Dr. Bakul Mukherjee started his journey as an ENT Specialist; he worked for the Indian Air force before he joined Indigene. Later he shifted to PharmARC Analytic Solutions and after the integration of the companies; he is now the Director of IMS health.
Here Dr. Bakul shares the learning and insights he has gained over the years so that it may serve as a guiding light for all the young guns ready for corporate.
1- Being a doctor, does the way you think about a problem or design a solution in the management realm differ? In which way?
Dr. Bakul – Whenever a patient comes to me I look for the signs and symptoms. If the signs and symptoms are not very clear then usually I ask a few leading questions. The patient’s responses and a little logical thinking solve the problem. This could be applied to a managerial role but, at times doing a project is an entirely different ballgame. When you are a manager or a team leader, the key factors are: what are you delivering, social intelligence, empathy, compensation, thinking and skill sets. From the body language, the manager should be able to understand that the employees are not happy or are expecting something else. At a subconscious level, I can relate to the behavioural cues and understand that there are different ways to lead people. I have picked up some of these skills from my medical profession. So yes, you will always sense a logical and rational thinking in whatever I do.
2- In Pharma consultancy firms, in which areas do you see a scope of improvement ?
Dr. Bakul – The sphere of Pharma consulting includes R & D consulting, regulatory and marketing consulting. It is very structured. The key for success is how effectively you work around different facets of information available. A specific area can’t be pointed out but yes, relating patient information or patient behaviour to different types of information available will open up an entirely new platform for Pharma consulting. It will be an entirely different vertical to work around.
3- What are the essential qualities that you think are necessary in an individual to be EMPLOYABLE?
Dr. Bakul– According to me, along with analytical and logical thinking, communication skill is very important. The behavioural qualities which I look for are confidence, the will to learn plus a good attitude. The candidate must be able to jell well with a variety of people. I would like to highlight that experienced candidates stand a better chance at times but other skill sets are also equally important. A fresher’s thinking is not cluttered, so that helps many a times.
4- It is always said that “Smart work is more important than hard work”. What do you think?
Dr. Bakul – I would say both are equally important. At the start of your career you have to work hard and slog. Smartness in your work counts when you are moving up the ladder. Hard work always pays at a very slow pace, but it definitely does. Also I would like to emphasise that as long as you do your work in the best possible manner, it does not matter at what time you come and leave!
5- People always say “We must keep our professional and personal lives separate.” What is your take on it?
Dr. Bakul – Yes, it is ideally necessary but practically difficult. One has to maintain a perfect balance between work and life. It is not that if I am at home I don’t think of work at all. But whenever I am on vacation I either complete my work before everyone wakes up or at night before I go to sleep so that it is not a hindrance during my family time. Here’s when you have to be ‘smart’.
6- So how will you define corporate life?
Dr. Bakul- “Look busy, take it easy”!
7- What is your message for the students who would be joining the corporate soon?
Dr. Bakul – I would just like to say that be honest, be transparent, and work hard….it will surely be recognised and rewarded.
Interview and compilation by: