Dear Pharma Veterans. It is part of the original concept that individual Pharma Veterans will be profiled. These men and women spent their entire work life in Pharma Industry and contributed enormously. They are a reason for celebration and a source for inspiration. Your comments and contributions are awaited. Would you like to have yourself profiled here? Please write to ­­­­­­­­­­

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Iqbal Awan says about his first target. “I was told by my boss that the target of my territory will be Rs.10, 000/-per month and in case it is not achieved you will be fired ….I discussed this alarming situation with my friends …..they introduced me to Mr. Khurshid Shah who was the in charge of the medical store, Central Government hospital, which is now Benazir Bhutto General hospital. He with some discussions placed an order for 200 boxes of Neurobedoxin injections. The value of the order was Rs.15,000. After an undertaking that the payment will be made in the shortest period, the order was executed. My boss was skeptical of this business. He rushed from Peshawar to Rawalpindi. I was summoned, and the matter was interrogated. No one was ready to accept my views on the basis of the fact that they never visited Central Government Hospital. The next day my boss and Mr. CA Khan our National Sales Manager accompanied me to the Central Govt hospital. I took them to the medical store. Mr. Khurshid Shah welcomed us and gave me a fresh order for 300 boxes of Neurobedoxin inj with a promise to place order for Schazocyclin/ Schazomycetin capsules.”

It is worth noting that the Pharma companies followed detailed procedures for hiring and training their salespeople. This ensured that the hiring was right and they were prepared right. However, there were wider differences between product back up, promotion, compensation and benefits.

Iqbal Awan left Schazoo in less than two years. He says “The attitude of my National Sales Manager developed an antagonism for him and I thought of quitting the company which had no respect for their employees. The next day while in the field I told my boss that I wanted to resign from the job on the basis of the attitude of the NSM. He convinced me to stay back as this was a company which could provide the career path, but I had realized that with this company I can neither make the career nor money. The representatives of the multinational companies used to tell about their salaries, allowances, incentives and their stay at Intercontinental in their monthly sales meeting. These were the early events which built my confidence and gave me the opportunities of building rapport with my customers and this increased the sales many folds beyond the expectation of my management.”

IA joined Hoechst in 1974. We met during the training in 1975. I had just joined while he was already working. He left Hoechst and Joined Wyeth in 1976 from where he retired in 2011. Wyeth acquired Lederle and both were later acquired by Pfizer. IA retired from the position of NSM Nutrition.

IA has a wealth of knowledge about infant nutrition; the products, market, competition, marketing and sales. He carries a living history of infant nutrition in Pakistan. Currently, he is working as National Sales Manager for an infant formulas marketing company. He is turning seventy-one but looks younger. He still carries the same discipline, strong work ethics, sense of responsibility, and judicious use of resources.

I wish him health and strength and the opportunity to work, contribute and train many others in the same way.

Iqbal Awan can be reached at

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