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Mahidhwaj Sisodia, the man building Cadila’s International Business

10th Apr, 2019
Mahidhwaj Sisodia, the man building Cadila’s International Business

Born and raised in a small town in Madhya Pradesh in a  family of zamindars, Mahidhwaj Sisodia, EVP, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, spent his childhood often working with farm labourers and supervising them. Because of the values inculcated in him by his elders, he talked very respectfully to the workers and to this day believes in treating all individuals with utmost respect. “Never insult anyone whose means are less than yours,” this wisdom from his grandfather guides him always. Mahidhwaj went on to do his higher studies, graduating with an MBA from IMS, Indore and then starting his career in international business. He currently heads the International SBU at Cadila. In a candid talk, he opens up about his journey as an individual and professional and gives an insight.

Can you update us on the current scenario of Cadila’s international business?

ISBU is mainly into international formulation business across the world except Nepal, Bhutan, India and USA, and divided into 7 regions, geography wise. The products are manufactured in India and exported to other countries. In Ethiopia, we have a manufacturing plant.

What efforts were taken to boast the performance of the division? What has made the difference?

We pushed everyone from the regional head to the country manager to the reps down below to give their 100%, no matter what. There was unwavering focus on the targets and emphasis on not getting consumed by meetings and elaborate planning without action. ‘Walk the talk’ was my message to them. I also ensured everyone had a contingency plan. Another factor is hiring the right talent. I do not compromise on my people and only get those with domain knowledge and regional expertise. I expect the new recruit to know more than me and be bold enough to implement new ideas. Entrepreneurial mind set is key, nothing is going to be handed on a platter. Get your hands dirty and win the battle!

What are the challenges you face in the international business?

We operate in more than 56 countries. There are challenges related to regulation, foreign exchange, market forces, government policy, and several regional factors that affect our business. Registering a product takes 2 to 3 years in any country, and we are constantly working with regulatory authorities on that. A product registered in one country cannot be replicated in other countries.

How do you sum up your role?

I joined Cadila in April 2015. My experience of 20 years in international pharma business guides me in leading this division here. I demonstrate by performance and practise inclusive thinking by involving the entire team. I also work towards getting support from other functions. When I see negativity in the organization, I bring it down. I’m very passionate about the business and thus enthusing positivity is natural for me.

What has been your biggest learning in life? How do you deal with setbacks?

I have learned to value everything in life. As a self-made person, I know what struggle means and never fail to value whatever life offers me. I deal with setbacks by fighting back. Perhaps it is in my Rajput blood (laughs), but I basically take challenges head on and work harder to bring results. If you push me in a corner, I’ll come back stronger.