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Insights into Entrepreneurial Leadership and Managerial Skills

26 Jan 2018

Entrepreneurial, leadership and management skills are increasingly expected to be part of the graduate’s abilities and skill set. In the pharmaceutical sector, within a year of professional registration, many pharmacy graduates will find themselves in roles in which they are expected to effectively address situations with legal, ethical, operational, human resource and financial management aspects. It is therefore highly desirable that pharmacy students acquire and develop leadership and managerial acumen throughout their programme of study. From the introduction of the IMU BPharm programme in 2004, the curriculum has included a Year 3 module on Business Management. This module is also taken by students in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. In 2017 we introduced a marketing project in which students are challenged to formulate and present a realistic marketing strategy for a non-prescription pharmaceutical product. In designing such a strategy students need to draw on product knowledge, management and decision making ability; imagination, creativity and ability to think innovatively and laterally. This project is seen as integrative, simulating real-world challenges whilst providing opportunities to make management decisions in a low-risk setting.

Students worked in teams and presented their strategies as posters, explaining them to judges in a final judging session on 29 September 2017. We elicited the help of senior managers from CCM Pharma – Yee Kar Ming (Manager, Formulation, Research & Development Technologies), Eileen Ong (Trade Marketing Manager), Yap Mei Sing (Senior Executive, Brands) – to critically evaluate the posters and presentations, and to provide feedback. The judging session also saw the participation of Prof Peter Pook, (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, IMU), A/Prof Mohd Zulkefeli Mat Jusoh (Dean, School of Pharmacy), Prof Mallikarjuna Rao Pichika (Associate Dean, Research and Consultancy) and faculty members of the Pharmaceutical Technology Department.

  We were honoured to have the opportunity to exhibit our business management poster. We did not win any prize but we learnt a lot about marketing strategies of OTC products and had a wonderful experience. I hope this activity can be passed down to my junior cohorts because it was beneficial.  Liaw Pu Kang 
  It took a lot of effort and time but it was all worth it. We actually gained valuable insights and understanding on business management and also learnt how to do a proper professional presentation which will definitely be useful in the future when we are involved in any activity related to managing. I would like to express my sincere thanks to staff involved and the group members for all the efforts in making this possible! Ho Keat Zhee
  The business management poster presentation gave me a very good exposure on how to market a pharmaceutical product with innovative ideas to make us stand out among competitors. By looking at the ideas that came out from all pharmacy students, I believe a pharmacist do not only dispense medication but we are also equipped to be entrepreneurs in future!  Mei Xuan
  I really enjoyed planning our Business Management Poster with my team. Since I’m the leader, I oversaw the overall progress and tried every means possible to get my teammates involved. Very grateful that everyone contributed their best effort, and showed their hidden talent. We cracked our heads when planning our marketing strategies. CCM Pharmaceutical were very kind to share with us valuable knowledge and provide feedback. And special thanks to both our lecturers Dr Naga and Dr Sivaram, we really appreciate your effort.

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