The Director Corporate at Alniche Lifesciences, Ritu Hasija connected with The Global Hues to share her success story.
A core professional, Ritu Hasija has excelled in all rigors to achieve recognition and success in life. Diligently working as Director Corporate at Alniche Lifesciences, this passionate woman has put her heart and soul into Alniche to achieve her dream of shaping Alniche into a global pharma company. She charted the path carefully to ensure Alniche is recognized as the fastest-growing company in Indian Pharma Industry. A strong believer in the age-old dictum “No pain, No gain”, she exhibits administrative abilities and strong will to implement thus ensuring disciplined teams working towards common objectives. Her creative streak and divergent thinking helped to shape her career and become a successful entrepreneur. She is an aspiring leader with an indomitable passion and unwavering mindset. A fearless personality with an aptitude for risk-taking, she quit her job to get into entrepreneurship at the peak of her career.
She started her professional journey from the grass-roots level, being a thorough sales-marketing expert, excelling in niche therapies – Nephrology and Critical care, with the experience of working in various pharma organizations (Cipla, Emcure, VHB). Her ground-level experience in the early phase of her career helped her understand the importance of a customer-centric account management approach for customer acquisition. This focused strategy facilitated her career growth as she has risen to high ranks in companies with various recognitions. The success of Alniche is credited to the resolute presence of Ritu being on top of every activity and closely monitoring the progress and diversification of Alniche. She greatly stresses the need for constant reinvention to survive and become competent enough to deliver up to the customer’s expectations. Leading by example, the bold entrepreneur continues to inspire trust and confidence in her teams. With her dedication and undying spirit, she has helped the brand Alniche to be one of the market leaders. She rightly proclaims that her mission statement is to ‘empower people and encourage team-work so that these dedicated teams will take Alniche to the realms of success and fame.
A Glimpse of Alniche Lifesciences
Alniche Lifesciences, headquartered in New Delhi, India, is a dynamic Pharmaceutical company that markets specialized, high-quality, effective, and value-for-money medicines, and wellness products in India. Alniche has 700+ employees with 1500+ distribution points both for prescription and OTX brands, covering 70,000 doctors and 30,000 hospitals. With a strong product portfolio, both domestically manufactured and in-licensed, Alniche fulfills the unmet needs of the patients in the areas of nephrology, critical care, gastroenterology, dermatology, advanced wound care, and neuro-psychiatry.
In a short span of time, Alniche has emerged as a fierce competitor in the Nephrology and Critical Care segment and is continuing the success story in newly expanded therapy segments. The company is ranked among the top three in Nephrology and top ten in Critical care, pioneering in bringing novel molecules/formulations. Global market research company (AWACS) has rated Alniche as one of the fastest-growing Pharma companies in India and ranked 71. Alniche is spearheaded to a unique position among the competitors. By integrating the right marketing mix with a niche product portfolio and approaching the specific target audience is the strategy of the company. A well-designed scientific marketing strategy to constantly engage with the doctors keeps the company ahead of its competitors. This involves various programs like organizing CMEs, symposia, web hosting, teleconsultations, disease info & management, advocacy development, newsrooms, latest in therapeutic regimen – book release, practice support, and decision enhancement tools, and a few others. Each therapy is promoted by a different team, thus bringing the required positioning focus with minimal overlap.
Following this philosophy, Alniche business development team keeps on exploring new avenues of growth and opportunities to collaborate with global pharma companies. Strengthening the product portfolio is one of the key strategies that sails the organization ahead of its competitors. The prime focus is to enrich each therapy area with unique products that have the scientific backup and can augment the philosophy of end-to-end treatment. In the upcoming times, the company envisions expanding market share in existing therapies, launching new therapy, and allied healthcare units, and making Alniche one of the Top 50 Pharma Companies in India.
The business acumen of Girish Arora (Founder & Managing Director) and the operational support of Ritu, are shaping Alniche as the science-based organization that is expanding its horizon in all verticals of the Healthcare industry from prescription to e-commerce and non-prescription OTC.
Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs
According to Ritu, the first challenge women entrepreneurs face is to maintain a fine balance between varied requirements of business and family. While the attention to the family takes a lot of energy and time, a woman must devote equal attention to business as well. She advises women entrepreneurs to manage their resources optimally to strike a work-life balance. It has been estimated that if more gender parity existed in entrepreneurship and women started businesses at the same rate as men, global GDP might increase by $28 trillion by 2025. In India, women entrepreneurs should give more time in building their business networks and work on a prominent presence in industry forums. This will not only put them on a firm foot in their own enterprise but will also benefit the industry as a whole.
Another Challenge faced by women is the confidence to travel across even different regions freely. This shows the level of freedom of expression and freedom of mobility of women entrepreneurs. “The glass ceiling is another factor, which develops hurdles for women entrepreneurs. Even though women entrepreneurs are good managers to keep their deliverables diligent and on time, still they have to face constraints from this invisible competition. However, this scenario is fast-changing, and I proudly say that at Alniche half of our office staff are women and they are fulfilling their responsibilities very efficiently at all levels” shares Ritu. Women entrepreneurs are making their presence in the pharma industry with their dedication and dynamism. Alniche believes in empowering women, treating them equally, and respecting them for their talent with flexible policies for both genders so that they can strike a perfect work-life balance.
“The work sphere of an entrepreneur is quite extensive. You are required to oversee operations, efficiency, inspire innovation in your team, manage stakeholders, and act as a role model for everyone. These responsibilities manifest themselves in the form of never-ending lists of tasks, at times can be difficult to tackle all at once, but prioritizing & managing these countless responsibilities impeccably makes entrepreneurship fascinating” shares Ritu. She further adds that entrepreneurs your own businesses give you full control over your destiny and turns your passion into a business.
Ritu considers her employees as the first clients because a satisfied employee is the best brand ambassador of the company. The company’s external clients are Doctors, Hospitals, and Channel partners. Alniche believes that motivated employees are key to ensure a business continuum through satisfied external clients. As the pharma business is indirect marketing where doctors need to be convinced of the quality of medicine to prescribe to the end consumer i.e.their patients, thus Alniche views quality as a paramount principle and ensures that each of the manufacturing partners is certified with ISO, WHO-GMP, and cGMP certifications. Alniche has a dedicated Medical and Pharmacovigilance department that is engaged in PMS (Post Marketing Surveillance) and coordinates with manufacturers to ensure quality compliance.
Daily Routine and Hobbies
Globally, it is well recognized that women are the best managers with a gifted virtue of multi-tasking. For a women entrepreneur, juggling work along with family life is a fine balancing art. Ritu starts her day with meditation & yoga as she believes exercise leads to increased energy levels and a positive outlook on life. She plans her entire day schedule in the morning, manages the household work, and leaves for the office. Her traveling time to the office is utilized to connect with department heads regarding their day’s plan or any urgent issue in hand. Ritu manages her time at work by allocating specific time for various tasks, keeps an eye on critical functions like sales, marketing, finance, and business development. Trusting her employees and delegating timebound work make her more focused and efficient.
Ritu admirably gives full attention to the family and maintains the work-life balance exceptionally well. Evening at home is family time, time for rejuvenation and pursuing hobbies. She enjoys reading current affairs, watching the news, attending webinars on various industry-relevant topics and national geographic channels.
Company and Team Ethos
Alniche fosters an open work culture that is based on teamwork with a positive attitude working towards a common goal. This is the key to business success and delivering excellence to the customers.
Alniche work ethos focuses on participative management in which every employee is a part of the decision-making process. “We believe that the employees doing their current job is the most qualified to suggest improvements in the process and relevant modifications get maximum results, spending minimum time and cost” shares Ritu.
Alniche encourages ideas from all employees through brainstorming sessions to arrive at decisions. These decisions thus reached are the best decisions because employees own them and ensure 100% implementation.
Words of Wisdom
To all the budding female entrepreneurs, Ritu advises
- “Have BIG plans to realize your dream of being an entrepreneur”.
- “Make a mission statement and an elaborate strategic plan which will serve as your guiding path for next few years. It is important to tap into the inner reason behind your enterprise. The path towards being an entrepreneur is going to have its share of ups and downs but is worth the effort.”
Awards and Recognitions
“Our exceptional contribution to the field of healthcare has been recognized with various prestigious national and international honors and awards” shares Ritu.
To name a few of them:
- Best Organization in Nephrology drugs & Novel Formulations Award – Business Sphere, New Delhi, India
- Fastest growing brands & Leaders Award – Asia One, Dubai, UAE
- Excellence in Pharmaceutical Brand Management Award (New Product Launch) by CPhI, Netherlands (India Pharma Awards 2019)
- Healthcare Elite Award – Business APAC, India
- Super 30 Companies Award – Silicon Review, New Jersey, USA
- Noteworthy Biotech & Pharma company – Business APAC, India
- Company of the year 2019- Business Connect, India
- 10 companies with the most disruptive innovation by Business Berg, Dublin, Ohio, USA.
- Pharma CEO of the year – Time2Leap Awards – MSME edition issued by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises India
- Emerging brand of the year Time2Leap Awards – MSME edition issued by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises India
Vision and Future Projects
Ritu informs that the Indian pharma industry is growing exceptionally as people are getting aware of their health and lifestyle. Ritu plans expansion in the domestic market into new therapy segments like Cardio-diabetic, Gynec, Ortho as these are fast-growing with immense business potential. Additionally, she has plans for expanding the operations of Alniche to other countries via exports Besides exports, the institutional business gives huge opportunities as the government is the largest purchaser of medicines.
On the international front, Alniche would accelerate its in-licensing business vertical and add more global products to its already existing range of 11 international brands. Alniche has also ventured into the manufacturing segment through its manufacturing unit Effikasia Lifesciences. Effikasia will not only ensure quality products at competitive prices for Alniche, but also be a reliable contract manufacturing organization.
Ritu believes that an informed patient is a value add to the HCPs, hence Alniche started an online health info portal “My Healthytude”. This portal broadcast health information to the common masses so that their awareness of diseases and their prevention.
“Books are our truest friends and it’s hard to pick one that is the best” shares Ritu. “Chanakya Neeti” is her favorite book and she draws inspiration from it because it helps see some basic concepts and life’s teachings.
“Till the time you don’t decide to run, you are not in the competition” ~Chanakya