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Home > Blogs > Digital skilling & new jobs in Pharma sector
Like all other industries, the pharma industry is also undergoing a tremendous change driven by digitalization and the current world pandemic crisis. Digital transformation is witnessing an impetus following the outbreak of COVID-19, since digital or virtual solutions become the preferred mode for human interactions as part of social distancing norms. The implementation of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, IoT etc supports the pharma industry to realize the digital transformation.
A KPMG report, titled ‘Pharma outlook 2030: From evolution to revolution,’ outlines, “the pharma sector is at a crossroads. In a heavily disrupted marketplace, characterised by shifting payer attitudes and patient empowerment, neither incremental adjustments nor steady evolution are likely to halt the decline of the traditional pharma business model….Catalysed by an exciting range of new, disruptive technologies, the pharma industry needs to reimagine its future.”
The pandemic crisis has accelerated the reinvention of processes and business models. Organizations have intensified expanding their operations and services to virtual platforms to address the demands form newly dispersed, diverse, and most importantly, digital consumer. The new normal forces the companies to embrace new-age technologies for manufacturing, customer care, last-mile delivery and more.
Hence, the need to assess, and then reskill, upskill and train existing workforces in emerging technologies has become more important. Moreover, demonstrable soft skills like adaptability, resilience, teamwork and the ability to communicate effectively in virtual, as well as physical environments, will be crucial in the new workforce. The employees must acquire the necessary skills to work remotely.
Heretofore, the creation of an agile workforce with fresh ideas and specialized skills has never never been more significant. Considering the future opportunities and challenges, the pharma companies need to redraw their strategies for talent acquisition and retention.
The nature of work in the pharma industry is now becoming more tech-savvy. In order to meet these changes, there should be a digitally-enabled workforce, that is essential for sustained development.
As said already, new jobs are in emerging technology. The pharma companies are now recruiting data scientists, robotic automation technicians, AI-ML professionals, cloud computing experts, and cybersecurity. Staff for research and development, quality check (QC) and quality assurance (QA) and sales are also in high demand.
As the Indian pharmaceutical sector is a dominant player in the global pharma trade, the industry must comply with the regulatory frameworks of various countries and bodies. Also, companies should build a workforce accordingly.
Trending soft skills
Apart from acquiring hard skills around technology and new business model, soft skills also play a vital role in the success in the pharma and life science industries. Here are some of the key soft skills required for pharma professional to flourish in their roles.
- Communication skills: As the pharma industry becomes more customer-centric and patient-centric, having good communication skills will bring real value to the employees and thus communicate ideas effectively and precisely.
- Design thinking: Customer-centric approach is key. The elements of design thinking in the offerings such as products and services help reinvent pharma firms. Hence, it requires professionals to be innovative, open minded, and to have ability to overcome change and uncertainty to succeed in the profession.
- Ethical conduct: Ethical conduct is very crucial in this era of data integrity. The workforce needs to comply with regulations and guidelines to ensure an ideal outcome.
- Empathy: This is a very critical ability for professionals of the pharma sector who deal with disease management. Hence, as patient-centricity takes centre-stage, employees of the future must add value to a doctor or a patient’s life with their ability to come up with solutions to problems that hinder progress.
- Learning agility: Upskilling and reskilling has high importance today, especially in the pandemic-inflicted world. When the industry is rapdily transforming, every employee needs to update the skillsets and knowledge to remain relevant in the industry. Continuous learning is necessary for any professional’s growth. Hence employees must empower themselves through various training and development opportunities offered to them.
India poses a steady growth in the pharmaceutical and bioscience sectors. At the same time, the industry faces a deficit of skilled talents in various roles. Manipal ProLearn’s School of Pharma is a one-stop institute to build future-ready pharma workforce.