Automation- the growth engine for pharma says, Mr. Adarsh Kumar, the winner of “Nationwide Pharma Marketing Excellence Awards for Excellence in Strategic Digital Marketing”

During the awards, we got an opportunity to interact with Mr. Adarsh Kumar, the winner of “Nationwide Pharma Marketing Excellence Awards” for “Excellence in Strategic Digital Marketing”.
Mr. Ajit Thakur

During the awards, we got an opportunity to interact with Mr. Adarsh Kumar, the winner of “Nationwide Pharma Marketing Excellence Awards” for “Excellence in Strategic Digital Marketing”. Mr. Adarsh is a distinguished strategic digital marketeer, currently associated with the leading pharmaceutical organization, Micro Labs Ltd. as a Strategic Digital Marketing Head and brings n rich experience of 17 years. He has sculpted his marketing career in healthcare by connecting with various digital MR and doctor platforms, digitalization of PMS, e-detailing, etc. After congratulating him, for winning “Nationwide Pharma Marketing Excellence Awards” for “Excellence in Strategic Digital Marketing”, We had an informative dialogue with Mr. Adarsh. I am sharing a glimpse from an insightful and inspiring conversation for the benefit of all readers.

Q.1: Today you have been awarded as the best marketeer for strategic digital marketing, tell us, what inspired you to pursue a career in the profession of pharma marketing at first?

I started my career in 2005 when I completed my B.Sc. (IT) followed by MBA in marketing. I was always passionate about marketing in the IT field. I worked with a lot of companies and managed different clients within the FMCG space, specifically at P&G. Once I got promoted at Accenture, I became the digital head for Merck. I was managing the entire digital portfolio in the vaccine and diabetes field. Later, I moved to Sanofi where I managed the social media launch for their insulin products. When Wockhardt approached me about having their own digital setup, it was an opportunity for me to move from a consulting background to a client’s side. However, I maintained my portfolio as a digital head. While at Wockhardt, I learned that marketing is very interesting in healthcare in the digital space. There are a lot of tricks and interesting facts, various legal aspects and ways in which marketing happens in the healthcare space. Later, I worked for Dr. Reddy’s where I was heading the digital transformation for their brands and portfolio. After that, I moved to Indegene where I played a role as a consultant to healthcare companies. In the Boehringer Ingelheim, I was heading digital marketing sector setup of the organization. I continue to pursue digital marketing in the healthcare space at Micro Labs Limited wherein I am handling the digital space of all their brands.

Q.2: Can you tell us about your journey as a marketeer, your learning curve & what was that inflection point in the journey that transformed you into a successful marketeer?

My journey as a marketeer started when I was interning at Vodafone. I am proud to be a part of the campaign that said “we follow wherever you go”. Later I started with digital marketing in healthcare. The turning point for my career was when I moved from the consulting space in Accenture to the healthcare space in Wockhardt. While being in a consulting space, I was in a completely different role. When I moved to Wockhardt, I had to learn various medical terminologies related to healthcare and I had to do a lot of fieldwork to understand the molecule and the therapies.

Q.3: Being a successful brand manager, according to you, what are the traits of trade that a brand manager should inculcate to excel?

From the digital healthcare perspective, a marketeer should always be open to new ideas. Moreover, a marketeer should be motivated to adopt new approaches and use digital marketing confidently in healthcare.

Q.4: For the year 2022, you have been awarded as the best marketeer in strategic digital marketing, tell us something about your last year’s digital marketing initiatives that make you stand tall in this highly competitive industry.

In the last two years, the entire healthcare industry has seen a learning curve. While the pharma industry was using a conventional approach to meet the doctors and promote their brands, what made me stand tall was the digital initiative at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. I approached doctors through various doctor engagement platforms. If all the information for treating a patient is in the form of an infographic, case study, article, or video, the doctors are likely to prescribe that product to their patients. Secondly, e-commerce and online pharmacies have led to significant growth within my organization, by about 20-25%. Digitalization also helped the company thrive during the pandemic.

Q.5: How have your marketing initiatives improved the quality of life of the patients?

Patient awareness and doctor promotion/ engagement are the two main segments of a digital marketing initiatives. The digital marketing initiatives majorly provide education to the patients through awareness campaigns, such as the facebook campaign for respiratory illness, i.e. for Allergic Rhinitis conducted on 15th August. Secondly, a mobile application that is specifically designed for the patients and the doctors, improves the quality of life of the patients. The adoption of digital tools makes the process of diagnosis and treatment quick. While this makes the process convenient for the doctors, it improves the quality of life of the patients.

Q.6: Every specialty has a typical success lever, according to you what are those levers of success in strategic digital marketing?

There are two aspects of digital strategy, the strategic role, and the digital marketing role at an agency. A digital marketeer should choose the journey accordingly. A successful lever for a digital marketeer is to understand the current digital trends in the market. Secondly, knowing how to utilize the trends is beneficial. Knowing what is applicable to your field is important. For example, if podcasts are a current digital trend, they may not be necessarily helpful in healthcare. The third success lever is the implementation of the strategies and the ultimate milestone is analytics and tracking of your digital initiatives.   

Q.7: At last, what would you like to tell, the budding marketeers, hoping to carve out their career in pharma brand building?

From a digital perspective, it is essential to understand the traditional environment and how the industry is currently functioning. Secondly, a budding marketeer should understand how digital technology can shape functioning and leads to improvement within the organization. A digital marketeer can understand the current pharma scenario and use his/her digital skills to boost current activities.