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Career Options as Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

Career Corner
Ranjan K Baruah

We have published many articles related to management and sales and marketing. One of the areas of sales and marketing where many young people get engaged after their graduation or post-graduation is in the field of medical sales and marketing, which is commonly or popularly known as ‘MR’ or Medical Representatives. Though we use the term MR for our easy understanding, professionals in this sector are referred to by different names in different counties. However, the job profile of a Medical Representative is more or less the same in all countries. There might be some specific differences but in simple terms, we may call it as professionals who are involved in the sales and marketing of medicine or other health equipment’s.
Pharmaceutical sales representatives or Medical Representatives (MR) are salespeople employed by pharmaceutical companies to persuade doctors to prescribe their drugs to patients. Drug companies everywhere spend billions annually, sending representatives to doctors to provide product information, answer questions on product use, and deliver product samples. Companies maintain that this provides an educational service by keeping doctors updated about the latest changes in the field of medical science.
A medical representative’s job is to promote and sell their company’s products, whether it’s pharmaceutical drugs or medical equipment. Customers can include doctors, nurses and pharmacists. The medical representative works to increase product awareness, answer queries, provide advice and introduce new products.Key responsibilities of any MR includes organising appointments and meetings with 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, meeting both the business and scientific needs of healthcare professionals, maintaining detailed records, attending and organising trade exhibitions, conferences and meetings, etc.
Graduates from any stream may become medical sales representatives but students from a science back ground are at a more advantageous position as they understand many scientific terms easily. One of the important skills required in this profession is effective communication and the person must be willing to travel to different parts of the State, region or country. If someone is working with any company in Assam, then s/he must travel to different parts of the State and also to other parts of the north-eastern States. Travelling is an important part for the people who want to join this field.
As there are many medicine companies coming up in the country, there are more and more possibilities in this field for individuals who are good in sales and marketing. There are some short-term training programmes but individuals who are confident and who can travel and meet doctors and other health professionals and deliver good presentations about their company’s products can excel in this field.
Initially, an individual start as a sales representative but with gathering of experiences and knowledge, they can later on become managers and other highly paid professionals. Initially there are challenges and pressure in this field but for committed people, things are easy for them as they can manage and do well through sales and marketing.
I have seen many individuals from Assam who have done well in this field. With the healthcare industry presently on a booming trend, with more doctors and more varieties of drugs being produced by medical companies, the demand for sales representatives is also on an upward trend. Aspirants may undergo various training programs before joining this field. This is a challenging, fast evolving and competitive profession but at the same time, it’s highly rewarding too.

UPDATES:

Delhi University Admission: Aspirants may apply for admission to various courses offered by the University of Delhi for the academic year 2018-19. Students may apply online for admissions into undergraduate, postgraduate and other courses. The Delhi University has already issued press releases related to admissions for the current academic year. Interested students may visit the website of DU and apply via online mode.
SBI Youth for India: Recognized as the flagship program of SBI Foundation, the ‘SBI Youth for India’ is a 13-month long fellowship that enables the nation’s youth to work on rural development projects in partnership with experienced NGOs. The fellowship provides a framework for India’s best minds to join hands with rural communities, empathize with their struggles and connect with their aspirations. Stipend is provided to all selected fellows. Graduates aged between 21 to 32 may apply before 23rd May via online mode.
Digital India Internship: Digital India Internship Scheme 2018-19 invites applications from students pursuing a BE/B Tech (2nd/3rd year) or an integrated degree BE/B Tech, ME/M Tech (4th/5th year). The key objective of the internship is to provide practical and first-hand work experience to students under the guidance of experienced and qualified mentors/supervisors. The internship is being offered by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India. Aspirants may apply before 23rd May.
RBI Scholarship Scheme: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Scholarship Scheme 2018 invites applications from full-time faculty members teaching economics or finance in UGC/AICTE recognised universities/colleges. The objective of the scholarship is to increase awareness about the activities of the Reserve Bank. The scholarship is provided by Reserve Bank of India which is India’s central banking institution and controls the monetary policy of the Indian rupee. Interested may apply before 31st May.
Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund Scholarships: The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund invites applications for Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund Scholarships 2018 from students who have registered for Ph.D. study in India. The scholarship scheme was initiated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 1987. It is open to all Indian nationals and nationals of other Asian countries. Applicants must hold a 1st class degree with a minimum of 60% marks in both graduate and postgraduate level. Applicants should not be above 35 years of age. Applicant must be a full-time Ph.D. scholar. Last date for applying for this scholarship is 31st May.
University of Strathclyde India MBA Scholarship 2018: The University of Strathclyde invites applications for University of Strathclyde India MBA Scholarship from graduate and postgraduate students. The scholarship will be offered to Indian students so that they can undertake a Strathclyde MBA (one year, full-time study) in Glasgow, UK, commencing September 2018. Graduate students who got MBA offer from the University of Strathclyde are eligible for the scholarship. Last date for applying is 31st May.
New India Foundation Fellowships: New India Foundation Fellowships 2018 is a fellowship awarded to scholars and writers working on different aspects of the history of independent India. The scholarship is offered by the New India Foundation. Applicants are expected to submit curriculum vitae, a book proposal and a writing sample of 5,000 words (published or unpublished). Scholars and writers working on different aspects of the history of independent India are eligible to apply. Candidate must be an Indian national and they must apply before 1st June.
International Women Forum Fellows Program: The International Women’s Forum invites applications for Leadership Foundation Fellows Program 2018-19 from emerging women leaders having exceptional quality training and access to IWF’s unmatched network. To be eligible for the fellowship, a candidate must be an emerging woman leader, have substantial professional/work experience and significant direct accomplishments, possess superior intellectual ability as evidenced by academic history and distinction, etc. Interested may apply before 1st June.

Ranjan K Baruah is a social activist and career mentor who has conducted career awareness programme in different parts of Assam and Northeast India and can be reached at bkranjan@gmail.com or 98640 55558 for any career related queries

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Ankur Kalita