— Written by Pankaj Gupta
The coronavirus pandemic is going to irreversibly alter our global political and economic commitments and preferences. Just like the recession led to a spate of banking reforms, the COVID-19 outbreak will tip the scales towards ensuring greater public health safety.
At present, India accounts for 10 per cent of global pharmaceutical production. We are the largest supplier of generic drugs and control almost a fifth of the global market share. We also cater to over 50 per cent of the global supply of vaccines. Because of our competitive pricing, our drugs are in demand in both developed and developing countries.
With the Indian government keen on promoting India as a medical tourist destination for patients seeking affordable treatment, there is going to be an increase in the demand for pharma professionals. This is the right time to pursue a career in pharmaceutical business development, which is sure to become one of the most sought after courses after this crisis comes to an end.
Forward-thinking universities have already designed courses to give a leg up to aspiring pharma entrepreneurs. The Indian Institute of Health and Management Research (IIHMR), Jaipur is planning to introduce such a course to its pharma curriculum soon. The aim is to give students an insight into the business development process, and make them understand the concepts, challenges, technologies and tools involved in every step of the process.
Candidates will not only need to know their subject but will also need to possess entrepreneurial skills, along with business and technology acumen. The two-year postgraduate course will talk about building business ideas, opportunity evaluation, value proposition canvas, development of the business model, business plan, and pitch. Even Cambridge Corporate University, Switzerland has a similar course.
If you are interested in public health challenges, this is the perfect time to pursue a career in applied data science, which has become an integral part of health research. Data scientists are in high demand as they have a crucial role to play in terms of designing and validating models in the context of public health, predictive modelling, epidemiological studies, machine learning and data visualisation. These skills are already some of the most sought after across a wide variety of sectors, and healthcare has also caught up during the current crisis.
— The author is the president, IIHMR
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