Monday, 24 April 2017

PharmaPreneurs_Inspiring story of Mr. Pranav Ganatra from PHARMACAD

Team Pharma Literati is pleased to announce our readers an exclusive series on pharma entrepreneurship. In this series, we would present interviews of new-age entrepreneurs who chose the unique path of entrepreneurship.

"If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs".

PHARMACAD is a dream of a first generation Entrepreneur Mr. Pranav Ganatra. He along with his co-founder Ms. Jigyasa Jain is making sure that the pharmacy students get proper career guidance during their graduation years. 

PHARMACAD is not only about coaching for GPAT, NIPER, NMAT and other exams but also about the industrial training program for the students, a placement agency planned  and career guidance centre. Please visit

Tell us something about yourself.
Hello, firstly thank you for having me here today. Ever since I decided to take pharmacy as my career, the journey has been pretty amazing. After getting a decent score in my XII CET, I managed to get a merit seat in one of the colleges in Mumbai. Managing my academics, I was involved in several extracurricular activities. I became the General Secretary of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association Students’ Forum Maharashtra State Branch in 2011-12. That year was instrumental in developing my management skills and helping me identify my passion and potential. After completing B. Pharmacy in 2012, I worked with an NGO, a BPO, a Pharma company and finally here I am today as a full-time professor and counselor. I teach chemistry to students from 11th and 12th grade appearing for IIT-JEE, NEET, and MH-CET. I also manage the functioning of PHARMACAD. Along with this, I am currently pursuing a management course from the Welingkar Institute of Management.

Highly inspiring to have someone of your age become an entrepreneur. How it all started?
While I was pursuing my pharmacy course, I always felt the need for proper guidance to select a suitable career option. I got placed at GSK Pharmaceuticals and was quite happy with the start. Later I realized that I am not following my passion and that I am not able to contribute to the society in anyway. Thus, I switched to teaching. In the last two years, I have learned the management process of a coaching institute, which helped me to put my ideas into action. This resulted in the planning and execution of PHARMACAD.

Give us a brief idea about PHARMACAD.
The first ever lecture of PHARMACAD was conducted at Palghar for the students of St. Johns Institute of Pharmacy. Eventually, I realized that the location was not suitable for several students who reside in the other parts of the city. We shifted to Vile Parle. Here we conducted promotional demo lectures, took interviews of professors; once a full team was ready, and we had a decent number of enrolments we started regular lectures at our current location, Dadar branch. Today we have students from 9 different Pharmacy colleges in Mumbai. We shall soon start conducting lectures at the Thane Branch. Several changes in the planning and execution have been made since the time I first thought about PHARMACAD. The plan is simple, to make PHARMACAD a one stop solution for all pharmacy students planning to make a career in India or Abroad.

What differentiates PHARMACAD with other competitors?
The main aspect that differentiates PHARMACAD from any other similar organization is the Young and Dynamic team of professors. Most teachers are associated with the industry and can give theoretical as well as application based knowledge to our students. The services that we provide to our students add value to their experience at PHARMACAD. It is not just about regular coaching institute; it is about an experience which will only get better with time to come for anyone who becomes a part of the PHARMACAD family.

How was your journey with PHARMACAD till date?
Even though it has been a short journey so far, the journey was amazing. Questions were raised regarding its acceptability amongst the students, but the response we received answered all the questions. Hours of meetings with my co-founder Jigyasa Jain, consulting senior professors from different pharmacy colleges, lots of arguments over the start-up have all proven to be worth the time and effort. It has been exhilarating, intimidating, sometimes discouraging but always challenging. The experience has been tremendous and helped me a lot to grow as an individual.

Do you think you have achieved what you had planned for the first year?
You do not have to be great to start; you have to start to be great,” keeping absolute faith in this sentence, our primary goal was just to start PHARMACAD regardless of the number of students we have. However, with the great support from my friends, my juniors and all members of IPA-MSB and IPA-SF-MSB we got an overwhelming response. Yes, we have achieved what we had planned for the first year. Now it will be about raising the bar.

What are the other activities apart from GPAT preps?
Apart from GPAT/NIPER & NMAT preparation, we have a separate team of profs for semester pattern coaching. We also have a team of counselors for guiding students who wish to go abroad for higher studies. We are about to start a placement committee at PHARMACAD so that our students do not have to hunt for suitable jobs. To provide the practical hands-on experience of industrial equipment, we have an industrial training program. We also conduct guest lectures for our students to guide them select a suitable career option in India. We are in the process of developing a team of management teachers who can help students crack entrance exams for PharmaMBA course. We are also working on community service programs where all students can volunteer and work together for the betterment of the society.

You future Plans?
Since PHARMACAD right now is at a very nascent stage, anything I think of or speak about is the future. The margin for growth is huge, and I am sure soon we shall reach our goal to make PHARMACAD one stop solution for all pharmacy students. As said in the famous Harry Potter series “Help will be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it,” I would also like to work on the same principle. Promoting Pharmacy as a career and Pharmacists as professionals will be the key driving factor for Team PHARMACAD.

One advice to pharmacy students, especially the ones appearing GPAT 2018.
Just one advice: JOIN PHARMACAD, Our team will take care of the rest.

On a serious note, would just like to tell all the students to not over burden themselves by the fear of results. It is not about the course that you’re pursuing, it is not about the college that you belong to; it is not about the marks that you score. It is only about the person you are. Just try to be a better person and a better life will follow.

Who has been inspirational for you as an individual in personal and professional life?
Many people have motivated me in my pursuit so far. Three personalities who have constantly kept me motivated.
1.    Wayne Rooney (Play with your heart, give your 100% at everything, never give up);
2.    Adam Gilchrist (Do your work with honesty);
3.    Roger Federer (It is always Skill over Power, age is just a number).

Mr. Deepak Marathe (Owner-Margadarshak Classes) who helped us during our starting days when we did not have a place to conduct demo lectures and take interviews.

Mr. Nitin Maniar (Bombay College of Pharmacy) and Dr. N Sivaprasad (President – IPAMSB) who showed faith in my idea and encouraged me to execute it.

Mr. Amit Karvir (Owner- Aakar’s Education Center) who constantly kept telling me that no goal is big and everything is achievable.

All the senior professors who guided me and supported me at each and every step, they have been a constant motivating factor for our team. Mrs. Mamta Singh, Dr.(Mrs) Alka Mukne, Dr.(Mrs) Anuradha Majumdar, Dr.Kamlesh Soni, Dr.(Mrs) Sudha Rathod, Dr.(Mrs) Supriya Shidhaye, Dr.(Mrs) Ganga Srinivasan, Mr. Bhavik Shah, Dr(Mrs) Rajani Shettigar. All these professors have been instrumental in making me what I am today and strongly supporting Team PHARMACAD and its activities. I would like to take this moment to thank each and every one for directly or indirectly playing a vital role in my life.

Thanks Pranav for your valuable time and all the best for your venture.

PharmaPreneurs_Inspiring stories from New age Pharma Entrepreneurs

Team Pharma Literati is pleased to announce our readers an exclusive series on pharma entrepreneurship. In this series, we would present interviews of new-age entrepreneurs who chose the unique path of entrepreneurship.

"If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs".

Entrepreneurship has been the buzzword across the b-schools. The global uncertainty over the job market, growing consolidation activities have resulted into job losses. Some of the brave hearts in the meantime have taken on this unconventional path of entrepreneurship in different fields. 

The new age pharmacists have broken the barriers of fields, industries and territories. In this series, we bring to our readers really inspiring stories of passion, hard-work, determination and thinking out of the box to achieve their dreams. 

Happy Reading. 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Glenmark Pharma: A Healthy Dose Of Growth

Glenmark, which has graduated to a global organisation in a very short span with its expanded manufacturing footprint, international operations and global employee base, reported a 276.08 per cent rise in revenue since 2012

The company that emerged as India’s third fastest growing company in the Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 9,999 crore turnover category in BW Businessworld’s Fastest Growing Companies list 2017, says its strategic roadmap is completely synergised with its business, and its aim is to move up the value chain to become an innovation-led company with a solid foundation in the generics business.

According to chairman and managing director Glenn Saldanha, the company’s primary objective has always been to facilitate its evolution from a generics organisation to a fully-integrated, globally commercialised pharmaceuticals company with innovative products. Glenmark has always focussed on long-term growth strategy, while meeting short-term growth objectives. As a result, it has always invested in various R&D projects that have a very long gestation period. For example, it has invested in innovative and specialty R&D.

One of the primary reasons why we have been able to maintain a high growth rate is because of our focus in certain key therapeutic areas, mainly in dermatology and respiratory in the global generic space. Today, over 50 per cent of our revenue comes from these two segments. Also, we had taken a very broad view of markets and stayed focused on India, the US and emerging markets. The year-on -year growth in emerging markets has helped us to maintain our growth rate. Further, we continued to leverage our R&D capabilities to launch differentiated products across all these key regions. We are one of the few players to launch products in certain molecules, rather than being the cheapest player in the crowded space,” says Saldanha.

Glenmark, which has graduated to a global organisation in a very short span with its expanded manufacturing footprint, international operations and global employee base, reported a 276.08 per cent rise in revenue since 2012. Not just that, its net profit over the period grew almost double this number due to higher margins on niche products. Glenmark’s profit after tax rose 453.50 per cent in the last four years.

But retaining the growth rates is a task. The company sees challenges such as pricing erosion in developed markets, price control in emerging markets, supply chain consolidation in the US, and increased scrutiny by regulatory bodies across all markets. 

That said, “Glenmark has always stayed ahead of the curve. Presently, we have a strong pipeline of products in the US that primarily consists of differentiated products. We have built a robust India business and have set up a strong foundation for our future growth. Today, Glenmark is one of the fastest growing companies in the pharma market. The company will continue to focus on segments where we operate and will continue to outperform the industry growth rate,” says Saldanha.

According to market studies, healthcare spending is likely to touch $1.4 trillion by 2020 — mainly on the back of growth in emerging markets which are expected to consume the largest number of products, around two-thirds of the global medicine volumes. Therefore, while there are short-term hardships, the big picture seems to be optimistic.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Interview of Dr. Anwar Shaikh_An enthusiastic teacher in pharmacy profession

We recently had the pleasure to interview Dr. Anwar Shaikh, a multi-faceted and multi-talented professional working within pharma academia. Dr. Anwar is in pharmacy academia and is involved in animation based teaching specifically in the chemistry domain. 

During this short interaction, he provided us information about various activities he is involved in the innovative teaching methodologies in the pharmacy profession. He spoke specifically about ‘PharmaCareer’ mobile app developed by him for the students in the pharmaceutical arena.

·     Hello Dr. Anwar. First of all congratulations on the launch of the ‘PharmaCareer’ mobile application.  Before moving ahead for the information related to mobile app, would you please brief our readers with yourself?  Your educational background and your college days?

Thanks a lot, My Self Dr. Anwar Rafique Shaikh, I have completed Ph.D in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from M. S. University Vaodara, I have industrial and academics experience of 14 years. My research areas are synthetic and computer aided drug design.

·         Where are you working currently? Tell us more about your institute.

Presently, I am working as Professor and HOD, Dept. of Pharm. Chemistry at Allana College of Pharmacy, Pune. I am approved research guide for M.Pharm. as well as Ph.D guide (Pharm. Chem. And Quality Assurance Techniques).

·         As an academician, what do you think about pharmacy profession?

I believe that today is the era of information technology and being responsible teacher we should use the latest IT tools as effect methods for teaching learning process.

·         What are your interests beyond academics as in your hobbies?

Nice question. My hobbies included learning various IT tools. Since my graduation during 1996 I used to create some animations on Microsoft PowerPoint. That time advanced 2D/3D animation software were not well known so I used to animated alphabets, figures etc in power point itself. Creating auto calculation formulae in excel and then applying them to various pharmaceutical calculation etc.

·         How did the idea of a mobile application generate?

One day, one of my teachers told me that If you want to enjoy with your profession utilise hobbies into your profession and see the difference. You will come out something unique and will be known for your activities. I observed that more then 80% students are using smart phones. And the use of mobile now days is maximum for social networking (WhatsApp, facebook, games, various mobile apps). So I started working on developing a mobile application which could divert the interest on students towards education.  

·    Can you take us through the journey of the development of the app?  The challenges involved and anything which you feel is worth sharing?
As, I was interested in learning IT tools I started searching on “how to develop a mobile application” online. Initially I found some difficulties, but later on I successfully developed an very small application named “organic chemistry”. My colleagues suggested me to develop mobile app for pharma profession which must include every information needed by the student, academician, research scientist, person from industry etc. so I started working on Pharmacareer.   

·         Who are the key people involved in the activity?

Regarding the development, update part of app I only do the same. But I am getting a lot of suggestions to be incorporated in the app from staff, students which I incorporate in the app time to time. I think all well-wishers are the key people in my activities.

· We have already published about your app on our blog, However, can you elaborate on some of the key features of the application?

Pharmacareer mobile app is not only a mobile app. You can consider it as a guiding tool. It consists of various sections viz.
PLACEMENTS: here you will find daily updates on various jobs (Government/Private/academics/Industrial) etc. You can directly visit to website of UPSC/MPSC/Employment News/Sarkari Naukari. From this section.
ONLINE LECTURES: This section contains free animated lectures on various topics/subjects.
GPAT/NIPER: Under this section various online practice tests are conducted not only for GPAT and NIPER but also for MPSC-Drug Inspectors/other competitive examinations.
RESEARCH: The user can access Online research articles (abstracts or full text if available) at Science Direct, American Chemical Society, Taylor Francis etc.
PATENT SERACH: US patents, Indian Patens, European Patens can be search under this section either by patent number or title or inventor name.
WORLDWIDE UNIVERSITIES: A total 9330 universities of WORLD can be searched from this section. Users have to browse the country and all universities of the country will be alphabetically available. Suppose I wish to search Savitribai Phule Pune University, I will pharmacareer app in my mobile. Then I will click on “worldwide universities” section, under that I will browse “India” and then alphabetically “S”. Notifications regarding admission, exams, etc will be available to me immediately. 
Try to install it from play store and have a look.

·         What do you think is the USP (Unique selling proposition) for the app?
It is one in all mobile app. Available freely on play store. The features I have explained above themselves makes it a unique app. 

·         What are your future plans with respect to the app and any other similar activities?

I am developing another mobile app EasyChem”. It’s my observations that students have fear about the subject of chemistry. They find the subject very difficult. I am putting efforts in the app to make the subject easiest for them. The app will include various learning tools for chemistry. And I am sure the app will be very very useful for them.
Recently I have launched a new concept in animation “CHEMTOONS” under this concept I am preparing various self-explanatory animated videos on various concepts of chemistry. My future plan is to animate complete syllabus (each and every minor/major part) of chemistry in animations and cartoons. That’s why it is “CHEMTOONS”. And I think this is the first concept not observed before. All uploaded videos are available on my youtube channel with a link

·    What accolades have you received for the mobile app from various corners of academia, industry, government or any private bodies?

I launched “pharmacareer” in Oct. 2014 and it has crossed 40,000 installs which itself is a reward, recently my YouTube channel crossed 57000 viewers and 600 subscriptions. I used to get various encouraging comments from users is the only accolade for me. 

I am very grateful to the Pharma literati team for considering me for the interview. I will add few lines about Pharma Literati blog; I always visit the updates on the blog which are very informative. I have added a section of Pharma Literati in Pharmacareer app as well. Best wishes to Team Pharma Literati. 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

US FDA sounds alert on quality issues in Indian pharma

Quality is a challenge for the Indian pharmaceutical sector, the largest supplier of drugs to the United States, according to a recent blog by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).

Of the 42 warning letters sent out by its office of manufacturing quality last year, nine — about one-fifth — were addressed to Indian facilities. The number could rise over the next three years as the US FDA would inspect 190 facilities that it could not in the past five years, wrote Edelweiss Securities.

Quality issues are an ongoing challenge for the Indian pharmaceutical industry,” wrote Mary Lou Valdez, FDA’s associate commissioner for international programmes. US FDA inspections in India and China have doubled — 20 per cent of total inspections now, compared to 11 per cent earlier — since 2012. This has led to a spurt in warning letters as well.

In 2012, the amendments to the Generic Drug User Fee Act (GDUFA), 2008, made it compulsory for manufacturers of generic prescription drugs to pay a fee along with applications seeking permission to sell new drugs in the US, and approval for generic products.

Since the GDUFA, about 55 per cent of the GMP (good manufacturing practices)-related warning letters issued by the CDER (Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research) division of the FDA were issued to facilities in India/China. However, just one out of the total nine resolutions during the period was from India/China,” wrote Deepak Malik, an analyst at Edelweiss Securities, in his recent report.

India is also the seventh-largest supplier of food to the US. Over the past decade, the pharmaceutical market has grown by nearly 14 per cent and continues to experience steady growth. “In order to fully realise the nation’s potential as an important player in the global pharmaceutical industry, India’s regulatory infrastructure must keep pace and ensure global quality and safety demands are met,” US FDA’s Valdez said.

According to the Edelweiss report, warning letters are not easy to resolve. Cadila’s Moraiya unit’s warning letter could be resolved soon, 426 days after it got one. A recent re-audit of the unit in Gujarat had no FDA observations. Sun Pharmaceutical’s Halol unit, also in Gujarat, and Dr Reddy’s plant in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, could also resolve their warning letters soon. These companies got the letters 432 days and 474 days back, respectively.

Apart from actual quality issues, the US FDA has also pointed out that data integrity is an issue with Indian drug firms,” said Meghana Inamdar, an international commercial lawyer at Mumbai-based consultancy Sidvim Lifesciences. The firm prepares Indian companies for FDA visits.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Maharashtra's dominance in the recent NIRF Rankings in pharmacy colleges

Some observations in the NIRF Rankings in Pharmacy institutes for 2017

28 of the top 100 pharma institutes are from Maharashtra.
17 of the top 50 pharma institutes are from Maharashtra.
6 institutes from Maharashtra are included in the band of 51-75.
5 institutes from Maharashtra are included in the band of 76-100.
7 institutes from top 100 institutes are from Mumbai and 8 institutes are from Pune.
Institutes from 10 different universities are covered in top 100 institutes.
Institutes from non-metros like Warananagar, Shirpur, Kopargaon, Latur are included in the list of top 100 institutes.
Few surprising inclusions in the list. Let the readers think over this…..
Most of the premier institutes are covered in the list……

The list of institutes from Maharashtra covered and their rankings are as follows:
Institute of Chemical Technology
Poona College of Pharmacy, Erandwane, Pune
Bombay College of Pharmacy
Y. B. Chavan College of Pharmacy
Prin.K.M.Kundnani College of Pharmacy
Sanjivani College of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Kopargaon
Smt. Kishoritai Bhoyar College of Pharmacy
Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Pharmacy, Kolhapur
R. C. Patel Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research
Padmashree Dr D Y Patil Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research
P. E. Society's Modern College of Pharmacy
SVKM's Dr. Bhanuben Nanavati College of Pharmacy
Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies -Mumbai
Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research
MVP Samaj's College of Pharmacy
Gurunanak College of Pharmacy
AISSMS College of Pharmacy
51-75 band
Bharati Vidyapeeth`s College of Pharmacy
Navi Mumbai
Govt. College of Pharmacy
Maharashtra Academy of Engineering & Educational Research`s Maharashtra Institute of Pharmacy
Shree Warana Vibhag Shikshan Mandal`s Tatyasaheb Kore College of Pharmacy
Sinhgad Technical Education Society`s Sinhgad College of Pharmacy
Vivekanand Education Society`s College of Pharmacy
76-100 band
Channabasweshwar Pharmacy College
KCT`s Ravindra Gambhirrao Sapkal College of Pharmacy
Sinhgad Institute of Pharmacy
Smt. Kashibai Navale College of Pharmacy
Vidyabharati College of Pharmacy

We would come with similar statistics about the rankings in the coming days.....