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 asrar@asrarqureshi.com ­­­­­­­­­­

Muhammad Shahzad is a pharmacist from Punjab University. He has been working in Production since the start of his career. 

Shahzad’s Opinion

  • Pharmacists have to update their knowledge and skills to face the dynamic changes in all fields of pharmaceutical sciences
  • Leaders are born; everyone cannot be a leader
  • Focus on your capabilities along with working on weak areas – working on Grey Areas should be continuous

Read about his journey in his own words.

“After Graduation from Punjab University, started my Career in 2002, Tried to join Sales and Marketing, but unfortunately, I was rejected by the leading Pharmaceuticals (Eli Lilly, Novartis and GSK) probably because of my harsh looking persona.

I changed track and joined SIZA International Lahore as Production officer. Left after a short time.  Then Joined Wilsons Pharma Rawalpindi as Assistant Manager Production and served there for almost two years. I enjoyed my working in almost all plant areas (Tablets, Syrups, Cream/ Ointment, Sachet) and learned technical skills from my seniors. After spending some time in all areas, I became well-versed in these production areas. It was an extra ordinary learning period for me….

One day, a colleague told me about the vacancy of Senior Officer Production in CCL Pharmaceuticals, Lahore. I prepared my application and dropped it in a post box, I still remember in I/9 Islamabad.

I received a call from CCL for interview; travelled to Lahore for interview. Reached Head Office CCL early morning. After a short interview with HRM Irfan Hashmi (now Late; May Allah rest his soul in peace), he told me to go to Plant for final assessment. At the Plant I was assessed by Dr. Ismail Malik and Nadeem Iqbal who were technically leading the plant.

I found Dr. Ismail Malik to be an extraordinarily genius person. He interviewed me for more than three hours; about all dosage forms, stages of manufacturing, troubleshooting and remedies. It was such a great discussion that even after more than 14 years I still remember his polite attitude and guidance about mechanisms and chemistry behind the problems. He appreciated my skills and advised me to keep my knowledge updated by reading books. Till today, I try to follow his instructions.

 I was appointed as senior officer at CCL Pharmaceuticals in March 2004. It was a great learning time. Policies of Dr. Ismail Malik were visionary. He introduced latest concepts of cGMP, Importance of Pharmacopoeias in laboratory, testing methods and R&D.  Unfortunately, he stayed there for short span of time and travelled back to Karachi due to his family issues.

I got tremendous learning from him about quality, dissolution and effects of physical parameters on dissolution profile of product; Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic materials and their role in dissolution, Impact of mixing time on final product after adding magnesium, concepts of Validation etc. May Allah Bless him….

After a short period of time, CCL hired Dr. Tayyab Mohyuddin from Wyeth as Director Technical. Working with Dr. Tayyab was tough. He was a sharp person with extraordinary administrative skills. He developed me as Manager. I learned how to tackle tough situations. He is my mentor.

After retirement of Dr. Tayyab Mohyuddin, Muhammad Khalid became Plant Director; a nice and polite gentleman. The next one year was somehow not so good for me. I went through job rotation which I did not like.  I thought about changing job or even switching to other domains like teaching and retail. It was a rather depressing period for me. After one year, I resumed my previous position, and after one year exactly I GOT UNEXPECTED PROMOTION.

 I deeply appreciate CCL management for acknowledging my work. I am also thankful to Asrar Qureshi, then COO, for his support and special focus on my skills. He worked with me to improve my soft skills along with technical skills.

There was a change and a new Director Plant Operations joined. We had different views about running the production and disagreed frequently.

One day there was a major conflict, and I decided to quit the job.”

To be Continued……

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