Akums Enhance Product Quality by Leveraging Total Quality Management
Pharmaceutical companies strive for consistent quality of products to maintain therapeutic efficacy. Total Quality Management offers a new way to ensure pharmaceutical quality. Total Quality Management has become a critical aspect of the pharmaceutical sector, offering various advantages to businesses. However, adopting TQM can be challenging due to several obstacles, such as high costs, a shortage of skilled workers, insufficient training, difficulties in effectively implementing new business strategies, and a lack of understanding about TQM.
Akums places great emphasis on quality, which is a fundamental component of the company’s core values. Unlike many other companies in India, Akums has taken its commitment to quality to the next level by implementing TQM in both production and new product development. This ensures that both clients’ and customers’ expectations are met, and further quality issues are prevented.
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management approach and strategy that emphasizes the continuous improvement of processes and products to meet product quality expectations. By adopting TQM, companies view their management system as an integrated whole, rather than just the output of the quality department. It considers all aspects of its operations, including human resources, production, service, distribution, sales, finance, and all other processes, and how it can improve the overall quality of therapeutic products.
In the pharmaceutical industry, many companies still rely on outdated quality management systems that only involved final product quality control (FPQC). This system simply checked if the product met the required quality standards without including any steps for quality management during the production process. This approach had several shortcomings, such as leaving the quality control department solely responsible for the product’s quality while other departments were indifferent, resulting in batch-to-batch variations.
In pharmaceutical companies, the quality management of new product development projects is based on project quality process management, which involves establishing a quality plan and quality targets, implementing quality assurance plans, and quality improvement schemes, and conducting quality measurements and deviation analyses.
Time and cost reduction: Before, product development used a sequential, over-the-wall strategy, which typically resulted in a lengthier period of NPD. But implementing quality management procedures throughout the product development process can prevent potential quality issues and identify concerns early, ultimately saving time and resources.
Fewer potential defects: One of the core principles of TQM is the belief that the development of new products should be done correctly the first time. This involves shipping products with fewer defects, which can help to reduce product recalls, minimize future customer support needs, and decrease the need for product fixes.
Improved Technical review: Technical reviews play a crucial role in promoting effective communication and collaboration among all team members involved in the new product development process, from research and development to quality management. By conducting technical reviews, everyone is on the same page and working together towards the same goals. Akums Pharmaceuticals applies technical reviews to all activities in the new product development process to clarify each team member’s corresponding responsibilities and empower them with the necessary rights.
Real-Time Information: Real-time information is essential in TQM for new product development. It reduces the need for modifications and product recalls while helping companies track quality improvement and make continuous enhancements.
This involves identifying various process elements at each level, defining appropriate quality criteria for each element, and developing suitable metrics to measure the success of the NPD process. Akums’s NPD process benefits from the combined efforts of its research and development team, India’s largest quality control laboratory, and quality management teams. This collaborative approach ensures that quality is embedded in every step of the NPD process, from the initial stages of product design and development to the final product’s launch.
Satwinder Singh is an Independent Director of our Company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce and a bachelor’s degree in law from Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjab. He is a fellow member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (‘ICSI’).
He was the past Chairman of Expert Group on Secretarial Standards and Secretarial Standards Committee for the years 2021 and 2022. He has also held the chairmanship of the Secretarial Standards Board for the years 2019 and 2020. He was also the Chairman of the Task Force on NCLT/NCLAT for the year 2023.
Sanjay Sinha is a Whole Time Director of our Company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from Ranchi University and a master’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Delhi. He was previously associated with Ipca Laboratories Limited and Famy Care Limited.
He joined our Company with effect from November 26, 2022 as President of Operations.
Ms. Gowrishankar comes with a wide range of experience across different domains.
Besides Akums, she is currently an independent director on the boards of several prominent companies including Cyient, Gabriel India, Greenlam Industries, Arohan Financial Services, Ashv Finance, Intellecap Advisory Services, Altum Credo Home Finance and Premium Transmission.
In the past, Ms. Gowrishankar has served on the boards of BP India Services, the holding company of oil and gas major BP in India, and subsidiaries of Cummins India.
Not only has she led teams both in India and outside, she has also been an executive coach to the top leadership at BP plc and other companies.
Ms. Gowrishankar has been a strategic human resources advisor to companies like Safari Industries, FlyNava Technologies, Quantum Consumer Solutions, BP Global Solutions India and Cornerstone India, to name a few. She was also heading the group HR council for the Aavishkaar Group.
She holds a postgraduate degree in personnel management and industrial relations from the prestigious XLRI, Jamshedpur, and a bachelor of arts in sociology from Stella Maris College, Chennai.
A former career bureaucrat, Mr. Kalra spent 36 years in the elite Indian Revenue Service (IRS), and held various important positions. He now heads the audit committee of the company, as its chairman.
From 2005-12, Mr. Kalra was a member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, where he delivered several landmark judgements. Before that, Mr. Kalra served as the assistant commissioner, deputy commissioner, joint commissioner and additional commissioner in the income tax department and has served across the country.
Mr. Kalra, who has worked actively to extend financial help to underprivileged children, has an excellent academic record. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Kurukshetra University with a gold medal. He holds a masters in science from Panjab University and a law degree from Jodhpur University.
Mr. Handa is a veteran of the pharmaceutical industry in India. He headed Pfizer India as managing director and country manager from 2005 to 2012. Before Pfizer, he was also the managing director at Wyeth Ltd.
After leaving Pfizer, Mr Handa joined Samarth Life Sciences as President. He went on to serve as the non-executive chairman on the board of Union Bank of India, one of the most prominent government-owned lenders. Mr. Handa recently also joined the board of merchant payments firm BharatPe as an independent director.
Mr. Handa has diverse experience in finance, commercial, strategy, business development, M&A, banking, corporate affairs. He is also experienced across sectors like engineering and consumer in companies
like Schrader Scovill, Hindustan Unilever Limited, and State Industrial Investment Corporation of Maharashtra. Mr. Handa has wide experience in markets like the US, Southeast Asia, Africa, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
One of Mr. Handa’s key focus areas is building a diverse organisation. He has driven various teams to hire and retain women colleagues in management and most importantly in sales positions – an initiative unheard of in the Indian pharmaceutical industry. He has managed this by sensitization and by developing women-friendly policies. These initiatives are now case studies and were showcased at a ministerial roundtable held in Turkey.
Mr. Handa is a qualified management accountant and company secretary, and has a master’s degree in commerce
Sunil Kumar Thakur is a Non-Executive Director of our Company and is a nominee of Ruby QC Investment Holdings Pte. Ltd. on our Board. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Thames Valley University and a master’s degree in international business from the University of Delhi.
He is currently associated with Quadria Capital Advisors Private Limited as a partner, where he leads the investments, portfolio management and divestment activities across South-Asia and also serves on the investment committee of the Quadria Capital Fund II GP.
Mr. Rathore is a three-decade old veteran of the pharmaceutical industry. He is an accomplished, outcome-driven executive with a proven track record in leading challenging initiatives, with emphasis on strategic planning, manufacturing, engineering, quality assurance, project development, budget management and human resources.
Mr. Rathore has, over the years, shown tremendous leadership ability and has extensive experience in managing pharmaceutical plants as per international standards.
Mr. Rathore holds a master’s degree in pharmacy and a postgraduate diploma in management from Rajasthan University.Before Akums, Mr. Rathore worked with companies like Bal Pharma, Tirupati Zion Medicare, Micro Labs, Scott-Edil Pharmacia, Nicholas Piramal, Lupin and Torrent Pharma.
Mr. Sandeep Jain has been the force behind setting up Akums’ state-of-the-art world-class facilities. He has had a key role in making contract manufacturing the most viable industry model.
He has been associated with several leading trade and industry bodies and has advocated the cause of the Indian pharmaceutical sector. In 2013-14, he was the president of the Uttarakhand state council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The same year, he also headed the state’s Association of Pharmaceutical
He has also served as the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Uttarakhand and has been a member of the managing committee of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the vice-chairman of the Foundation of Pharma Entrepreneurs (FOPE)
Mr. Sanjeev Jain was the principal force behind founding Akums, and ranks among the pioneers of the Indian pharma sector. Mr. Jain is known as a visionary leader and mentor. He has been guiding not just Akums but the industry as a whole to greater heights over the last decade and a half.
A people person, he has more than three decades of experience in the field of pharmaceuticals sales and marketing. He has received multiple industry awards, including the prestigious Dynamic Entrepreneur Award at the 6th Annual Pharmaceutical Leadership Summit & Business Leadership Awards in 2014.
Under his leadership, Akums has made several national and foreign collaborations. His innovative ideas in product development, patents, and customer retention have helped the company chart new growth paths over the year