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.
On the award day, we got an opportunity to interact with Mr. Vishal Bahl, the winner of “Nationwide Pharma Marketing Excellence Awards” for “Excellence in Key Account Management”. Mr. Vishal is currently associated with the leading pharmaceutical organization, Alembic Pharmaceuticals as a Head of Scientific Engagement & Academics Team and brings a rich experience of 31 years in key account management & scientific engagement. After congratulating him, for winning “Nationwide Pharma Marketing Excellence Awards” for “Excellence in Key Account Management”, we had an informative dialogue with Mr. Vishal. I am sharing a glimpse from an insightful and inspiring conversation for the benefit of all reader.
Q.1: Today you have been awarded as the best pharma marketer for “Excellence in Key Account Management”, tell us, how important & interesting is the role of “Key account management” in the Pharma industry?
Key account management is about connecting, building, and maintaining new relationships. One should also be able to add value to the organization by demonstrating the outcomes. This is more important because the person should be able to identify as well as understand the needs and fulfill the needs in the compliant methods.
Q.2: Looking back at your professional journey, can you tell us, when & how you decided to carve out your career in this unique facet of marketing i.e. “Key account management & scientific engagement”?
I started my career as a medical representative. Medicine is an ever-evolving science. When I discussed with HCPs, they always mentioned that the guidelines mentioned in the treatment are more relevant to other countries and may not be applicable to Indians. I found that I could interact with the doctors and identify their needs and I could balance the organizational objectives and fulfill the requirement of the doctors. Therefore, I decided to explore this opportunity which further helped me to keep myself upgraded in the field.
Q.3: For the year 2022, you have been awarded as the best pharma marketer for “Excellence in Key Account Management”, tell us something about you last year’s marketing initiatives that make you stand tall in this highly competitive industry.
We have focused significantly on scientific promotion, initiated the memberships and fellowships for the doctors. It not only keeps them abreast with the current happenings but also provides them with the intellectual representation that they deserve. It becomes a matter of pride for the doctor that he/she is a fellow of a recognized international society. At the same time, we have conducted various intellectual programs where the faculties were the super-specialists and we have been keeping programs where they had nothing to do with the product but the dissemination of scientific knowledge and evidence. The presentations and the discussions were very practical and at the physicians’ level. These are some of the successful initiatives by our team.
Q.4: Being a successful leader in pharma key accounts management can you tell us what the qualities one must acquire to pursue his/her career in this field of “Key account management & scientific engagement”?
The first and foremost skill is listening carefully to our customers and acting accordingly. We also have to keep ourselves updated. Implementing innovations is also very important and realizing the activities that can be accomplished within the norms of the organization is essential. One should also make long-term decisions that are not counter-productive in the future. One should also have the courage of a conviction. These are important things to consider for a person to pursue a career in account management & scientific engagement.
Q.5: At last, within the era of evolving technologies, how do you see the role of digital technologies in improving key account management & scientific engagement?
Digital technology is very essential for the faster dissemination of information. There are online digital platforms for evidence-based medicines which doctors have taken up in a big way. A lot of websites are available that doctors are able to use as they have become tech-savvy. However, there is still a gap in the utilizing this technology by the doctors such as mobile apps, virtual consultation, or using social media. Thus, we can always take the advantage of the digital platform in various activities