q.6: Every specialty has a typical success lever, according to you what are those levers of success in the semi-chronic diseases specialty?
Understanding customer behavior, patient profiles, and increasing the share of your voice are some of the success levers in this specialty.
Q.7: At last, what would you like to tell, the budding marketeers, hoping to carve out their career in pharma brand building?
While delivering strategies, keep it simple. This will help medical representatives to understand things easily. Read more. Define the objectives that you want to achieve in the next five years. Set milestones. Keep working towards your goals.