What does it take to head a Medicine Manufacturing plant — P.S.Parameswaran in conversation with Team MentorClub.in

P.S.Parameswaran

Contributing Writer – G Aiswarya

Name – P.S.Parameswaran

Profession – Production and Supply Chain Veteran in Medicine manufacturing

Age – 49

Gender – Male

City – Bangalore

Industry – Healthcare

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/puthen-parameswaran-1268311a

Insights

  1. Essentially, this career requires one to produce and supply quality medicines to markets across the globe and maintain the cost of production.
  2. This is a tough job as one has to manage both office staff and factory workers. For example, I manage a total of more than 2000 employees.
  3. This job also requires lot of traveling; to meet colleagues stationed at foreign locations as well as to meet customers.
  4. Innovative technologies are changing this industry and awareness of software like PLC (Programming Logic Control) and lab software like Quality Control lab will help.
  5. The Plants and Factories are usually situated in industrial area, which are far from the city. So, one has to trade city-life with career.

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born on 14th May 1968 in Bangalore City. I commenced my education at Kumara Park English School. My under-graduation was at Siddaganga institute of technology, Tumkur as B.E. Chemical Engineering. Then, I completed MBA in Operations and Supply Chains from University of Warwick.

Later in the career, I successfully completed Manufacturing Professional Program as well as achieved Lean Supply Chain Program. These two are essential to join companies, which are launching Branded generics in India. Note: Generics are those medicines, whose patent have expired.

What is your family background?

I have been born into a Brahmin family. My father’s name was S.Subhramani (late) who was a central government employee and my mother was a house wife. I have an elder brother who is currently a central government officer.

The person who influenced me during my college days was Dr. V. Jaganatha Rao. He taught chemical engineering.

Please give us a summary of your career, chronologically, including organisation names and your role or Designation.

I started as a product manager in UB Pharma Division, Tumkur. I worked there for almost three years. Then worked as Senior Engineer in SPIC Pharmaceutical Limited in utilities and post-commissioning of the plant, moved to fermentation and downstream recovery of Penicillin API.

After 5 years, I joined AstraZeneca Pharmacy India Limited as Deputy Manager and then got promoted to Director of Supply chain. Then, I joined as Plant Head of Abbott Nutrition at Jhagadia, Gujarat. My role was to commission and run a green-field project for Abbott Nutrition Plant in Bharuch, near Baroda, Gujarat. I was in Gujarat for over one year, and then joined Terumo Penpol Limited at Trivandrum, Kerala. I was Vice President of Manufacturing. And on November 2014 joined Geltec PVT LTD. I was there for over six months. Then on November 2016, joined Apotex Research Pvt. Ltd. as Director of operations and presently I’m the Head of Supply at Apotex.

Which Institution are the best for the education/training of this profession?

I suggest Warwick University, United Kingdom. It’s not because I studied there but it’s one of the world’s leading universities. They have the highest academic and research standards.

What is the cost associated with the education/training of this profession?

I was sponsored to study at Warwick University by my employer, therefore I don’t know the cost. It should be around 20 lakhs, including accommodation cost.

What are the typical entry level jobs in this profession?

The first job is always Graduate Engineer Trainee. This is where you have to manage projects of a new plant and commission the plant. Then, you can take up the position of project engineer, senior engineer, deputy manager, manager etc. In these senior roles, you will be handling bigger plants and manage more people. You will also be responsible to negotiate Wage Settlement with the worker Unions, while ensuring no loss of production.

You will be expected to develop operations strategy for business growth and obtain TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) certification for the company you work. Establish a flexible supply chain model to deliver your medicines to markets within Indian and abroad. Mange Global API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) and ensure that robust supply of API.

What is the range of remuneration one can expect in your line of career/ industry etc.

Starting out — Rs. 2,500 per month

5 years of experience — Rs. 25,000 per month

10 years of experience — Rs. 40,000 per month

15 years of experience — Rs. 65,000 per month

20 years of experience — Rs. 85,000 per month

Describe your work? What do you typically do on a normal working day?

On a typical working day, I manage the operations of manufacturing and packaging of pharma medicine products. We manufacture more than thousand medicines, mainly heart and diabetics medicines. So, I manage the operations of these medicines. I work around 10 hours, 6 days a week.

What are some of the positive which would encourage someone to consider this job/career?

The biggest positive for me is satisfaction I derive for making quality and affordable medicines for my country. It’s not about the income I earn from it; it’s about the job, because of which I can manage a decent work life balance.

My employees are very hard-working, and it helps me to maintain my work-life balance. In this profession, one can be assured of steady growth in income and designation.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering this career/job etc.?

The main challenge is that that the market and price has cost pressure from the government, so to maintain profitability is a constant challenge.

Also, we have to deal with varied people like operators, pharmacy manager etc. and this becomes challenging.

Another challenge is getting efficient work out of your employees, simply because this work is complex as we manufacture, package and supply more than thousand medicines.

What are the relevant trends/skills/ technologies that are currently commanding kind of person would be happy in your career?

The main trend is industry automation. We all are working up to meet with this trend. Currently about 2000 people are working in our company; Industrial Automation is mainly to reduce manpower and to increase the use of technology.

What kind of person would be happy in your career?

A person who would love to make a difference in other people’s life, by producing quality products. It is mainly a combination of office work and Factory Operations, which include more travel to foreign countries and learning about the technologies that prevail currently and to connect and manage the business of products.

Give another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

No, I love the work I’m doing and it’s my passion to follow this. There are more than 1500 plus staff dedicated to manufacturing, marketing and distributing a diverse range of high quality medicines throughout the globe. I’m happy and satisfied by my works in this field.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to you?

They should be dedicated and committed to the work they have been assigned. You will then attain success in your field of work.