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Growing, Learning and Leading with Cadila – The journey of a young leader

15th Oct, 2020
Growing, Learning and Leading with Cadila – The journey of a young leader

India is said to be one of the youngest countries in the world. A country where the average age is below 30, such a country holds immense potential to grow its economy and to shape the future of the world. To provide the right guidance to these young professionals, Cadila’s Young Leaders’ Program every year, brings on management trainees from the premier business and technology schools and give them opportunities for an ambitious journey. What started with a handful group of trainees in 2016, it is now grown to a successful program hiring nearly 50 trainees every year.

The trainees undergo a rigorous training program where they work on projects directly with the senior leadership and are given opportunities to groom them into future leaders. Kashish Dhir, batch of CYLP 2018 shares his journey of the past 2 years and how has the program given him opportunities to succeed.

“In the past 2 years, I have worked for various national and international projects. All these locations have provided me with myriad of opportunities to learn, to grow and to lead.

I joined Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in July 2018 in the Cadila’s Young Leaders’ Program, after completing my M.Tech in Chemical Engineering from IIT Guwahati.

After one month of induction program, the first project that I was assigned was in our Samba Manufacturing Plant. Since it was a remote location, I was first hesitant about this project, but the Cadila Young Leaders’ Program was designed in a way to help me at every step. The project involved reducing the process cycle time of specific products. It contributed in saving time, utility cost as well as in improving quality of products. I was able to achieve my target by using LEAN and Six sigma concepts, which I had learned during my training period in Cadila. I couldn’t have been able to achieve this feat without the guidance of my mentor and colleagues.

Post my success, I was given another project which involved directly working with the CMD of Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Dr Rajiv Modi. This new role came with bigger challenges, responsibilities, increased autonomy and enhanced exposure.

Initially, I was involved in designing of one of the local manufacturing facility, handling CAPEX requirement of formulation facilities and designing & execution of new Research and development facility (R&D 3).

Later on, with success of my projects, I was given more responsibilities and currently I am working on two high value international projects:

Ethiopia facility Upgradation: Under the leadership of Mr. Urmish Desai, I visited Ethiopia manufacturing facility to study the current operational challenges and perform OEE analysis in order to prepare comprehensive plan and design for upgradation of current facility to make it cGMP compliant. Additionally, I am working on designing the new finished goods warehouse in Ethiopia.

International Project: I am the overall project coordinator as well as an integral part of the design team to develop the concept for a new formulation and injectable facility, defining its process flow and forecasting plant capacity for the next 5 years.

The exposure to our domestic and international facilities has helped me understand the core challenges faced by our organisation and, hence come up with solutions which can be implemented in our upcoming plants.

From the past two years, I have been working very closely with senior leaders in domains of Project, Operations, Finance, and Marketing, which has helped me learn immensely about the whole model of the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, I have vicariously gained insights about the challenges faced by the Project Manager and in turn, applied my knowledge and experience in subsequent projects to achieve project objectives within the constraint timelines and budget. The conceptual as well as on-floor learning of OSD, Liquid & Injection facility, API facility, Warehouse design and management have only been possible due to accelerated growth platform offered by Cadila.

One of the advantage of being a part of Cadila Young Leaders’ Program is the immense freedom to work independently on domestic and international projects and present novel ideas to senior management. Under competent and experienced leadership, I have constantly improved and enhanced my leadership and analytical skills. Cadila’s upcoming project to implement industry 4.0 in existing facilities, which involves practical application of IOT, AI and ML, will help me to enhance my IT skills that will become a necessity for success in future.

The CYLP program also gave me the chance to connect with graduates of various B-schools and technical institutions. We have not only formed the bonds of friendship, but have also developed professional partnerships, which in turn led to peer-to-peer learning. Hailing from a technical background, such interaction has given me an alternate perspective of our field. My two years here have led to my professional as well as personal growth.

To the future young leaders of our organisation, I would advise to have an ethical approach in solving any problem. Do not feel disheartened by criticism, rather learn from your mistakes and come back stronger. Also, never say no to learning new skills as each skill added will come handy at some juncture in your life. Lastly, don’t run after money, your unique skills shall be your greatest asset.

In the end, I would urge everyone be true to yourself and your work. Develop a healthy work ethic and work honestly to help your organisation and, in turn, help our society grow every day. Moreover, we should always seize every opportunity, which will help in sustainable growth of the organisation. There will be good and bad days in any journey that you take. Do not lose hope on the bad ones. It will only help you get a clearer picture about your path and your future.”