Vinod Jain, CFO, Cadila Pharmaceuticals

Financial Capital and Human Capital are the two most important resources of any organization. Both complement each other to achieve organizational goals of growth and maximizing stakeholder value. As a CFO, it is important to remain empathetic and helping human capital grow. One of the recent key initiatives of Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has been the upskilling of its 3,000+ field force. Giving more insights into the initiative, Mr Vinod Jain, CFO, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, shares how a collaborative approach between finance and HR can help drive real success.

Our people create value

On account of its nature, the pharma industry is people-centric. This is more so because the resources are from different backgrounds and with varied skills. For example, R&D is the backbone of the industry. The success of R&D efforts of any organization depends on the skillset of researchers and scientists. The investment into R&D may go futile unless there are skilled and trained resources. Even if we hire right, we need to continue to nurture and train them alongside equipping and engaging them appropriately. We need to remain focused on the organization’s long term strategy and have the right performance measures in place for them.

Similarly, on the business development front, field force remains the key channels for us to reach customers, primarily doctors and chemists. The field force creates an impact and impression through their interactions with customers, and unless it can connect effectively, we cannot think of creating brands. This has a direct bearing on revenues. Same is the case with respect to quality manufacturing in compliance with all regulations and standards.

Hence, human resource strategy along with the right financial insights becomes critical in all aspects, be it attracting and retaining appropriate talent, training and nurturing them for future, engaging them appropriately, or creating a roadmap for their growth.

Employee wellbeing is a top priority

Employee wellbeing and welfare has always been at the forefront of the ‘Care’ philosophy at Cadila Pharma. The current situation makes it even more important for us to focus on employees and their happiness. After all, the pandemic has been extremely stressful for all of us. We have taken special efforts to be empathetic towards employees, and their wellbeing remains a top priority for us.

As a pharma company, we are a part of essential services. It is our duty to support the requirements of the nation, especially during current times. Hence, we continued production at all our plants, while complying with all government guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. Throughout the lockdown, our factories were operational to serve the nation and our 3,000+ field force was working from home. Care and innovation are a part of our ethos, and that truly reflects in our ‘back-to-work’ strategy, which has been upskilling our workforce and preparing it for the digital transformation. We engaged more than 50 trainers to provide over 100 hours of training to the entire field force. We have upskilled our entire field force and equipped it with world-class digital tools.  Digitalisation is here to stay and I am happy to say that our workforce is ready for this New Normal.

As a part of the screening, we are following all precautions as per government guidelines. We are keeping a close vigil and a track of all our employees’ health across campuses. We are supporting, encouraging and motivating our employees in all possible ways to come out of this pandemic stronger.

HR and Finance Alignment

While Human Capital is the most valued asset of any organization, at the same time, it also accounts for the largest operating expense. Hence, a collaboration between finance and HR functions is natural, and should and must become a part of our strategic decision-making process. Empathy led and value-driven culture needs to be the prerogative for all organizations in the scenario today. This coming together ensures that we remain focused on these.

In order to leverage the human capital investment into growing revenue and creating stakeholder value, we can no longer afford to work in silos. We have to come together and become part of every important decision in the organization to ensure the highest possible business and financial performance.

Getting the right talent in door and then developing them to their fullest potential in order to grab business opportunities are primary functions of HR and Finance. The CFO has to ensure that resources are allocated efficiently and appropriately and CHRO has to ensure the human capital hired are engaged, nurtured and trained to derive potential value for organizational growth and deliver the long-term strategy of the company.

Technology and collaboration are key focus areas

Pandemic has brought about a lot of changes in the way people and organizations have started working. Since this situation is going to stay for longer period of time, extensive use of digital media/platform to interact with employees, business partners, customers, investors, bankers and consultant has become the order of the day.  People have become accustomed to interact through this mode. Organizations have also started investing a lot in digital technology so as to keep themselves agile, vibrant and dynamic.

Digitalization has brought a lot of opportunities for the organizations in terms of saving time & efforts in travel and face-to-face meetings. With the implementation of work from home, space & rental management are becoming new aspects that organizations are focusing on. IT industry has gained immensely due to work from home being enabled through digital and technology adoption.

But, one can also visualize the gap especially when face-to-face / eye-to-eye contact is more effective in creating relationships. In the pharma industry, personal and frequent meeting with doctors are important for brand building on a sustained basis. Here too we are certain that digitalization will also help us bring in the right performance measures to support our digital marketing initiatives.

Through empathy, adoption of digital technology and strategic collaboration between Finance and HR, we are certain to create a value-driven culture.

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