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PGPM beat a team from TCS in a friendly cricket match held at SPJIMR’s cricket ground on 22nd March, 2009. PGPM successfully chased the score of 88, making 90 runs from the loss of 7 wickets, thanks to a late partnership between Arun KA and Pankaj Kumar. The chase began with a slow run-rate and wickets falling at regular intervals, bringing the visitors into a very strong position. However, the target was achieved with a boundary and an over to spare.

Earlier, the visitors began at a steady pace scoring regular boundaries. Some tight bowling by Pankaj Kumar and Sachin put breaks in the scoring rate. TCS completed its innings at the score of 88 for the loss of 6 wickets, with opening batsman Kiran being the top scorer with 38.

The match was played in great spirit by both the teams. Gautam and Mihir did the umpiring and Sandeep covered the match with his camera. Some of the pics are shared below.

Pitch preparation in full swing

Pitch preparation in full swing

Sawant cleaning up Vinod

Satish cleaning up Vinod

Pankaj Fadnavis plays a cut

Pankaj Fadnavis plays a cut

The victors - PGPM

The victors - PGPM

The visitors - TCS

The visitors - TCS

The Prize money

The Prize money

Earlier, PGPM also defeated a team from Sardar Patel College of Engineering in yet another friendly.

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MBA is all about getting to know beyond what we are already practicing and one important aspect which facilitates this learning is the industry academic interaction. Participants of 2009 PGPM batch got a taste of first such interaction on Saturday when Mr. J Rajagopal (EVP & Global Head – Consulting – TCS) was invited to present on “Side Effects-The Challenges Facing the Global Pharmaceutical Industry”.

Global Pharmaceuticals industry is going through a churn because of primarily two reasons global meltdown and more importantly the approaching dates for patent expiration of some major blockbuster drugs owned by the big companies. The latter is a grave cause of concern as block buster drug account for major chunk of revenues that would cease to exist once the patent expires and generics at very low competitive cost get available in market. There is lot of strategic thinking which is going on in board-rooms of large pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer to counter this serious issue.

Mr. Rajagopal who now heads the Global Consulting Practice at TCS has had a very rich experience in consulting domain for pharmaceutical industry vertical and prior to his current role he was heading the life science & medical devices practice in TCS. No one more apt from the industry could have been chosen to interact with us to discuss the challenges being faced by the Pharmaceutical industry.

Mr.Rajagopal Delivering Lecture

Mr.Rajagopal Delivering Lecture

Through this interaction we were exposed to pharmaceutical industry in a simple yet effective manner by Mr. Rajagopal. The learning was immense because we could gauge from his interaction the process followed for drug discovery and how research goes through “five” phase trials before it actually hits the market. The process itself is very prolonged with the actual molecule hitting the market only after 15 years spent in trials at various stages. In addition to this it may still so happen that you may have just missed the most critical sample that could spell doom for your dream research on a wonder drug within minutes. Mr. Rajagopal shared with us such mishaps that have lead to immediate loss of life during trials phases and some experiments gone horribly wrong leading to permanent impairment in new born. Such incidences have lead to strengthening of FDA bodies across countries and stringent procedure makes drug discovery an ever more difficult procedure. One the most difficult FDA bodies to get across your drug approvals are Japan, US & Europe.

One of the other challenges which stem out of trials mishaps is the litigation & law suites faced by Pharmaceuticals in conjunction to a released molecule having adverse side-effects. The financial burden stemming out of this and growing competition from generics manufacturers is putting lot of pressure on big organizations to move fast which they inherently are not able to do because of bureaucracy and slow response to industry challenges.

Given such a situation, this real life case transforms into a good classroom discussion on what big companies like Pfizer should do to wade of looming crisis. Mr. Rajagopal keeps his presentations very interactive, which gave us a good opportunity to introspect in an incremental fashion and allowed us to take the pill of pharmaceutical industry gradually!!!  A lecture which was initially intended for one hour lasted for about two hours with questions pouring from all corners of the class ranging from “why we can’t patent in phased manner” to “innovative strategies that should be adopted to carry M&A activities”. Some participants were also suggestive of “outsourcing clinical trials to low cost destinations” and cut down on the “trial phase time by adopting efficient research techniques.”

Through his discussion Mr. Rajagopal initiated a thought process in our mind to think of various strategies which could be adopted by Pharmaceutical companies to come over these crisis and some of the above quality responses are reflection of this discussion. The inputs made by us are also indeed being adopted by companies like Pfizer in reality.

My take … I think so we may not have yet bloomed into complete managers but have started showing seeding signs for the bloom…

As we were pressed for time for which we showed total disrespect!!!…overshooting by an hour we converged the session by giving a vote of thanks by Anjana, one of our class participants to Mr. Rajagopal for sharing his rich experience with us.

Vote Of Thanks To Mr.RajaGopal By Anjana Rao

Vote Of Thanks To Mr.RajaGopal By Anjana Rao

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