Last year Cadila Pharma won the CLO award at TISS and Observe now award for innovative learning initiatives. Continuing its journey of expanding digitization initiatives in the last one year Cadila Pharma has taken massive leaps in upskilling a 2,000-strong field force via digital mediums. Leaders from Cadila Pharma share their insights of the Journey and transformation.
Taking upskilling to the next level, and in what is likely to be a major milestone in its digital journey, drug major Cadila Pharmaceuticals has successfully trained its field force of more than 2,000 people via online sessions and video tutorials during the Covid-19 forced lockdown.
The New Normal and Digital Transformation
“Digital Transformation in pharmaceuticals is here to stay. Cadila Pharma embarked on this journey a year ago and had been making strides towards our efforts to enable our teams. We won the CLO award last year at Tata Institute of Social Sciences for one of our innovative learning initiatives. Digital transformation has always been a focus area for us and while we continue to work on innovations across marketing initiatives, employee engagement, and manufacturing innovations, upskilling of employees takes a precedence since they are the ones who will lead change both internally as well as externally,” shared Kulwinder Singh, Chief Communication Officer, Cadila Pharmaceuticals.
When the nationwide lockdown was imposed, it limited the conventional marketing initiatives and interaction with customers, and gave rise to the challenge of strengthening the digital marketing efforts right to the last sales force team member for organisations all across.
“There are multiple new opportunities coming up along with digitalisation. We decided to use the opportunity to upskill our employees with the aim to help them adapt to the digitalisation happening within the organization and also help drive employee engagement virtually, in the new normal in the times of Covid-19,” shares Biswajit Mitra, Chief Mentoring Officer, Cadila Pharmaceuticals.
“Pharma industry has largely been dependent on traditional marketing activities, but in the new normal, ‘smart’ brands will be the most recalled brands. I am happy to share that our teams are future-ready to take up the new challenge of digital marketing, and we are further helping them with the right tools and content to engage the customers,” added Mr O.P. Singh, President, Sales and Marketing, Cadila Pharmaceuticals.
Cadila Pharma, which is one of the largest Pharmaceutical companies in India, has worked on upskilling a team of 2,000+ over the period of a year through various micro and macro learning initiatives.
“We conducted over 50 training sessions during the lockdown itself. These sessions which covered topics such as grooming etiquettes for video conferences, objection handling on phone, communication skills in digital detailing, advanced MS Excel for reporting, business planning in the new normal, digital marketing to drive engagement, sales forecasting for uncertainty, teambuilding while working from home, etc. We engaged more than 30 trainers and provided over 100 hours of training to our field force. Post this daily bite sized material was shared with the team so that they could learn at their own pace.” Kulwinder Singh said further.
Moreover, once the trainings were complete, digital communication tools such as videos, webinars, video calls and emailers were used to connect with customers to ensure business connectivity as well as for engaging with healthcare providers.
The pandemic and lockdown hit almost every one alike, but being prepared helped the company. The challenge was not as easy as it sounds since the pandemic required a more accelerated approach to change management. But the attitude and behaviour both at the end of the employees and at the end of the customers helped make the transition easier.
“As a forward looking organisation, we were always gearing up for digitalisation but COVID-19 has definitely accelerated the change. COVID-19 as a situation is unique and something no one can prepare for. This was not a gradual change, and to manage it, there was a need to implement the ‘Change Management’ methodology on a large scale while continuing to work remotely. Since we were already preparing for this change it meant that we had to just shift gears and ensure that everything was working like a well-oiled machine. It was important to ensure that employees did not feel that the change was forced upon them. This was required for maximum acceptance of change,” Biswajit Mitra added.
Scaling up Innovation
The digital transformation has brought about innovation and this is a chain reaction. It has led to multiple innovations at the organizational level within Cadila Pharma. Cadila pharma which was awarded the prestigious great place to work award last year, credits its employees for embracing this change whole heartedly.
“We are seeing a huge shift in the mind-set. The product marketing teams, the sales force, and even customers want to move to digital platform. Digital platforms have no boundaries and no physical barriers. Scaling up of knowledge exchange becomes easy. New ideas come up every day and people are equally enthusiastic to execute them. It is heartening to see this success and we want to accelerate the digital revolution within the organization. Our teams are exploring more avenues to connect with customers. We believe that this will be the game-changer, and will spur innovation across the board,” says O. P. Singh.
The innovation has added a new dimension to the healthcare industry as till a while ago, digital was seen as the future, but the pandemic has made it a must in the present.
“We feel that innovation strengthens our organization. Our mission is to provide quality and affordable medicines to our patients, and we believe that we can move towards this goal faster and with more vigour with the aid of digital. It has opened newer opportunities for us. We see technology adoption further accelerating going ahead as it is adopted in all functions such as HR, Manufacturing, and R&D. This is helping us prepare for the future and be more adaptable,” added Kulwinder Singh.