People with Weak Financial Background Generally Make Great Medical Representatives, Because They are Determined For a Better Life – says Ajay Shukla, District Sales Manager, Glenmark India

Ajay Shukla (District Sales Manager at Glenmark India)

Insights

  1. A Medical Representative’s job is to promote and sell their company’s products, whether that’s pharmaceutical drugs or medical equipment. The medical representative (MR) increases product awareness, answer queries, provide advice and introduce new products.
  2. The minimum qualification for being a medical representative is graduation. Aside from this, knowledge of Medical Science and good communication skills are equally important.
  3. People who are travel bugs will be happiest in this job. In addition, if you have caliber and put all your efforts you can be successful within 3 or 4 years.
  4. In my career, hard work is directly proportional to earning, go out and grow your sales.

Personal Details

Name – Ajay Shukla

Profession – District Sales Manager at Glenmark India

Age – 36 years

Gender – Male

City – Kanpur

Industry – Medical Sales

Where have you been born and raised?

I belong to Kanpur city and was born in a Brahmin family. I have my father who was a Technical Supervisor in a British India Corporation. My late mother was a homemaker and my sister is a teacher.

My wife is also a teacher and she has been a constant support.

Who all had the most influence on you and how?

I did my graduation and then completed MCA. Then, in November 2004, I kick-started my career by unexpectedly joining as a Medical Representative.

Then and there, I started earning and later got promoted to District Sales Manager in my company.

Nobody has had much impact on my career; it was my sole decision, which later worked like a charm. Otherwise, my father has been a pillar of support during my hard times.

Please give us a summary of your career.

I graduated in science which works as an asset in my job. And I have done my Post-Graduation in Computer Applications and while I stepped in my job, my correspondence course of MBA from Symbiosis Pune went hand in hand.

I started as a medical representative at Nestor Pharmaceutical Company at Gurugram in 2004. There I worked for one and a half year there and with MBA I understood the concept of sales and marketing.

In mid-2007, I joined Unique Pharmaceuticals Limited. I wasn’t satisfied so again left and in 2008 joined TTK Healthcare Limited as MR.

After years of experience, I switched to Glenmark Pharma in 2011 which operates in more than 80 countries and the headquarters are situated in Mumbai. This company valued my dedication and promoted me to District Sales Manager, where I manage several MRs.

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

There are no such best institutes according to me. Graduates with relevant qualifications in Life Sciences, Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing or Dentistry are eligible. New recruits normally receive an initial period (up to six months) of intense training, following which they may shadow experienced sales staff before commencing work on their own.

For this job, you need to be a science graduate (at least comprehending basic knowledge of chemistry and biology).

Any pharmacy, medical or management students can also apply if they have the key skills such as Sales skill, Maturity, Confidence, Patience, Strong interpersonal and communication skills, Organizational skills, etc.

“This would build a better career and with time you’ll grow as there is no limit of earning once you kick in”, he hints.

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

There is no limit, so the range of remuneration increases with time.

The minimum is around 20K INR when you start.

The maximum is dependent on largely two things. One, your years of experience and designation and two, your incentives on the sales you made.

The highest post is Vice-President of Sales, where you typically earn around 25 to 28 lakhs INR per year.

People with weak financial background generally make great Medical Representatives, because they are determined for a better life. They also get to visit places they have never been to.

Please describe your work.

We work six days a week, with working hours from 10 am to 5 pm.

A Medical Representative meets doctors all alone, discuss medicines and drugs. He explains about the Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmaceuticals, Plasma, Body Structure, PH Value and similar information.

Other than scientific discourse, MR explains the current scenario of the market, new molecules, and chemicals, the concentration of salts, their mode of action, plus things doctors may not be aware of.

Key responsibilities include:

• organizing appointments and meetings with the community and hospital-based healthcare staff

• identifying and establishing new business

• negotiating contracts

• demonstrating or presenting products to healthcare staff including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists

• undertaking relevant research

• meeting both the business and scientific needs of healthcare professionals

• maintaining detailed records

• attending and organizing trade exhibitions, conferences, and meetings

• Managing budgets

• reviewing sales performance

• writing reports and other documents

Currently, I am a District Sales Manager, so I guide my juniors and FSOs. I also meet doctors and handle stocks.

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

The first positive is handsome salary and incentives, he unhesitatingly tells.

The second one is that this is a white-collar job, where I meet literate people like ‘doctors’.

In the starting, field work is essential as you learn to sell.

The work-life balance is amazing; I give enough time to my loved ones. This is actually satisfying (smiles!).

Many a time, I am supposed to attend meetings at odd hours, travel to different places. This is hectic and tiring when your work-life balance goes off. Income is definitely an advantage when I compare it with that of my friends.

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

The main challenges are regarding sales. When you are a fresher, you don’t know how to convince doctors and share medical information. Your seniors aren’t cooperative sometimes; they fix your appointment with 11 doctors in a day.

This raises temper and a pressure situation is created.

New MRs hesitate often, can’t communicate properly. Many a time, the doctors refuse to meet and then you come empty-handed.

For this, there is a training period where you are groomed and communication skills polished.

“There is nothing like the challenge — if a person has the passion he can do it”, he recommends.

I haven’t faced many challenges, by God’s grace, I have always been on good terms.

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

I have to deal with doctors on daily basis and maintaining sales of my company. Before technology advancements, I used to work on paper. All the data was in raw form.

But now, things got easier with technology. We do data entry through computers instead of doing it manually. All of our important data is available on emails and phone. The field reporting has also been simplified with interviews online through media and technology.

I have seen drastic technology changes happening since 2004, so new candidates don’t suffer a lot.

What kind of person would be happy in your career?

“People who want to visit places will be happy in this job. Their love for travel will be fulfilled as the company takes you abroad a lot of times”, says Ajay with a joyous face.

The more you can work, the more you will earn. This is a simple ideology in my profession. You can rise very fast here.

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

I don’t need another choice. This profession has proven to be the best career for me. I’m glad about the amount of satisfaction I get here. I simply love my job.

Although I have the ability to mimic few celebrities and animals, so, if I ever come across an opportunity, I would love to be a mimic artist in animation movies or cartoons.

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

My advice is to work hard and grow. So, students who want to get into this job, be sincere and keep working.

“The probability of success in this career is high and there is not much cost involved in getting the relevant education. All you need is the dedication and true knowledge of this profession.

Liked this Interview? You might want to check out our Interaction with Bineet Kumar Singh, Sales team Leader