Press Room 2009

Claris sets up new anti-infective injectable unit

Times of India,Ahmedabad, November 20, 2009
Undertakes Further Expansion Of Rs 90 Crore

Ahmedabad: Claris Lifesciences Ltd, the Ahmedabad based pharma major specialising in manufacturing sterile injectables, has set up a new manufacturing facility for anti-infective injectable at the company’s existing state-of-the-art manufacturing plant at Changodar, near Ahmedabad.

The new facility, an extension of its existing USFDA approved injectables plant, has been set up at an investment of Rs 75 crore and has a capacity of 5 million units. With the new facility’s commissioning, the company’s total manufacturing capacity has gone up to 15 million units. Besides, anti-infective injectable, the new unit will also produce injectable for clinical nutrition segment. As the new facility is designed keeping in mind the highest standards of technology and quality, the company is being geared to get approvals from all leading regulatory agencies like USFDA, MHRA-UK, TGA-Australia and ANVISA-Brazil for the new plant. The company in May 2009 inked the partnership deal with Pfizer to get access to regulated markets like US and Europe by leveraging its manufacturing facilities and products. “With regulated markets growing and the new product pipeline looking good, we believe this facility will be a key growth driver for the company”, said Arjun Handa, managing director and chief executive officer. Over the coming years this capacity expansion may result into topline growth of about 20% spread over the next couple of years and a bottomline of about 25%. This is the largest injectable plant in India to house such technologies under one roof, Handa added. will be on high-complex products. For Pfizer, which does not have a presence in generic injectables, it would mean adding one more category to complement its portfolio in the generics space.

Claris is also undertaking another expansion by infusing Rs 90-crore investment for enhancing production capacities for various therapeutic segments like anaesthesia, clinical nutrition, anti-infectives and generic injectables. The expansion process is expected to be completed in next 18 months, after which, the firm’s total capacity would reach 30 million units.

At present, the company has global footprint across 76 countries, operating in the critical care segment, with special focus on high-end injectables, including sterile parenteral preparations, life-saving medicines and other hospital products for treatment of critical illnesses and diseases.

After Pfizer deal, Claris on fast track

Times of India,Ahmedabad, September 10, 2009
Investing Rs 200 Cr To Make 50 New Products

Nimish Shukla TNN
Ahmedabad: After clinching the partnership deal with US-based drug giant Pfizer, Claris Lifesciences Ltd, an Ahmedabad-based pharma player specialising in manufacturing sterile injectables, is now setting up two new facilities with an investment of Rs 200 crore for entering in a new therapeutic segments like anti-infective, pain management, anaesthesia, oncology and renal care.

The new facilities, which will be coming up at the company’s existing state-of-theart manufacturing plant at Changodar on the outskirts of the city, are expected to be functional in two years time. With commissioning of the new plants,Clariswillbe able to manufacture 50 new products in the new therapeutic segments. At present, it manufactures 75 products in various segments.

“The expansion will help us take our topline from Rs 750 crore to Rs 1,200 crore in the next three year and our deal with Pfizer is expected to contribute around 15-20% in our revenue growth,” Arjun Handa, managing director and CEO, Claris Lifesciences told TOI.

The company in May 2009 inked the partnership deal with Pfizer to get access to regulated markets like US and Europe by leveraging its manufacturing facilities and products.

The company already has about 800 registrations in the international markets and with this expansion plan is intends to add another 500 registrations. The growth will primarily come from the regulated markets like US and Europe along with new markets being opened up like Russia, Turkey and others, Handa added.

At present, the company has global footprint across 76 countries, operating in the critical care segment, with special focus on high-end injectables, including sterile parenteral preparations, life saving medicines and other hospital products for the treatment of critical illnesses and diseases.

The company has a total workforce of 2,000 people and new expansion will add to add a headcount of 800. The expansion cost will be met through mixture of internal accruals and debt, Handa said.

Claris organizes a “3” day training session for “380” newly recruited Traffic Assistants of the city

Claris organizes a “3” day training session for “380” newly recruited Traffic Assistants of the city

Times of India,Ahmedabad, July 16, 2009
Lesson for cops: Service with a smile

Now, a cop may fine you with finesse

Ahmedabad: Next time you’re at a traffic signal, don’t fall off your bike in surprise if you see the smiling face of a cop who addresses you as ‘Sir’ before handing you a challan for not wearing a helmet!

Recognising the importance of soft skills today, traffic cops are trying to ensure that their public interface is as pleasant as possible. And, a leading citybased corporate house is collaborating with them in this effort.

Claris Lifesciences Ltd has initiated a three-day training session for over 380 newly-recruited traffic assistants, called the traffic brigade. This is part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.
The workshop, which started on Tuesday, is going on at Tagore Hall. Three trainers have been roped in for the programme - RK Chopra, BN Dastoor and Wing Commander Lakhan Pal Singh.

"The programme was inaugurated by police commissioner S K Saikiya. Also present at the function were Shyam Sharma, VP - HRM & Corp Communication, and joint commissioner of traffic police, Ahmedabad, Atul Karwal."The basic purpose of the workshop is to equip the traffic brigade with soft skills and leadership qualities. They have a huge responsibility and interact with the public a great deal. The traffic department trains them on technical matters, such as rules and regulations. These sessions are about joy of working, pride of uniform, role play and real life situations,” said vice-president, human resources and corporate communications of Claris Lifesciences, Shyam Sharma.

Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) MM Anarwala told TOI that the workshop is being attended by 380 traffic marshals and 50 traffic branch personnel. “It’s being conducted by well-known motivational speakers and management experts and is focused on adaptability, positive attitude, discipline, striving for excellence and road safety,” he said.

The marshals will be seen from the first week of August, he added. The joint commissioner and deputy commissioner of traffic branch also addressed the recruits.


Traffic personnel, including marshals, will be trained to take swift and effective action during an emergency. A workshop grooming them in soft skills will also cover disaster management. Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) MM Anarwala said traffic marshals, to be deployed on BRTS routes, will also be trained in basic disaster management. "It is the need of the hour. As traffic personnel will be on the spot they should be trained to control the situation till professionals arrive. The training is being supervised by Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services (AFES) officials.

Claris partners Pfizer to strengthen regulated market presence

Pfizer ties up with Claris for injectables

Economic Times, 20 May 2009

AHMEDABAD: World No 1 pharma company Pfizer on Wednesday announced a marketing tie-up with Rs 800-crore Ahmedabad-based Claris Lifesciences, that specialises in injectables.

The pact will give the Indian company wider access for 15 of its products in the highly regulated markets of North America, Europe and Australia.

Pfizer will commercialise the products which have gone off-patent in the western markets under its own brand name, thereby giving itself an edge with a wider portfolio of generic drugs.

The pharma MNC's latest tie-up, that comes close on the heels of a similar tie up with another Indian company Aurobindo Pharma, is in tune with its two-year old strategy to enter into partnerships with generic firms. As per its pact with Aurobindo, the MNC will market 60 drugs of the Indian company in 70 countries.

Talking to ET Pfizer's senior vice-president Kelvin Cooper said "The worth of company's off-patent drugs is close to $11 billon and if we do nothing about it, the revenues will continue to decline."

with the global generic business set to rise from $230 billion to $500 billion by 2012, it is a planned strategy to tap this segment, Mr Cooper said. Pfizer, he said, is open to more such tie-ups in the generics space.

Claris managing director Arjun Handa, who saw the partnership through,said Pfizer's marketing muscle would ensure wider reach for his products. On his company's IPO plans, he said, the company eventually plans to go public, but was awaiting for the right time.

The partnership is part of the big pharma's shift to generics markets, he added. Pfizer, whose global annual sales of generic products is around $10 billion, said it evaluated 20-30 companies before finalising the agreement with Claris.

While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the MNC will get marketing rights for 15 injectable products covering a broad range of therapeutic products in areas like anti-infectives and pain.

Claris partners Pfizer to strengthen regulated market presence

Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications,Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ahmedabad, May 20 Pharmaceutical major Claris Lifesciences Ltd today announced a partnership with global giant Pfizer Inc to commercialise sterile injectable drugs that are off-patent and have lost market exclusivity in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Pfizer, with a turnover of $10 billion in established products annually, had a similar licensing agreement with Aurobindo Pharma Ltd.

It is looking for more companies having good product portfolio and practices on offer so as to strengthen its position in emerging markets and expand its portfolio of medicines in its Established Products Business Unit (EPBU).

This is a new business strategy and its impact on either company's financials would emerge only after a year or two, the Claris chief said. However, it was not part of outsourcing Pfizer’s manufacturing to low-cost Asia and other places.

"It is in-sourcing of new and high-quality products by Pfizer," Mr Kelvin Cooper, Senior Vice-President, Portfolio Development, Established Products, told Business Line here after signing the deal with Mr Arjun Handa, Managing Director and CEO, Claris Lifesciences Ltd.

Claris Lifesciences was able to seal the deal after the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), as also other regulators from many other countries, gave acceptance to its sterile injectable manufacturing facility here, comprising five units set up on 100 acres with an investment of $14 million in recent years.

Mr Handa said the company had enough capacities for the present but more investments would be looked at, if necessary.

To begin with, both Aurobindo and Claris would offer 15 products each to Pfizer. Right now, the deal does not cover emerging markets.

It would take six to 12 months to streamline this new business activity and Claris, apart from marketing products through Pfizer, would also be independently doing so in the said markets as usual.

Pfizer said such arrangements would make available 60 products to it for marketing in more than 70 countries of Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Off-patent medicines, including branded generics, represent one of the fastest growth segments in global pharmaceutical market, particularly in emerging markets where costs and access are primary drivers of these medicines' growth.

Pfizer, Claris to market injectables

Business Standard, Thursday, May 21, 2009

Leading pharmaceutical company, Pfizer Inc., has entered into a partnership with Ahmedabad-based Claris Lifesciences Limited to commercialise sterile injectible drugs that are off-patent and have lost exclusivity in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. These drugs cover a range of therapeutic areas including anti-infectives, antibiotics other critical care products.

According to Kelvin Cooper, senior vice president, portfolio development, established products, Pfizer, "The agreement represents our strategy to transform Pfizer's off-patent drugs and established products portfolio from becoming a declining business to a growing business. A partnership with Claris will help expand our steriles portfolio and provide patients with a wide offering of high quality affordable medicines. Off-patent medicines, including branded generics, represent one of the fastest growth segments in the global pharmaceutical market."

The research-based biopharma company had visited Claris several times in the last four months before finalising on the company for the tie-up.

Pfizer, which has a global annual sales of $10 billion for established products, recently expanded an agreement with Aurobindo Pharma to supply finished dosage products. Under the terms of the agreements, Pfizer has acquired rights to 55 solid oral dose products and five sterile injectable products in the US, Europe and France.

Pfizer will supply 60 products in more than 70 countries throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. "As part of the deal, while Pfizer will bring in 30 products, Claris and Aurobindo will bring in 15 products each to be marketed under the Pfizer label. We also aim to make more than 100 products available across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand," Cooper added.

While the financial terms of the deal were not diclosed, officials at Claris said the deal would take about six to twelve months to materialise and would add more products if both the companies found suitable molecules. Officials further said that a co-branding is possible if there is a regulatory requirement.

According to Arjun Handa, managing director and CEO, Claris Lifesciences, "It is the era of alliances and partnerships and with the big shifts happening in the global pharmaceutical industry, this relationship will keep Claris at the forefront of change. Through Pfizer, we will get access to extremely competent sales and marketing partner for our regulated markets strategy in order to enhance our existing presence in these markets. We have been a focused company in sterile injectables and this relationship with Pfizer will help us to continue our focus in the segment, while expanding our product lines and market access."

Pfizer in Generics Licensing Deals with Aurobindo, Claris

The Wall street Journal, 20 May 2009

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) said Wednesday that it is investing more heavily in generics and developing countries, as the pressures of health-care reform make lower-cost drugs and overseas markets more tempting opportunities.

The New York drug giant is expanding a partnership with Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. (524804.BY) to sell 60 off-patent drugs and signed a new agreement with Claris Lifesciences Ltd. to market 15 old injectable drugs. Specific terms weren't released. The deals are part of a shift at Pfizer to rely less on one or two blockbuster drugs like its cholesterol fighter Lipitor, with $12 billion in annual sales.

(This story and related background material will be available on The Wall Street Journal Web site,

The Aurobindo agreement gives Pfizer rights to sell its competitors' old medicines in more than 70 emerging-market countries, after agreements with Aurobindo last year and this past March gave Pfizer licenses in the U.S. and Europe. The Claris partnership expands Pfizer's presence mostly in hospitals in developed countries where injectable drugs for pain and infection are used.

Traditionally, branded drug makers launched medicines in wealthy countries where they could recoup their investments with high prices, and largely ignored off-patent products and countries where they couldn't charge as much. But as its labs produce fewer blockbusters, Pfizer, like other drug makers, is trying to expand in areas with less profit and less risk.

Health-care reform in the U.S. is accelerating the strategic shift. Drug makers joined others in the health sector last week in a pledge to reduce cost increases by $2 trillion over a decade. More generics could be part of the solution: Last year, seven out of 10 U.S. prescriptions were filled with generics, saving the system $181 billion, according to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, a trade group.

"Health-care reform is making it even more important for us to engage in this market," says David Simmons, general manage of Pfizer's established products business unit.

Pfizer already sells about 380 of its own drugs that have gone off patent. The generics business will grow to $500 billion in the next five years, Pfizer says, and last year it set up a unit specifically to focus on the business for the first time.

Pfizer expects to add $1 billion in annual sales from its generics business by 2012, and more than 50% of that will come from these and other recent licensing deals.

The Aurobindo partnership is a play to grow in emerging markets, where the high cost of branded drugs and perceived quality issues with generics have limited use. By selling generics, which tend to be as much as 80% cheaper than branded products, Pfizer says it hopes to expand access to "billions" and pick up enough sales to help cushion the blow when Lipitor goes off patent in 2011. The deal includes drugs for infections, heart disease and brain disorders.

While growth of drug sales in the U.S. has stalled, sales in the seven largest emerging markets is expected to double in five years, from $91 billion in 2008 to around $170 billion in 2013, according to Sanford Bernstein. Pfizer declined to detail its profit margins in emerging markets, but GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) made 35% profits in emerging markets in this year's first quarter, compared with 65% in the U.S., according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

"In emerging markets we think growth will be double-digit in the next three years and it will really be a volume game," says Jean-Michel Halfon, general manager of Pfizer's emerging markets business unit.

Pfizer plans to ensure the quality of the medicines from its Indian partners by inspecting the drugs before they leave the plants and when they arrive at their destinations.

Other drug companies - notably Novartis AG (NVS), with its Sandoz generics arm - are also getting more serious about off-patent drugs. Last year Daiichi Sankyo Co. (4568.TO) bought a majority stake in Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. (500359.BY), an Indian generics maker, for $4 billion.

In emerging markets, Sanofi-Aventis SA (SNY) has [cut long] been a leader; Last fall, it bought Czech-generics maker Zentiva NV for $2.6 billion to shore up its presence in Eastern Europe. A Sanford Bernstein report issued May 4 ranked Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline close behind, followed by Merck & Co., Inc. ( MRK), Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY).

- By Avery Johnson, The Wall Street Journal

Eyeing the Niche

Contract Pharma, April 1, 2009
Injectables make manufacturers chant the niche mantra

Going niche is the new mantra spawned by India's injectables players to gain a toe-hold in the increasingly toughening injectables generic space in regulated markets.

The generic injectables market is really hotting up. Some of the soon-to-be-off-patent injectables really offer the most promising opportunities. It is true that the number of injectable products that attracted generic attention is relatively small. However, indications are that the coming years are going to be really a tough time for those fighting to grab a share in the injectable generics pie. Case in point: the near-dozen carboplatin clones in the U.S. just after it went off patent. The competition and subsequent value erosions may not be as fierce as that of oral solids, but still, a larger number of players will be in the field vying for the lucrative injectable business.

Given the context, generic guys see the probable way out is to focus on those segments that attract less competition. Put another way, go for those that are niche or specialized. "While competition in case of injectables is no doubt growing, the trick lies in identifying the niche high-margin products which present challenges in development, analytics and manufacturing," said Ravi Seth, chief executive officer, International Operations, at Strides Arcolab Limited.

With 14 ANDA approvals for steriles already in the U.S. market, this strategy seems to have proven right for this Bangalore-based firm. Strides believes it can continue to focus attention on a number of similar product categories that offer very profitable opportunities. The firm makes a range of steriles - from immunosuppressants to gastrointestinals to antibiotics - from its manufacturing facilities located in Bangalore, Warsaw, Singapore, Milan and Lagos.

Vying for Less-Competed
Orchid Pharma, another mid-sized played from southern India, has a similar strategy, although it's product range is not as vast. Targeting cephs and penems, Orchid wants to position itself in the antibiotics segment of the U.S. market by 2009-10. The company has already lined up several niche products in these areas for launch through its marketing partners Hospira and Apotex.

Products with less competition are a quicker means of gaining access to the injectables space. Also, they can ensure relatively steady margins, unlike most of the high-profile products that are prone to risk in returns as competition flares up. Smaller market size and complex processes usually keep the leading players away from specialized injectables. But Indian firms with strong chemistry skills could not only crack even tougher molecules but also produce them cost-effectively, believes Orchid.

The injectable market is also less crowded, with fewer players. Companies have historically face a high barrier to entry, given high degree of sterility requirements and difficulties in forming capabilities, manufacturing and supply. However, the scenario is changing. "Now we are seeing larger competition coming up with prices eroding much faster than it used to be three to five years before," pointed out Amish Vyas, vice president - International Business, at Claris Life Sciences. Never-theless, this parenterals player sees significant opportunities in the U.S. market, banking on its strengths in injectable delivery systems. According to Mr. Vyas, Claris is one of the very few companies across the world offering a larger assortment of delivery systems in the injectables space, from multichamber bags, non-PVC/PVC bags, emulsion products to relatively simpler delivery systems, like products in ampoules and vials.

Besides delivery systems, Claris has gained expertise in manufacturing a variety of steriles too. The Ahmedabad-based company now wants to include lyophilized, oncology and pre-filled syringes portfolios into its FDA-approved ampoules and vials facility.

Leveraging India's Edge
Even as firms like Strides, Orchid, Claris look at speciality products as their mainstay, there are others who bet on leveraging the India edge for the mainstream, high value products. Fresenius Kabi Oncology (formerly Dabur Pharma) is an example.

Fresenius, which secured ANDA approval for mitoxandrone in May 2008, is a noted player in cytostatics. Oncology leads the injectables generics market, followed by anti-infectives and CNS drugs. More than $14 billion was spent on injectables used in the treatment of cancer in U.S., according to an Epsicom report.

The acquisition of Dabur Pharma in April last year helped Fresenius Kabi to strengthen its IV drug business in oncology. "Through its [Dabur Pharma's] expertise of APIs we became one of the leading companies in this product segment having the manufacturing expertise along the entire pharmaceutical value chain in IV oncology generics. So we are well positioned for cost and quality leadership in this product segment," commented a Fresenius spokesman.

The German drugmaker hopes access to India's labor market with its great pool of well-trained engineers and scientists would aid its growth needs, as it foresees increased use of generics in the coming days, due to continued cost-saving pressure in the healthcare sector.

Sun Pharma, Wockhardt, Zydus Cadila, Jubilant Organosys are among the other India-based firms having interest in the generic injectables business.

- By S. Harachand

Walking through the labyrinth

Walking through the labyrinth
Express Pharma,Mumbai, February 16-28, 2009

It is only when companies start to focus on women as an asset to their business that they will discover what women can actually do really well that male leaders struggle with.

Aashruti Kak finds out how high the glass ceiling has moved up.

We think we live in an egalitarian world, where men and women are held as equals in the eyes of society, and yet, a woman is still considered as a 'token female' in certain professions-a major concern that has always been blissfully maintained in the vertical career growth of a woman, especially in science. Most policy makers are short-sighted enough to believe that as long as

there are more women getting higher education, and are placed in the workforce, the issue of equality would take care of itself. To eradicate the issue from its roots, there is a need for appropriate policies to be devised through studying the very barriers that hinder women's way to succeed in their scientific careers.

The working woman

It seems that research and development (R&D) has more women takers in pharmaceuticals, followed closely by marketing, finance and communications. "More women are in the area of R&D, in technical, international regulatory affairs, marketing and HR," says Shyam Sharma, Vice President-HR and Corporate Communication, Claris Lifesciences. "Because of the set paradigm in the industry, that sales includes more of leg work that requires quality time and a lot of effort goes out into selling a product, women are not expected to willingly step into the field. However, many women are now getting into business development functions where you don not sell, but promote a product," he adds. Sharma also mentions that because research is more knowledge based, after studying pharmacy and science, pursued by most women, they often become a part of backhend research, which is more comfortable and secure. After all, it is the flexibility of timings and work processes (including the possibility of home-based working) are certain parameters that draw and encourage women to take up more work.

"The pharma industry has evolved as an employer in India. Previously women were to be found primarily in the factory working as packers. With education and change in societal norms, much of this has changed. The pharma industry is now attracting woman talent like never before," informs Ranjit Shahani, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Novartis India. "There is increased competition from women for all jobs, particularly in marketing and sales, including field jobs. For many, even the constraints of travelling, particularly heavy travelling, outside their headquarters is not a challenge, and jobs such as research and medical affairs are drawing women in large numbers. Women, in fact, with their inherent multi-tasking abilities and higher emotional quotient, are treated as assets in the pharma industry." But, even though the participation of women in the field of research has escalated considerably, it is still irregular across scientific and technical fields, especially when it comes to their access to senior positions.

In 2005, an international workshop on 'Women in scientific careers' was held jointly by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the French Government, in Paris, and a lot revealed and discussed there is and will be applicable in time to come. Data from various background papers and presentations at the workshop had indicated then that female participation in the labour market varied considerably between countries, age groups, areas of work and educational background. Participation rates seemed to be higher in Nordic countries, North America and a few Western European countries, but lower in Asian OECD countries.

Female authority

There are many factors that can influence a woman's career in the pharma industry. Firstly, even if women enter their research careers (at an early or a later stage) they are more likely to work part-time or on temporary work contracts. Gender bias is another steady factor that never fails to be a good reason. Certain senior recruitment committees may not incorporate women in their considerations for promotion due to stereotypical organisational attitudes towards family/work balance issues that may be seen as a disadvantage, or lack of role models, leaders and mentors in the workplace that could encourage women.

There is a world of difference between being a boss and being a 'female boss', especially in an industry which had once been male dominated for decades.As women start their climb to the top, there are many men who do not appreciate female authority over them. But, there is a way to deal with every obstacle if the opinions of colleagues are taken into account, their views are respected, and they are allowed to grow in their own space. A boss needs to treat his/her team as equals if he/she does not want any ego issues to arise.

Shahani says that the world today has changed with an increasing number of women getting into the workplace in positions of authority and the pharma industry is no different. He further says, "The pharma industry today has women at various positions, be it in line or staff functions. Knowledge and skill are what count and not gender. Women bosses are recognised and appreciated for their experience and the value add they bring to the table."

Highlighting his own work experience, Sharma says, "Personally, I have reported for about eight years to a female boss. In my company itself there are women who are heads of various departments—from global and domestic business development, to heading R&D, US and Europe regulatory affairs. Major examples from my days are Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Swati Piramal and other heads in other companies, who are very well accepted as well."

Treating gender disparity

Considering the gravity of the situation, a lot of companies are taking initiatives to bridge the gender gap through various policies and programmes. Shahani says, "Novartis has been a long time supporter of gender equality, and diversity and inclusion (D&I) is accorded the highest order of importance. This is in fact ingrained in the Novartis DNA. There is a D&I Board that includes members from various countries with key representation from India. The D&I team has taken various measures and initiatives to establish a climate of inclusion, taking advantage of the diversity we have in our organisation. These include employee development, employee and family engagement, work life balance, and above all, bringing about a mind set change wherever required."

Giving Claris' example, Sharma says, "One of the paradigms we as a company have is that we treat a person as an individual, and promotions are based on merit and on the fair potential to grow. In my team of 15 senior managers, four are women. I think it is their functional capability and their boldness to travel that makes the difference." They also involve family members, by showing them the manufacturing facility, and have annual sessions, so that their family comes to accept their work.

It is a priority for the management of a company to treat all its employees as equals, irrespective of their gender. Many a times it has been seen that a man and a woman at the same level/designation get paid different sums as salary. On top of that, women have also been dismissed from giving their viewpoints, probably due to their supposed lack of rationality. "The pay packages are attached to a job and the role a person plays, and is not gender specific," informs Shahani. "A differentiation with regard to gender is not even in question. We have women at senior level across the organisation in various positions and functions right up to the Board level. The climate of inclusion where women represent their roles and position with equal strength as men ensures that every member contributes and is taken seriously."

The management also needs to acknowledge that there are certain tasks that can be performed better by women than men, and vice versa. It can be said that there is a difference between the ways in which men and women manage people. Women are better at connecting employees, rather than ranking them. They tend be more interactive and collaborative in their leadership, they encourage the sharing of information and feedback, they are flexible and they respect and appreciate cultural diversity. "A woman gives a different dimension, adds many other aspects that men may not be able to, for instance, aesthetics, listing varied point of views, etc," opines Sharma.

On the other hand, certain theories and studies have suggested that men can exercise authority much better than women. Both at in a position to reach the top, and hence, both can learn from each other's abilities.

Encouragement and inclusion

In order to encourage more women from opting for the research careers in public and private sectors, especially in processes where there still are very few women, there need to be equal opportunity, policies, flexible working hours, maternity and parental leaves, and so on.

"Women who have opted for a career in pharma are well qualified for the jobs they aspire to hold. A climate supporting inclusion would further boost their presence in all processes of a pharma set up," says Shahani. He further says, "It would certainly help to have more opportunities to get training in their respective fields, to network, to advance their careers and to strike a work life balance where a woman plays many roles both at home and on the work front. Supportive ecosystems both at office and home are also important."

To be specific, companies need to encourage the nomination of women to top senior positions so as to increase the number of role models for younger women, because only when they get inspired will they try to emulate their role models. They need to ensure that the initiatives that they are taking for the cause lead to some concrete results and are fully supported by all employees, promote women's entrepreneurship, thereby promoting alternate career opportunities for women who have graduated in the related fields. And most importantly, they need to share with the industry the various strategies for attracting and retaining women in their respective processes.

- Shyam Sharma
Vice President-HR and Corporate Communication
Claris Lifesciences