Skills like team building, team working, leadership, decision-making and documentation can be developed through a rigorous management course.
|Prof. Aparna Rao
The IT bubble arrived, peaked, burst, peaked again and stayed on top. The results speak for them- selves. It's now the turn of biotechnology to follow suit. With its revolutionary findings in vaccine production, stem cell research, Bt cotton, clinical research and genetic engineering etc, biotechnology as a career option is set to scale newer heights. At a global level, companies like Pfizer, Amgen, Wockhardt and many more are taking keen interest in research and development and marketing of biotech products. Biotech companies like Biocon and Serum Institute too are making their mark on the global markets. There arises thus, a new need...the need for specialized biotech business managers.
According to a definition, "Biotechnology is the manipulation of organisms to do practical things and to provide useful products." Biotechnology is a unique industry and has its own individual demands, causing exceptional needs for the industry. With a growth rate of almost 37 percent, there is a dearth of managers who understand the specialty and novelty of this field, people trained to tackle issues related to IPR, finance, marketing, personnel in this sector. This requirement of managers specialized in this field of study and management is only increasing.
Management traditionally known as "the art of conducting, directing" in the 20th century, was defined as "the art of getting things done through people." Today this definition still holds true but one must understand that to get things done from people, it is important for the people to trust the individual. This trust is developed when subordinates, peers and the industry realize that the individual has thorough knowledge about the uniqueness of the business and all its functioning and is a value addition to the industry. For this a candidate needs grooming in managerial skills like team building, team working, leadership, decision-making and documentation. These are skills generally developed through a rigorous course like biotech business management.
It is generally found that students with a background in science are good at their work but lack confidence when it comes to dealing with people. Secondly, they are trained to follow instructions in a lab situation, but when it comes to independent decision-making, they're at a loss. A management course would provide something like a finishing school effect.
A management course after graduation or post graduation, poses some challenges for students. Working their way through theory in new subjects like economics, finance, marketing, human resources (HR), organizational behavior, business communication and coping with pure biotech subjects and finding a balance is no cakewalk. And you have the additional responsibility of planning and organizing seminars, placements, student activities, paper presentations to top it all. Students are expected to keep to tough deadlines in external projects since management definitely is not a classroom learning process. However, all this bears fruit as the student emerges a confident young professional, ready to face the orporate world.
Management is an art. A regular management course trains students in areas of functional management. However, some specialized sectors like hospitals, journalism, biotechnology and pharmacy have specific demands related to their industry. A regular HR manager may find it difficult to understand special requirements related to research and development and personnel in these areas. Managers who are from specialized courses like BBM would meet these requirements more professionally.
Shamoni Mulay, one of our BBM students at SIESCOMS, who joined this course after her MSc. in Microbiology says: "We as students of PGDBBM, at SIESCOMS are well aware of the initial hurdles we may have to face due to lack of awareness, but we see bright prospects for the biotech sector, and along with it we are prepared to fill the upcoming need for the right kind of managers. We can feel the biotech boom coming our way swiftly. The time is now, the place is here, and this truly is the way to success."
By Prof. Aparna Rao