Prabhir Jha: Digital is not just another technology, it is a mind-set

DigiStorm 2018 was held on 11 September at the Lalit Ashok in Bangalore. The event was headlined by Prabir Jha – President & Global Chief People Officer, Cipla. K. Hariram gives us the highlights from the pre-lunch session.

DigiStorm 2018 kicked-off with an enthralling keynote address by Prabir Jha, President & GCHRO at Cipla. Prabir Jha challenged pharma business leaders with the thought provoking statement, “Digital is not just another technology, it is a mind-set.”

Prabir Jha set the tone for the day’s deliberations on Intent, Strategy, Content and Skills needed to bring about digital transformation, by asking Indian Pharma leaders to go beyond merely flirting with digital, not knowing where to begin and where to end, and getting lost in between. Instead, digital adoption should begin with contextualising it to Indian Pharma’s unique needs.

While pharma is known to be a laggard in adopting newer ways of doing business, Prabir Jha asked what would Indian Pharma leaders use digital for – to leverage it for incremental gains or use it for disruptive innovation?

The right question he said was not, “Can digital help us? But are we willing to help ourselves.” Going further he said, “If we are agreed that digital is indeed transformational, then how can we rethink, re-imagine and re-purpose our business models?

The right question he said was not, “Can digital help us? But are we willing to help ourselves.” Going further he said, “If we are agreed that digital is indeed transformational, then how can we rethink, re-imagine and re-purpose our business models?

While the doctor remains central to healthcare business, the rapid changes in the world makes it imperative for pharma companies to become patient-centric. Patients are becoming more and more informed, thanks to the ubiquitous nature of the digital world, and neither doctors nor pharma can afford to ignore the information-powered patients.

Patient-centricity is to move beyond conventional marketing approaches of monitoring market shares, which are often more than a month old. Patient-centricity involves moving into therapy-shaping and disease management, wherein the patient, physician, payors and pharma collaborate and cooperate in enabling patients to live healthier and happier lives.

Pharma must see the interlinking between patients, physicians and payors and ask, where and what are the problems? And only then, move to digital transformation to solve these carefully identified problems through newer business models.

Prabir Jha emphasised that while issues of privacy are important, by mapping the patient’s journey and examining the inter-relations between patients, physicians and payors, pharma can gain important insights that can help it to rethink, re-imagine and re-purpose pharma business models from the current redundant and static ways of doing business to one that is relevant to changing times and aspirations of patients and physicians.

Are Indian Pharma business leaders listening?

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About K. Hariram

K. Hariram is the former M.D. (retd.) at Galderma India. He is Chief Mentor at MedicinMan and a regular contributor. Email: khariram25@yahoo.com
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