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Continued from Previous……

Customer Expectations Have Changed

Pharma customers have been pampered beyond reason for quite some time. In the interest of faster growth and greater market share, the top companies have increased their cost of selling seriously. Sponsorship cost of medical conferences has risen astronomically and is many times more than the actual cost incurred on the event. There are many other kinds of investments and sponsorships which remain on offer and in practice. When COVID lockdown struck, all running investments went bad. No one could ask for ‘Return on Investment’ because the situation was beyond human control. During lockdown, all investments were literally erased. As the lockdown eased, the Pharma companies enthusiastically ran with fresh and bigger offers. Mentioning the previous things was considered taboo. This has led to the impression that the ‘ROI’ can be readjusted in favor of customers. The resulting increase in customer expectations is logical.

Customers Demand Personalized Service

 The customer-salesperson contact was stopped almost completely at first, which was later regained in part. Wherever the contact was reclaimed, it was more on a personal basis. The nature of relationship therefore changed. Under the normal circumstances, a Pharma salesperson contacts around one hundred customers. During and shortly after lockdown, this number went down to one fourth or even less. The level of personalized attention and care thus created can be easily imagined. Even after greater normalization, the demand for personalize services has stayed.

Business Size is Fluctuating

This may sound paradoxical because the figures say that the business has grown. On the whole, yes, the market value has increased. However, it must be seen in combination with two important factors. One, the extraordinary sales of certain COVID-related products which would be very small otherwise; and two, the impact of price increases during the middle of the year. In reality, business has been fluctuating. There are good periods and lean periods.

Cost of Goods has Increased

The plants of raw materials in China and India shut down for few months. When operations resumed, prices of all materials were increased on the pretext of short supplies. The price hike still sustains

All shipments went on hold due to stoppage of flights. Cargo flights started operating earlier and the airlines charged exorbitant freights in order to compensate for their losses during COVID. While the flights were stopped, the entire burden of transport came to sea shipments. Containers went into short supply and this plus COVID resulted in unprecedented increase in sea freights. Even after the situation had normalized, the increase in freight continued. During the same period, Pak rupee lost considerable value against US Dollar.

Pakistan imports over 90% raw materials and packaging materials. The above factors have resulted in significant increase in the cost of goods. It is likely to stay up there indefinitely, may be forever.

Sum Up

The New Normal is quite different in many ways from the Old Normal. I would again emphasize that the Old Normal is not going to come back. We all need to adjust to the New Normal.

Some Suggestions

  • Reassess the business landscape and adjust forecasts and expectations. Pushing ahead with full force may sound heroic, but not wise. The topline is important, but bottom line is even more beautiful.
  • Redo marketing strategies. Consider current scenarios and build alternate scenarios. Marketing is about flexibility and adaptability, not rigidity; about never pursuing illusions.
  • Rationalize costs. The candle is literally burning from both ends. And the Red Ocean is getting bloodier. Hold yourself, watch and move more carefully.
  • Realign Teams with the New Normal. It may require retraining and reorientation but is worth doing it.
  • Rebuild relations with customers while adjusting to New Normal. Talk politely and openly, but firmly. Set the business expectations right. Not every customer will be happy with it, but many reasonable persons will understand.
  • Promote Trust – within teams, among staff, with customers and vendors.

COVID is a tough thing. It can only be handled with patience, resilience and faith.


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  1. Today Blog Post is the continuation of previous series of discussion on Adjusting the Business Model to New Normal today Blog Post is Part 2 of same discussion about business adjustment to new normal as mentioned in previous Blog post that older Models are now cannot meet challenges and requirements of market is changing and we must adjust business model to new normal and resons are as follows
    Change of Customer Expectations
    In present circumstances customers expectations also depend upon according to new model in business and the effect of Covid19 in the current market situation and companies wishes to maintain their positions and market share so they are focused on customer expectations and fulfilled their needs and demands
    2. Personalised service should be improved and accessible to customers demands to adjusting the company to new normal
    3.Bussiness Size is Fluctuating
    It is obviously true as the whole world business sanrio is entirely changing so the business Size is also Fluctuating as Covid19 crisis and therefore strategies focus as per changed markets business
    4. Cost of Goods is increasing
    This is very clear that cost of Goods is increasing because of hurdles in shipments and supply chains are difficult and disturbed
    To sum up the discussion it’s very important and vital to leaves older businesses model and adjustment is must to New Normal to meet the challenges of present situations
    Tasleem Baig

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