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      Offshored pharma sales next big opportunity

      Posted AtBusiness-Standard

      Outsourcing in the pharmaceutical domain is taking a new turn. After outsourced drug discovery research and development, clinical research and data mining - management, it is the turn of "offshore sales and marketing consultancy' for pharma companies to enter India and create jobs.

      The India-based consultancies are offering solutions in business intelligence and analysis, competitive intelligence, market analysis, patient flow and cost analysis, performance measurement and reporting.

      To ensure sales' force effectiveness, offshore consulting takes care of segmentation and targetting, portfolio optimisation and benchmarking the client's topline against the competition.

      In revenue forecasting and asset valuation, consultants conduct sales revenue forecast, pre-launch sales forecast, financial analysis and feasibility study.

      Market research analytics and epidemiology-based medical services in particular are growing fast.

      The global "sales and marketing consultancy' business is estimated at $3 billion and is growing at 5-6 per cent annually. The need to offshore these services is driven by the compulsion to cut costs.

      Presently, the line of new business in India is driven by global pharma companies and consultancies like Frost & Sullivan, MarketRX, TNS and ZS Associates which have set up their captive KPO centres.

      "PharmARC Analytic Solutions is a standalone unit which has trebled its revenues from $9.6 lakh in 2004 to $3 million in 2005 and raised its headcount from eight in January 2004 to 95 in November 2005," said Siraj Dhanani, chief executive officer, PharmARC Analytic Solutions.

      "India's abundant human resources in the pharma domain, analytics, statistics, epidemiology, bio-statistics, data modelling, software development and presentation expertise have opened the eyes of western pharma companies," said Dhanani.

      This has the potential to create a wave of opportunity in knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) in the pharma domain and lead to overall value growth in KPO, he added.

      November 29, 2005


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