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Pharma Jobs and the Future of Pharmaceutical Industry in India

Updated on August 1, 2014

Growth of India's Pharma Industry


Pharmaceutical Industry in India

The pharmaceutical industry in India is growing rapidly, and with this, the scope for employment in this sector is expanding too. In terms of volume, it is globally ranked 4th in terms of volume, and 13th in terms of global sales. India, at present has more than 24000 small, medium and large scale pharmaceutical manufacturing units that ensure employment to over 1.5 million people. The country is even considered to be one of the top most generic drug producers all across the globe. All the data mentioned here seems to be bringing about a clear picture of what Indian Pharmaceutical Industry is capable of. In the coming years too, much is expected out of this industry. This brings hopes for those, who have been willing to be employed by the leading brands in pharmaceutical sector will also have better prospects.

Pharma Jobs

For all those seeking jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, the opportunities are many. From manufacturing to quality assurance, there exist many jobs in this rapidly growing sector. Some of these are detailed below:


Research remains one of the major segments for manufacturing drugs and medicines. Before a medicine is produced, research has to be taken place so as to ensure its requirements, usage guidelines, and other related information. For this, research analysts and specialists are desired, who dig deep into the theory of a medicine and come up with the facts and figures to further initiate the manufacturing process. Under this segment falls the profiles of Lab Technician, Research Associate, and Research Scientist. The average annual remuneration offered to these professionals can Rs 5,00,000 or more. To be eligible for these jobs, one doesn't need a specialized degree. A high school pass-out can also seek a job of a lab technician, but to work as research scientist, one needs to hold a master's degree in science, or some companies may even ask for a PhD for such jobs.

Clinical Development and Medical Jobs

This segment details the medical jobs and the opportunities related to clinical development. The job roles falling under this category can be related to research, or regulatory affairs, bio statistics, or data management. These professionals are highly skilled to understand the medical complications and concepts. The jobs in this segment include Clinical Research Associate, Regulatory Affairs Associate, and Clinical Data Manager. The average remuneration paid to these the regulatory affairs associate is Rs 248,474 per year, whereas a clinical research associate can expect to earn Rs 276,050 annually. To apply for these clinical development jobs, the criteria may vary. For clinical research associate's position, one needs to obtain a bachelor's degree in science, whereas to be a regulatory affairs associate, one has to obtain a master's degree. Further, if we consider other higher positions such as Bio Statistician, a master's degree is mandatory. However, for higher positions in this field, a PhD may also be asked for.

Quality Assurance Job

Quality compliance remains one of the major concerns for any pharmaceutical company. Throughout the manufacturing stage, and even after the drugs are produced, it remains one of the major tasks to ensure quality. The major positions under this category are Quality Control Analyst and Quality Assurance Specialist. A quality control analyst in a pharmaceutical company can expect to earn an annual remuneration of Rs 245,648, whereas the average annual salary for a quality assurance specialist is Rs 451,987. TO apply for the jobs in quality control segment in a pharmaceutical company, one needs to hold a bachelor's degree in science, or a related field.

Business Operations Jobs

This category comprises of the other jobs related to business operations of a pharmaceutical company. These are same as the operations jobs prevailing in the other sectors, such as HR, finance, marketing, and purchase. These jobs pay quite well, depending upon the experience and skills. Generally, the leading pharmaceutical companies consider MBAs for these jobs. However, those holding bachelor's degree can also apply for these positions. This may also include Market Research Analyst, Product Manager, Business Development Manager, and other profiles. The salaries offered to these professionals are higher

Sales Jobs

This segment mainly includes a huge network of sales representatives, who are in touch with the primary care physicians, speciality physicians, hospital physicians, and managed care companies. These professionals keep checking with the physicians and pharmacy in their respective areas about their requirements to buy any drug or medicine. These positions require travel, and pay really well. Those holding a bachelor's degree in science are preferred for these jobs, however, those from other streams can even be offered these jobs. The average annual remuneration paid to these sales representatives is Rs 240,872. Further, if we consider the educational qualifications needed for these job, a bachelor's degree can be asked for.


Facts related to Indian Pharma Industry

  • Indian pharmaceutical industry serves the 70% of the domestic bulk requirements of drugs.
  • The pharma industry in India is expected to witness a rapid growth in the years to come and be among the top players globally.
  • The manufacturing cost of pharma products in India is much lower than the other countries.
  • The advantage of less cost of manufacturing and labour turns out to be a major factor for its growth.
  • The country exports almost 40% of the pharmaceutical production.

Which pharma job would you prefer getting into?

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Where to find these jobs?

Now when you know everything about the pharma jobs and the salaries and educational qualifications associated to them, you can go on to find the suitable jobs in pharmaceutical companies. For this, a bachelor's degree in science or any other related discipline is desired. However, for an operations job, this may not be the scenario, but for other field specific jobs such as a quality analyst, lab technician, or clinical data analyst, a specialized degree in a scientific field is required. For some higher positions, a master's degree in science from an acknowledge institution is needed. Further, there are some leading pharmaceutical companies that you can aim to work with. These include:

  • Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited
  • Ranbaxy
  • Lupin
  • Cadila Healthcare Ltd.
  • Glaxo Smithkline
  • Wockhardt
  • Sun Pharmaceutical
  • Abbot India Ltd.
  • Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
  • Aurobindo Pharma Ltd.
  • Glenmark
  • Bharat Biotech
  • Elder Pharma
  • Jubilant Life

Pharmaceutical Industry witnesses growth in India


Global Drug Companies Ranked Best in R&D

Bristol-Myers Squibb
Hoffmann-La Roche

Future prospects in pharma jobs

If we are to believe sources, the pharmaceutical industry in India is expected to grow at a faster pace. In the past few years, this sector in the country has witnessed a growth of 12-15%, which is expected to double in the future. With this, more jobs can be expected to be created in pharmaceutical companies. In an annual conference conducted in the month of January this year, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft highlighted the contribution of the Indian pharmaceutical companies as the emerging names in the pharma manufacturing market. He even designated India as an emerging pharmaceutical market. He also defined this industry as one of most of the competitive ones, which stregthens the need for resources in this industry in the years to come.

Major Employment Opportunities in Pharma

For those having pursued a bachelor's degree in science or any other related fields, the most prominent career choice exists in pharmaceutical industry. They can explore varied jobs in a healthcare company, a manufacturing or a quality control unit, but to get to the higher positions, a master's degree is generally required. Those who are willing to get into these jobs in pharma, the future looks good and the opportunities are many. Below are some of the major segments, where they can aim to excel.

  • Manufacturing /Production
  • Pharmaceutical Production Management
  • Quality Control
  • Quality Assurance
  • Research & Development
  • Clinical Research
  • Contract Research Organization
  • Regulatory Affairs & IPR
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Product Management
  • Bio-Informatics
  • Medical Transcription


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