Women in Pharma: A path-breaking initiative to close in on the gender gap in the burgeoning sector

An exclusive summit by UBM India under the aegis of the India Pharma Week

Mumbai, November 29, 2017: The 2nd edition of the celebrated India Pharma Week, a UBM India initiative — introduced last year to celebrate a decade of CPhI & P-MEC, UBM’s flagship engagement platform, and the world’s leading Pharmaceutical networking event — witnessed one of its most inspiring and scintillating initiatives, ‘Women in Pharma : Aspire, Lead, Inspire’.


The event saw a congregation of some of the most sought-after women leaders in senior-management levels, entrepreneurs, and mentors from the pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical industry to celebrate the significant contribution of women in this industry and share their inspiring stories, experiences and knowledge. Encouraged by the overwhelming response it got last year, the 2nd edition of ‘Women in Pharma’ came with a broader, all-encompassing agenda that also included deliberating discussions by involving senior male leaders from the industry as well.

With several global studies pointing to the fact that gender diversity promotes stability and sustainability of the business achieving long-terms goals for the organization. Hence organizations are increasingly channelizing their efforts towards building a gender rich workforce, with a special focus on women in leadership roles. According to Grant Thornton’s global survey report on Women in Businesses 2017, India is the third lowest country in having women in leadership roles. The survey conducted includes 5,500 businesses in 36 economies across the globe also says that 41% of the Indian businesses have no women in leadership roles. The percentage of women executive directors in the pharmaceutical industry is only 7.69%. However, with the latest SEBI guidelines on board representation along with an increasing number of women inspired to make a difference, these figures are slowly changing.

Marina Wyatt, CFO, UBM plc, observed: “The issue of gender sensitisation and diversity at the workplace is no longer about ‘why’, but about ‘how’ — how we get the systems and structure in place to drive the same. Similarly, it’s not as much about work-life balance nowadays in the digital world, as much as it is about work-life blend and the opportunity to do so — where one can seamlessly transition from one to the other, where the personal and professional may merge and enhance the other. We’ve had similar platforms in other parts of the world such as Women in Engineering, Women in Cruise, Women in Technology etc.

She added, “What we are noticing is this ‘pipeline’ where at the entry level, there is not much of a gap, but gradually, as the seniority level increases, so does the gender gap. At UBM plc, we are getting more proactive on the gender issue from the grass-root level and some of the key themes we are focusing on is ‘recruitment’, ‘development’ and ‘compensation’ and, linking it to the concerned teams’ KPIs.

Some of the best-in-class professionals of the industry who were a part of the by-invitation only interaction included Sindhushree Khullar, former Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog, Former Secretary-Planning Commission, Government of India; Savindu Kudrigikar, Business Head (South Asia), Pharma, Food and Medical, Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd.; Aparna Thomas, Senior Director – Communications & CSR (India & South Asia), Sanofi; Deepshikha Mukerji, Regional Human Resources Director, Established Pharmaceuticals, Abbott; Pratima Reddy, Director – R&D Portfolio, Governance and Strategy Merck Consumer Health (CH), Merck; Rajiv Oza, HRBL – Global Manufacturing & Supply (GMS) , South Asia, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; Dr. Sofia Mumtaz, President-Portfolio and Legal, Lupin Ltd.; Ameera Shah, Promoter & Managing Director, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd.; and Kanchana TK, Director General, Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India along with an inspirational talk by Vasu Primlani, Corporate trainer and stand-up comedian.

Speaking on the occasion of ‘Women in Pharma: Aspire, Lead, Inspire’, Mr. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, UBM India said, “Diversity and inclusion, especially gender diversity is a granted principle in the workplace today, but unfortunately still not well-executed. One of the major reason why ‘Women in Pharma conference’ is an integral part of India Pharma Week is to address and raise the key issues of lower women leaders in the pharma sector. Given the upsurge in the pharmaceutical sector in India with over 25,000 companies, there is a tremendous potential for jobs for women in leadership positions and otherwise. However, according to the Skill India Report, while the industry-wise hiring targets for women in pharma and healthcare sectors currently is about 38.67 per cent, the total employability of women is only about 28.28 per cent.”

He added, In spite of the obvious benefits, most sectors are failing to hire, retain and promote qualified women. What would make a vital difference then would be to spread awareness, education and a can-do attitude. It is for women leaders – and their male counterparts – to share their experiences as well as encourage and inspire other women to take the lead and a platform like Women in Pharma provides just that.”

The ‘India Pharma Week’ returns with a week full of avant-garde events alongside CPhI and P-MEC India

· South Asia’s largest Pharma event
· CPhI and P-MEC India to be held at two different venues i.e., MMRDA Grounds (BKC), Mumbai – 27th to 29th Nov ; the Bombay Exhibition Centre (Goregaon) – 28th to 30th Nov
· 1500+ exhibitors ; 40+ countries
· More than 10 eclectic events across Mumbai throughout the India Pharma Week

Mumbai, November 2017 – UBM India, India’s leading B2B exhibition organizer, is all set to bring in the second edition of the widely appreciated India Pharma Week, a week-long celebration packed with avant-garde events from 25th to 30th November alongside its flagship expo CPhI and P-MEC India. In its 11th edition, the marquee expo will be held at two venues in Mumbai – MMRDA Grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex (27th to 29th November) and Bombay Exhibition Centre (28th to 30th November).

Celebrating 11 years of CPhI and P-MEC India, the India Pharma Week will organise more than 10 events and activities taking place across the city of Mumbai pertaining to the streams of business, knowledge, leadership, innovation, recognition and networking in the field of Pharma.

Speaking on the announcement of the IPW, Mr. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, UBM India said, “I am delighted to announce the second edition of the India Pharma Week, an unrivalled offering to the world of exhibitions along with CPhI & P-MEC India, UBM’s flagship engagement platform, and the world’s leading Pharmaceutical networking event. An epitome of India’s strength in the Pharma industry, the expo has consistently grown to serve as an exclusive congregation of key global players across the pharmaceutical sector. Further, the expo would deliberate upon Government of India’s ‘Pharma Vision 2020′ to make India a global leader in end-to-end drug manufacturing in boosting investments.

“The India Pharma Week stems from the proactive role it plays in driving key Governmental initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Start-Up India, Stand Up India’, and ‘Skill India’ connecting the global community to eke out solutions to challenges, and establishing superior standards within it. With the recent proposal by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to make it mandatory for all employees in pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities to get skill certification, a notable congregation of industry experts and knowledge sharing, such as IPW provides becomes even more significant,” he further added.
The week will commence with a Plant visit followed by a series of engagements such as Pharma Leaders Golf, Pre-Connect Congress, Women in Pharma – Power Breakfast, India Pharma Awards, Networking Evening, the CPhI & P-MEC India Exhibition, a closed-door CEO Roundtable and many more activities.

CPHI provides global platform for the Indian Pharma industry to know and have the exposure of the latest technology available. In the past, Indian Pharmaceutical decision makers had to travel to international exhibitions to get to know new innovations on the technology front, however CPHI & P-Mec has brought this information to Indian pharma’s doorsteps”, said Mr. Damanjit Singh, CEO, Food & Pharma Specialities.

Ms. Saloni Wagh, Marketing & Business Development – Asia Pacific, Supriya Lifescience also shared her past experiences of the CPhI conference and said, “CPhI is one of the leading Pharma events in the world where the entire Industry comes together to discuss and get updated on the current trends, information and issues. CPhI Worldwide exhibitions do play an important role in our marketing strategy as it is a platform for us to meet all our customers from across the globe under one roof. It is also a great platform to launch new products and to identify potential customers, she further added.”

Incepted in 2006, the CPhI & P-MEC India exhibition has grown remarkably larger over the years with exhibitors and visitors engaging over significant levels of business. It has been approved and comprehensively assisted in its endeavours by governing bodies such as Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil). Spread across two locations, this year’s edition will see more than 1500 exhibitors and participation from over 40 countries.