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Understand more about Indian pharmaceutical industry and available job opportunities

Updated on February 20, 2015


The objective of this hub is to highlight the scope of career opportunities present in the pharmaceutical industry. At the onset of the article, I have portrayed the brief introduction of the growing pharma industry of India. Within the pharmaceutical industry, professionals might be involved in discovering, developing, product quality, packaging or storing of medicines for further clinical use. Moreover, there is an enormous scope of research available both in Indian and international territory, therefore, you won't face any paucity of lucrative pharma research & development jobs.

Indian Pharmaceutical industry

The Indian pharma sector has traits that makes it completely unique. First generic branded medicines are dominating 70 to 80 per cent of the retail marketplace. Second, local players are enjoying a viable position, driven by formulation development capabilities. Third, the prices of drugs are low.

India's pharmaceutical sector is expected to grow at an annual rate of 14 % to reach the turnover of Rs 2.91 trillion by 2018. Further, the domestic drug industry, which is currently valued at Rs 1.6 trillion, is also expected to record a growth.

Some of the notable facts related to the Indian Pharma sector are-

  • By 2020, India is expected to rank amongst top 3 pharma markets in terms of incremental growth.
  • In terms of size, India is the sixth largest market globally.
  • The government has permitted 100% FDI under the automatic route for different greenfield projects/assignments.
  • Over $200 billion would be spent on the medical infrastructure in the next decade.

Career opportunities for professionals in the pharmaceutical sector

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The Indian pharmaceutical sector is in good health, and it is expected to produce 45,000 more pharma jobs in 2015. Several multinational companies are operating in this space, which offers great scope for hiring and job creation. On an average, the industry is presently employing 4,50,000 people, and has contributed significantly in building a rich talent pool of researchers, scientists, doctors and other professionals.

Top pharma companies producing employment opportunities in India are-

Dr Reddy Lab
Torrent Pharma
Jubilant Life
Aurobindo Pharma
Sun Pharma
Cadila Health
Ajanta Pharma

With the large number of innovation centres being set up across cities in India, there is a burgeoning demand of R&D professionals. Some of the other profiles which will witness a demand in 2015 are manufacturing, quality and regulatory affairs.

Pharmacy professional enjoys booming career opportunities in the below fields of pharmaceutical sector=

Quality control
Quality Assurance
Pharma research & development
Clinical research
Pharma sales & marketing
Product management
Bio informatics
Medical transcription

Usually, pharmaceutical companies employ pharmacy graduates and post graduates for their diversified business operations. Being the knowledge based industry, pharmaceutical sector requires persons possessing special skills and knowledge.

Ireland is looking to grab the attention of leading Indian pharma companies like Dr Reddy's and Lupin by offering exciting tax incentives.

The available career opportunities present in the pharmaceutical industry and government/private sector are-

  • As the Manufacturing Chemist= It is the under the guidance and direction of the manufacturing chemist that manufacturing of medicines takes place. The pharmaceutical production companies hire people who hold a license for manufacturing. Graduates of pharmacy with over 18 months of experience in manufacturing are considered to be competent staff under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, which helps in regulating different Drug Industries. There is a scope of career advancement also to the high positions like work manager or factory manager.
  • In Quality control/assurance= As the term itself says, the quality control is the total process of assuring the impeccable quality of different pharmaceutical products in accordance to the international standards. The graduates with aptitude in analysis of pharmaceutical and experience in handling sophisticated equipments, find this job quite intriguing. There are ample career progression scopes from quality control chemists to quality assurance manager.
  • In the marketing division= The pharmaceutical marketing is quite different from marketing of consumer products because here patients do not play a major role. Usually, the marketing takes place between doctors and chemists. Therefore, the job is quite challenging and it demands special skills & training as well. The most notable thing about the field is that the sector is not affected by the recession, and as a result, jobs are aplenty in marketing. The sales personnel is known as medical representative or business executive, who grows into the general manager position.
  • In the research and development field= The research & development (R&D) is the heart of the pharma industry as it drives the growth of the industry. There are enormous pharma research & development jobs available in India, and the R&D professional can work in any of the below areas as a=
  1. R&D chemist
  2. R&D executive
  3. Research Scientist
  4. Research Associate
  5. Group Leader- R&D
  6. Head- R&D
  • As the Medical Transcription= He is the person who deals in the process of transcription or converting the voice recorded reports of doctors into the electronic format. It is the job of a medical transcription, to convert the patient's medical records into the electronic format.
  • As the Hospital Pharmacists: The pharmacists in hospitals perform diversified duties, ranging from procurement of medicines to its distribution among patients. In short, he is the person who is responsible for the medicine management in the hospitals.
  • As the Government Analyst= The drugs that have been sampled either from the manufacturing unit or different retail drug stores are then tested in various government drug testing labs. The graduate pharmacists can join these government labs as government analysts.

In the past few years, the pharmaceutical sector has witnessed a complete transformation, and as a result, new fields are added, which give rise to the emergence of new pharma jobs.


Start early

To build a career in the pharmaceutical world, it is crucial to start early, right from your school. The pharmacy education in India is regulated by the Pharmacy Council of India.

A quick glance over pharma courses=

  1. D. Pharma= Diploma in Pharmacy, also called D.Pharma, is a two year undergraduate course which is offered by different pharmacy colleges. It is the minimum education requirement to become a registered pharmacist in India. A candidate who wants to pursue this course, should have completed their Class 12th from the science stream.

2. B.Pharma= It is a four-year undergraduate program, which allows candidates to work as the professional pharmacist. The basic eligibility to pursue the course is the successful completion of Class 12th from science stream. In some colleges, entrance exams are also conducted to allowadmission to students.

Some of the important B.Pharma entrance examinations are-

Banaras Hindu University BAMS/B. Pharma (Ay) Entrance Test
B.Sc Pharma Entrance Exam Rohtak, Maharshi Dayanand University
VELS University Entrance Examination
State Entrance Examination Uttar Pradesh (SEE-UPTU)
B.Sc Pharma Common Entrance Exam, Kerala
Maharashtra B.Pharm Common Entrance Test
Rajasthan Pre Entrance Test for Pharmacy (RPETEAP)
B.Sc Pharma Entrance Exam in Punjab
Himachal Pradesh University Shimla B.Pharma Entrance Test

3. M.Pharma= It is the post graduate pharmacy course, and candidates need to complete B.Pharma first to get an admission in the M.Pharma course. This two-year course paves focus on research & specialization in the pharmacy field. There are various colleges in India, which are offering M.Pharma education in different specializations like pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmacology and pharmaceutical biotechnology.

Some of the important M.Pharma entrance examinations are-

The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) JEE Entrance
Kerala CEE Entrance exam for Mpharm
Bharath Vidyapeeth University entrance for pharmacy courses
Manipal university entrance for MPharm

4. PhD= To get an excellent career progression and booming growth, candidates who have completed M.Pharma can pursue PhD course also.

There are various colleges in India, offering PhD course in India, and the names of top ones are listed below=

Acharya Institutes, Bangalore- Doctor of Pharmacy
Anand Pharmacy College - Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacy
Andhra University College of Pharmaceutical sciences - Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacy
Visveswarapura Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences - Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacy
Institute of Pharmacy - Nirma University - Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical technology
Anna University Chennai Regional Office, Tiruchirappalli - Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Technology
VNS Group of Institutions-Faculty of Pharmacy - Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacy
Vinayaka Missions College of Pharmacy - Doctor of Pharmacy
Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research - Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacy


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