Insights

  1. Income in this profession is initially low. However, with experience, income rises beyond your imagination.
  2. In research-based studies such as Pharma, what matters more is how much time you do research work. In most of the cities like Mumbai, where traveling time is greater, the student gets far less time to do research work.
  3. This is a rising industry with very bright future. With an increase in income, several people can afford better health care. All of this ensures a very good career with a secured job.
  4. Work culture in Pharma industry is generally employee-oriented. One gets the medical benefit, pensions funds, paid leaves etc.
  5. It is a very small industry wherein everyone knows each other. Therefore, it is easy to get good jobs and business, if you have developed contacts.
  6. As the number of pharma colleges has recently seen an upsurge, there are several graduates who are struggling to get a job. Those graduates need to up-skill themselves.
  7. Don’t run after famous and large companies for a job. In pharma industry, small companies teach you a lot in a short lifespan.

Profile Details

Name – Dr. Amrit Karmarkar

Profession – Speaker, Trainer, Counsellor, Life Coach, and Director — InClinition

Age – 31

Gender – Male

City – Dombivli (Mumbai)

Industry – Pharmaceuticals/ Clinical Research/ Training and Public Speaking

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-amrit-karmarkar-a75aba10/hi

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born in Sangli, in Western Maharashtra. My family moved to Karad, a small city in 1989. I have two elder sisters. My mother, who was working in Bank of India, wanted me to become an all-rounder. She made me learn swimming, singing and even taught me Sanskrit scriptures like Atarvashirsha. My mother would take me for swimming lessons at 5 am at a nearby river. I also learned classical music for 12 years.

My father had a job outside the city, which allowed him to visit us only on weekends. He taught me Ram Raksha and Vishnu Sahastranama.

I went to Tilak HighSchool, Karad, one of the oldest schools in the city. During my school days, I did trekking, bird watching, and jungle reading at around 10 different sanctuaries in India. After that, I went to Yashwantrao Chavan College of Science for 11th and 12th.

I then did B.Pharm. from Govt. College of Pharmacy Karad (Estd. 1964).

What is your family background?

I belong to a middle-class family. My father comes from a poor family. He worked in Sangli Bank as an officer. My parents taught us the value of money. As both parents were working, we used to wait for mother to come from bank/office. We lived in a building that was 350 years old and it belonged to my mother’s forefathers. We shared that house with our maternal uncle who was a great support to our family.

Who all had the most influence on you and how?

List of persons who influenced me is endless. My father taught me anger-management, writing skills, personality development, and kindness.

Dr. Sanjay Pujari, a National Award winner, transformed me as a child. Because of him, I became an extrovert and outspoken child.

Dr. Agavekar, who was our family physician, taught me that patient needs to be treated with humanity. He also helped me understand basic things about diseases.

Dr. Gonjari (my guide) and Dr. Hosmani sir taught me fundamentals of research, especially research integrity, ethics, and practical skills in Pharmacy.

Mr. Avinash Deodhar helped me in my entrepreneurial journey by guiding me from time to time.

Please give us a summary of your career.

I completed B.Pharm from Govt. College of Pharmacy, Karad. I worked very hard during this time. I would work late into the night, sometimes till 3 am with Dr. Gonjari and Dr. Hosmani on different research projects. I stood 1st in my college and 4th at Shivaji University, Kolhapur.

After BPharm, I joined Rubicon Research Pvt. Ltd. as formulation Scientist in R&D and then worked in Arnita SEZ as Project Pharmacist for designing facilities of various company’s manufacturing plants.

After this, I joined MSc Clinical Research from Cranfield University, Bedford, UK. I scored well and was given an award of merit criteria. During the same time, I did PGDM in Clinical Research too.

Immediately after MSc, I joined the Ph.D. programme in Clinical Research from the University of Central Nicaragua.

I acquired Certifications such as Dale Carnegie Institute USA’s Train the Trainer and Six Sigma Yellow Belt from MSME, Govt. Of India. I have also done Life Coach Certification.

From 2012, I started InClinition, a pharma services and training company which offers a range of training programs to graduates and undergraduates in order to bridge the gap between industry and academia.

In May 2018, I was invited as TEDx Speaker at TEDx Kharghar event.

Till date, I have trained around 8000+ professionals and students on various topics of pharmacy and other life skills including management.

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

For studying in Pharmacy education, you need to understand that institute does not matter much. One must consider that how much time your college allows you for research work. In most of the cities like Mumbai, where traveling time is greater, the student cannot concentrate on studies of Pharmacy.

According to me, Govt. College of Pharmacy, Karad is one of the best in Maharashtra as it has a large pool of alumni and strong alumni association. Even, Govt. Colleges at Aurangabad, Ratnagiri, and Amaravati are good.

NIPER at Mohali, NDMVP Samaj College of Pharmacy, Nashik and UDPS Nagpur are good colleges too.

One must consider college on the basis of its facilities, faculties, and strong alumni network.

For clinical research, there are no good colleges in India at par in syllabus or teaching as that in the UK. But private institutes like my company InClinition provide these courses at affordable costs.

What are the costs associated with the education/training of this profession?

Govt. Colleges charge 16,000 to 22,000 INR per year for BPharma course. Private Colleges charges 80,000 to 2,00,000 INR per year for the same course. Costs vary widely from the location of college to reputation of that college.

For clinical research, costs range from 50,000 INR to 5,00,000 for PG Diploma courses.

How does one enter in this profession?

Gone are those days, when only BPharm was sufficient to get the job. As our college education in India does not have syllabus at par with industry needs, there is a tremendous gap in industry and academics.

Therefore, one needs to do courses from finishing schools.

While selecting a college, review institute’s profile, placements, facilities like e-library and app-based learning, curriculum having latest courses such as relevant software.

The education should not be theoretical but should be assignment-based or activity-based learning.

A BPharm graduate has several options to choose from. Even B.Sc Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Biotech, Biochem, Bioinfo, Biomedical students can enter Pharma industry.

Therefore, there are several courses such as Clinical Research, Pharmacovigilance, Regulatory Affairs, Packaging technology, industrial processes, Quality control and assurance, pharma-economics, management and many more.

There are courses like PG Diploma in Advanced Pharmacy (PGDAP) which provide overall exposure to these fields and after this, you can opt for one subject as specialization.

I also recommend that after 3–4 years of experience, you should do certification exams like PMP, Six Sigma, and TTT, etc.

What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?

Starting Out — 1.8 to 4 lakhs INR per annum

5 years of experience — 6 to 10 lakhs INR per annum

10 years of experience — 15 to 30 lakhs INR per annum

15 years of experience — 30 to 50 lakhs INR per annum

Remember, this all depends on how you upgrade your skills, how you keep yourself on the track and how your experience actually adds value to the field.

Please describe your work.

My normal work day is very hectic. I wake up at 5 am and call it a day at around 11 pm. I work 7 days a week. This is due to the fact that starting up a company in pharma domain is difficult as you require proper qualifications, compliance with audit and regulatory requirements and even following many laws of government.

My responsibilities can be divided into medical writing and regulatory affairs activities, meeting with clients, contracting with them, writing of documents and reviewing them, reviewing translations work, vendor audits, training professionals, development of e-learning content, designing website, assisting in human resource work, monitoring day to day activities of staff, Administration of finances for InClinition (Deposits, Expenses, Investments, etc.), Computation and filing of income tax returns and GST returns.

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

The biggest positive is that I am doing what I always wanted to do; being an entrepreneur.

  1. Salary is low initially but rises after 5/10 years. It is then better than salaries in IT industry.
  2. This is rising industry with very bright future. With an increase in income, all humans can afford better health care. All of this ensures a very good career with a secured job.
  3. Work culture in Pharma industry is generally employee-oriented. One gets the medical benefit, pensions funds, paid leaves etc.
  4. It is a very small industry wherein everyone knows each other. Therefore, it is easy to get good jobs and contracts, if you have developed contacts.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering a career in Pharma industry?

  1. One of the biggest challenges is that this profession doesn’t pay well in the initial few years.
  2. Another challenge is that one has to work in shift duties (night duty) and even sometimes travel to remote locations for technology transfer or marketing-based activities.
  3. One has to continuously keep upgrading oneself with certifications, PG Diplomas, etc. to keep up with the ever-changing industry.
  4. As the number of pharma colleges has recently seen an upsurge, there are several graduates who are struggling to get a job. Those graduates need to up-skill themselves.

What are the relevant trends/skills/technologies that are currently commanding a premium in your job profile?

As entrepreneur and trainer by profession, skills that command premium includes great communication skills, certifications like ‘Train the Trainer Certification from Dale Carnegie Institute, USA’, Project Management, software like Tally, BUSY accounting software, Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) etc.

What kind of person would be happy in your career?

The person who would be happy should have the attitude to learn new things. Probably, this is most important innate quality to be happy in this profession, as this industry is changing continuously.

Also, a person who is calm and hardworking will love this field.

People from even farmers’ background and many people from poor economic background have got rewarding careers in the pharmaceutical domain.

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

If provided with choice, then I would want to become a chef and open my own cafe. This is my childhood dream.

Also, being very careful about my styling and dressing, I could open a styling studio which can provide services such as grooming, dressing and image management.

Even sometimes, I feel to live sustainable life by doing farming to generate whatever we need in life.

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

First of all, you need to get a degree with good marks. Taking experience is also important.

If you want to become an entrepreneur, then don’t think what society will say. Put your efforts to maximum; stretch yourself and don’t think about earning money. Money always follows the passion.

Don’t follow career paths blindly. Even small companies teach you a lot in short lifespan.

Network with great personalities, study hard in college, participate in academic presentations and other competitions, learn through add-on courses, and ultimately assimilate a skill, which helps you stand out from the crowd.

If you are interested in reading more about Pharmaceuticals industry, click here.

You may also like to check out our conversation with Mr. Sunil Acharya (Regional Director of Quality System and Compliance at Abbott)