Competition is getting tougher, irrespective of the industry. There is a wide variety of products and services on offer, each one trying to outdo the other in terms of aspects and features, in line with the market demands. But what really makes the difference? The people.
As an organisation, the capabilities and skills of your employees give you an edge over the others. Therefore, training and development of top talent is essential. Organisations know that if taken seriously, this can really prove to be a lethal weapon to destroy their rivals.
In the pharma industry, companies are gearing up to prepare their employees to make a positive and deep impact on the business and help the organisation grow.
As we know, sales and revenue are the most important pillars of an organisation. A strong and well-trained sales force can make all the difference between success and failure. Keeping this in mind, Alkem Laboratories introduced the ‘Alkepedia’ programme to train its sales force through an e-learning platform.
The larger part of any phamaceutical organisation comprises the sales team, without which the organisation cannot hope to survive.
“In our industry, the sales division is the backbone of the company. We realised that training the sales people first, through digital platforms, will provide us an edge over our rivals and competitors”
“In our industry, the sales division is the backbone of the company. We realised that training the sales people first, through digital platforms, will provide us an edge over our rivals and competitors,” says Sushil Barkur, AVP-learning and development, Alkem Laboratories.
Alkem has customised the e-learning platform according to its needs and the business requirements. The courses available are specifically designed by the L&D team at Alkem, and totally focussed on training employees in sales.
Alkepedia follows the micro-learning concept, where short videos are available to understand small topics.
The learning app is compatible with multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Alkem has also provided its employees with tablets so that they can easily access the courses anytime and anywhere.
According to Barkur, the learning initiative has been a big hit amongst the sales force. The Company has not only witnessed a positive response, but an overwhleming 70-75 per cent adoption rate for this learning app.
“It is great to see that the employees are finding value in the Alkepedia learning app,” comments Barkur.
The e-learning platform has been designed very strategically to meet the challenges faced by a sales division. In the pharma space, the sales teams generally interact with each other over calls. As they work in different locations, they rarely get to meet each other. This makes it very difficult for them to give instant feedback to the teams working in the field.
The app has an in-built feedback mechanism, which allows team leaders and senior managers to give instant feedback to their teams on their learning progress.
Interactive interventions, such as monthly quizzes and leader-board competitions keep the sales workforce engaged.
It also acts as an internal communication tool for the organisation. Through the quizzes, the senior leaders come to know of the areas where an employee lags or needs improvement, and they are able to take necessary action accordingly.
“The mobile app-based learning ensures our large and dispersed sales force, across the length and breadth of the country, gets an opportunity to learn anytime, at their convenience and even while on the move”
“The mobile app-based learning ensures our large and dispersed sales force, across the length and breadth of the country, gets an opportunity to learn anytime, at their convenience and even while on the move. It offers real-time learning,” shares Rajorshi Ganguli, president HR & global HR head, Alkem Laboratories.
The stakeholders and senior management at Alkem are also thinking to extend this programme to other departments to allow employees to learn whatever they want at anytime and anywhere.
In addition, the Company also has another programme called ‘A-Leap’, which is specifically designed to train and mentor the top management leaders. It is a combination of classroom learning and action learning.
The programme focuses on personal development and development of financial acumen in leaders.
On completion of this seven-month long programme, the leaders end up with a more open mindset, a lot of positivity and a willingness to experiment.
It is a custom-designed multi modular programme for senior managers in collaboration with ISB, Hyderabad. Being spread over several months, it ensures easy assimilation and application of learning.
“We ensure that the programme is delivered by a pool of global faculty and each participant is provided with a personal coach to receive support and guidance all throughout. The programme aims to prepare our managers for the challenges of tomorrow through a journey of self-discovery, leading others and finally effectively leading and delivering business results,” shares Ganguli.
It is not a surprise that organisations are now focusing more on developing their employees for the changing times and also incorporating new ways of learning and leveraging digital technology.