Cachet Pharmaceuticals: Transparency & Taking Heed of Employees - The Success Mantra!

Indranil Chakravartty,President - Sales, Marketing & Logistics

Indranil Chakravartty

President - Sales, Marketing & Logistics

It is a common phenomenon ­ employees join, employees quit. Though IT and BPO sectors are the hardest hit, pharma marketing industry trails them. But the Indian pharma marketing industry is facing a bigger challenge. While the global pharma marketing attrition rate is between 10-12 percent, India experiences about 30 percent attrition rate. Hence it is important for the leaders in the sector to put their thought into work to find ways to reduce attrition as its widely known fact that attrition causes major financial loss to any organization. Cachet, a leading pharmaceutical company engaged in manufacturing and marketing of wide range of pharmaceutical formulations and nutraceuticals, experiences one of the relatively low attrition rate in the industry despite having around 70 percent of its employee on-field.

The secrete sauce?
"Company culture is a focus for both HR and company leaders, particularly for organizations vying for top or scarce talent. A good company culture can be a mechanism for attracting the right people and retaining its workers even in a competitive job market," says Indranil Chakravartty, President ­ Sales, Marketing & Logistics, Cachet. The company is committed to bring all its employees including the field force into the mainstream, thus keeping them well informed about the company's processes and status. Indranil says, "Our retention strategy is simple ­ let's be very transparent to our employees and ensure employees are well taken care of. Having a candidate attraction strategy that speaks of your company culture will increase the likeliness of attracting and engaging talent who will thrive and stay with you longer". Currently at 23 percent attrition rate, Cachet is working on reducing this further to 20 percent this year.

Creating Unshakable Work Culture
In our Mission to become Employer of Choice, Cachet is determined to follow crystal clear methods in all its functionalities ­ whether it is promotion, appraisal, business function or others. Indranil adds, "I spent my first month in Cachet talking to people and understanding the organization across function and across hierarchy. Predictability of the Leader at the top and transparency was the need I identified and focused on". Today promotion letters aren't handed over silently, but a detailed due diligence is performed on the eligible candidates, which includes a written test and interview with respective managers & Indranil. He believes that a company's culture can be strengthened following these five strategies ­
• embolden the current culture,
• be consistent,
• be relevant,
• be mobile and
• be honest.

"The effort to strengthen the culture becomes obvious, but it also becomes inclusive and two-way vs. just top-down, which is usually more appealing to employees and effective in the long run," Indranil adds.

The current pandemic times seeing many companies firing their employees due to shortage of work and poor business. But not Cachet. As the company believes its strength lies in its people. It is true that today business has taken a hit due to Covid19 Pandemic and lockdown. But company believes that our people only ensure a turnaround in business going forward. Cachet's 100 percent employees were working from home during the lockdown. Field Force of around thousand employees were thoroughly engaged in on line skill building facilitated by Marketing and Training Department during this period. Similarly, HO cross functional teams were aggressively engaged through department wise online weekly review meetings, webinar participations (as part of L&D process) and Quiz facilitated by Indranil and Animesh as part of employee engagement.

Company went extra miles to ensure employee at every level remain connected and not fall prey to the grapevine communication trap. "From March itself I made sure that we have video conferencing twice every week with the top leadership across functions, sales and marketing teams, extending this to even our field-force. It is true we cannot replace one-on-one communication, but we have managed anxiety to a considerable level," asserts Indranil.

Apart from these which are more situational, when the company was listed on NSE & BSE, it offered IPO to all its employees at discounted rates. Company provides benefits like mediclaim for the family, accidental policy, leave reimbursement (at the time of separation), and various leaves.
The company also provides travelling expenses, daily allowances, telephone bills, internet bills, stationary expenses, hotel stay expenses, and several other benefits.

Cachet has created a list of critical resource department-wise in consultation with the head of the department, which is made based on the performance of the individual employee along with his/her overall competency. "Our performance management system is very transparent and balanced, while it constitutes of 60 percent technical knowledge and 40 percent behavioral and helps us in identifying the talent among the employees," explains Animesh Dhari Singh, Manager HR.

Women employees make 23 percent of the total Cachet's workforce, and those who are the pillars, hold key positions in office. Cachet also gives immense importance to women employees' safety, like those leaving late night are provided with drop facility and are accompanied by a male employee to ensure complete safety. Further it has sexual harassment cell formed to prevent any untoward issue, but the company claims of not having encountered any such case till date.

Animesh Dhari Singh, Manager HR

Turning the Table
When Indranil joined Cachet, the company was passing through some rough patch post demonetization and GST implementation. "Those were challenging times for me too, but we hit the `T' together by shifting our focus from just developing business to developing people, putting right talent at the right place, constantly adding value to the stakeholders, and following financial discipline," he adds. These steps accelerated system and processes to ensure high performance standard while helping leaders break their shackles and adapt to the new working methodologies.

This is how Cachet has been growing at par with industry despite being a mid-sized company, while doing a business of more than Rs.200 crore in domestic prescription market last year,and delivering one of the highest growth in prescriptions from the doctors. Indranil explains, "This gives us the confidence that the strategic directions we took, the product positioning and the communication strategy we shaped are all in the right direction".

So what does it take to join Cachet? According to Animesh Dhari Singh, Manager HR, "We foster emotional quotient (EQ) more than intelligence quotient (IQ); by stating this I mean we look for candidates who can adapt to the culture of our company". Additionally the traits Cachet expects from new hires are customer focus, planning & organizing, persuasiveness, tenacity, initiative, communication, motivational fit, strategic thinking, decision making, prioritizing, analytical skills and interpersonal skills. Having two different function areas (filed or sales and corporate office, depot & factory), Cachet follows two different hiring strategies. For field or sales hiring, the company has referral hire, social networking, and consultant (in selective cases), and for corporate office, depot & factory, it has head hunting and job portals. While currently hiring experienced and freshers in the ratio of 4:1, it is working to reshuffle the numbers to 5:2.

70 percent of its employees being field-force, Cachet focuses on empowering them through various training & development programs scheduled yearly. These includes BIT (basic induction training) for new joiners, MDP (managerial development program), CEP (competency enhancement program), RMDP (regional manager development program) and various other refresher courses on medical training.

"Additionally, we conduct one offsite L&D program every three months (HO employee), which includes speakers/trainers externally and internally," adds Animesh. Cachet even sponsors employees for individual certifications based on their learnability and performance. It is also in the process of collaborating with one of the renowned universities in India for employees' further technical education.

When the world is moving towards deeper tech integration, how can Cachet be behind! In the recent times, it has introduced an internal ERP system for employees where they can not only download their salary slip for last 12 months but also can ask for Form 16 and get enlightened about other company policies. "We even have our L&D Programs on this platform. Undertaking digitization, however, needs a well-thought-out strategy built on the selection of sustainable, robust and scalable technologies asserts Animesh.

Talking about the blueprint of Cachet, Indranil concludes, "To deliver a sustainable growth amidst this evolving landscape, we are judiciously investing in our infrastructure, capabilities, people and processes to build a company which is agile and future ready. We are committed to deliver high quality drugs and adhere to regulatory compliance. Continuing with our investments which we made in the fiscal year 2019, this financial year also we further added to our manufacturing and R&D capabilities, expanded our product pipeline, strengthened our field force to increase our coverage and optimized various processes to drive higher productivity and efficiency".

Indranil Chakravartty, President ­ Sales, Marketing & Logistics
Holding over 37 years of experience in sales & marketing, Indranil has all the needed arsenals to turn the table in favor of his organization. He has been instrumental in empowering Cachet employees with transparency, commitment, and predictable Leader Behavior.

Animesh Dhari Singh, Manager HR
Collaborating with people since 2006 with over 14 years of corporate learning, with mixed experience of industries from service industry to pharmaceuticals. Always ready for changing dynamics and sustaining challenges.

Office: Mumbai
Offerings: Manufacturing and Marketing of Wide Range of Pharmaceutical Formulations and Nutraceuticals

Awards & Recognitions:
• International Star for Leadership in Quality Convention award at Paris by Business Initiative Directions
• European Award for Best Practices ­ 2016 at Brussels by European Society for Quality Research
• UBM Initiative Recognition ­ Emerging Exporters of the Year ­ 2016 for its business achievements by UBM India