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Dear Colleagues!  This is Asrar Qureshi’s Blog Post #697 for Pharma Veterans. Pharma Veterans welcome sharing of knowledge and wisdom by Veterans for the benefit of Community at large. Pharma Veterans Blog is published by Asrar Qureshi on WordPress, the top blog site. Please email to for publishing your contributions here.

This series of posts gives ideas about what opportunities new graduates can find in pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical Industry is a large industry; it employs a fair number of people in various departments.

We take up two other majors offered in Management Sciences.


Historically, the ‘munshi’ kept the accounting record. A typical munshi in the old movies/plays would be a middle-aged guy, with a round-frame reading glasses on his nose, a register or papers under his arm, and a servile smile on his face. He would be humble and was the confidante of the owner/landlord/businessman/landlady etc. The accounting rose from there in a relatively short time to chartered accountancy, and more. Today, we have several advanced degrees in accounting: CA – Chartered Accountants are still supreme in Pakistan; ACCA – Associate Certified Chartered Accountant is quite popular but do not enjoy the same statutory rights as CA; ACMA – Associate Cost and Management Accountant, are mostly engaged in costing, budgeting, and planning. Internationally, CPA – Certified Public Accountant is also popular. Public Finance Accountants is another emerging class here. Accounting is still about keeping record of inflow and outflow of revenues, and revenue management. Taxation was not added later; it was always part of accounting.

For a long time, and even now in most organizations, financial management is done by the entrepreneurs themselves. Businesses, however, needed more cash than they generated, or had surplus cash which needed to be invested in the best possible ways. Finance management therefore came in, though much later. Today, BBA/MBA with major in Finance, CFA- Certified Financial Analyst, and MCom – Master’s in Commerce, compete for finance positions.

 The confusion in Pakistan about accounting and finance is rampant and accountants win hands down because of their longevity and hold. The CFO – Chief Financial Officer is usually a CA or less usually, an ACCA or ACMA, and is responsible for both accounting and finance.

New graduates having done BCom, BBA with finance major, CA Inter, ACMA Inter can enter the workforce in accounts departments, and hope to grow over time. It is greatly desired, however, that they improve or complete their education if they wish to reach good positions.

Accounting/Finance is a lucrative field and provides good opportunity to those who have the flair for it.

Supply Chain

Supply Chain is a new addition to management structure but has grown very rapidly. The major components include Procurement, Import, Logistics, Clearance, Warehousing, and Shipments.

Procurement consumes great, the greatest in many businesses, amount of company revenue. For this reason, the owner/entrepreneur keeps this function with himself/herself till any time they desire. Procurement has also evolved from simple purchasing activity to procurement process. Purchasing is now one part of procurement.

Many materials have to be procured from outside Pakistan, and therefore import became a responsibility of procurement. It involves finding suppliers abroad, negotiating for good prices and terms, opening LC – Letter of Credit, or BC – Bank Contract, or managing CAD – Cash Against Documents etc.

As the imported goods arrive at the airport/seaport, the clearance from regulatory authorities in some cases, and from Customs in all cases must be done. Clearing agents take up customs clearance because officials feel more comfortable with them. The government tried to institute digital filing, but it was quickly taken over by the agents.

Logistics is an important part of supply chain. Finding and negotiating for safe and quick delivery at economical prices is the responsibility of SC. In this area, they may also facilitate the export department.

Warehousing has been modernized over time. GSP – Good Storage Practices guidelines have been introduced and warehousing has become a proper activity under supply chain.

Supply Chain, as mentioned earlier, has become a recognized function comprising of all above activities. No one was qualified for any of the component functions. Then a private university offered a master’s degree in supply chain few years back. The trend caught up quickly, and now it is part of major and a full degree in almost all institutions. Virtual University is also now offering in master’s in supply chain. In addition, certificate courses are available. The number of supply chain qualified people is still small and therefore, people with a degree like BBA can join supply chain department and can later study towards specialization.

Supply chain is among the fastest growing specialties and shall remain so for foreseeable future. The movement of goods within the same country and across the globe is enormous and increases consistently. Supply chain may be considered preferentially, rather than the usual working.

We wrap up our discussion on Management Sciences here. We shall take up other qualifications next.

To be Continued……

Disclaimer: Many pictures in these blogs are taken from Google Images which does not show copyright ownership. If a claim is lodged at any stage, we shall either mention the ownership clearly, or remove the picture with suitable regrets.

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