From the year 1912 to 1948, Olympic medals were not only handed out to athletes but also across five creative arts categories: architecture, painting, sculpture, literature, and music. One can say that the road to mastery is not paved by specialization, but by diversity. Many people would argue that if you try to know a little bit of everything, you would never get to the point of mastering anything. However, Cadila Young Leader Abhilekh Behera from the Chemical ( (API) )SBU believes otherwise.
“We adapt and evolve our skill-sets depending on our particular situation in life. We do it all the time, so to consider yourself a specialist is limiting. Being born and brought-up in a small town from the eastern state of Odisha, I always aspired to learn new things every day.
During my post-graduation in IIM Sambalpur, I chose both Marketing and Finance subjects with equal weightage only because I wanted to acquire knowledge from both these fields.
It was a happy coincidence for me that this same attitude was required of me when I joined Cadila’s CYLP program in 2020. Being a part of Cadila Pharmaceuticals’ API Sales and Marketing team, I had to navigate through diverse projects from new products development to long-range plan for the Chemical SBU, working closely with highly experienced business leaders.
Working in different projects helped me understand the API (Active Pharmaceuticals Ingredients) business extensively and working with leaders helped me sharpen my attitude towards work and my co-workers. I am fortunate enough to join the pharma industry at a time when the whole world is looking up to the industry for vaccines and the COVID pandemic.
In a project where we had to identify potential API s to be added to the current product portfolio, I got the opportunity to know the details of numerous API s and the complex process required for shortlisting the products for future business. Having a degree in chemical engineering from NIT Rourkela helped me deal with the technical aspects of the API products and my MBA degree helped me deal with the business side of the products.
As a part of the sales and marketing team, I got the opportunity to interact with both domestic and international clients early in my career which gave me an idea of how pharmaceuticals business differs in regulated and non-regulated markets, what are the customer requirements and how to get the best out of Cadila’s robust supply chain. Interacting with CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) customers provided me an in-depth understanding of emerging markets like CIS and helped building alliances with other pharma giants of the region for long-term business collaboration.
Being a single child from a family of working parents, I have experienced both independence and a sense of ownership from my childhood. I always carry this attitude to my work and try to take ownership of every project I have been assigned by the leaders.
Besides my work, I don’t shy away from revving my bike and hitting the roads on a pleasant Sunday morning. I also like spending time reading books or blogs of varied genres. Both these activities help me de-stress and think better.
In this fast-moving and increasingly competitive world, you have to be a jack of all trades. My message to the new professionals would be to try to learn as much as you can in the early stage of your career. Cadila Pharma has limitless opportunities for the young professionals and you should not let it go from your hands. Also do pursue your hobbies during your free time, these act like a catalyst to move forward both in your professional and personal life.
Now towards the end of one year as a CYLP, I see myself more matured and confident to deal with any challenges and achieve my goals. You might be really good at something now, but don’t let that stop you from finding out what else you can dominate.”