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August - September 2007

Business Forum

Anand P. Sharma - Global Category Director, Reckitt Benckiser plc

by Krishan Ralleigh

It was Kalpesh Vyas, the Managing Director of Pharmacy Channel who, in a casual way, gave me the information that one of the directors of the renowned pharmaceutical company Reckitt Benckiser is an Indian from Delhi. I could not stop myself requesting him to arrange a meeting with him to know more about him and introduce him to our readers.

I met Anand Parkash Sharma at his office in Slough, Berkshire; and was at once startled and impressed with his unassuming manners, friendly approach and welcoming gestures. There was no inkling of the haughty demeanour commonly found in Indians who sit in high position whether in government or private corporations.

“How did you manage to reach the apex position in such a huge global corporation”? I asked in a tone of pleasant surprise.

Anand Sharma winced a little with this abrupt, almost rude, question but answered in a steady voice: “It is the result of sustained efforts, step by step, to the top. We live in a knowledge society. Attaining knowledge and using it in a right way with the right objectives before you. One should have passion and ambition to achieve one’s objectives. Our Indian culture imbibes in us the value of knowledge.”
“I was general manager with Ranbaxy, a global Indian pharmaceutical company”, Continued Anand. “I was happy, and did my best for the company. However, in my heart I was conscious that I had to go forward. I did my MBA from Hull (UK). I was working with the best colleagues in my line. My aim has always been to strive for excellence. This is a continuous process. One never stops learning.”

“With such a high-pressure routine, how can you continue to be so calm and relaxed?” I searched for the formula of success.

“Yes, in my daily routine keeping to schedule is important. Travelling globally is inevitable. Rarely a month goes by when I haven’t clocked 100,000 miles by air. My spiritual training is a great support. Professional success is a part of spiritual success. Professional excellence is the important teaching of our Dharma. Bhagwad Gita says it clearly. We should have confidence in our destiny. One should have holistic approach to deal with complex situations in life. I firmly believe that I should also contribute to the society. I support various charities by collecting donations. Recently I went on a charity trek to Himachal Pradesh to raise funds for ‘Save the Children’ charity adopted by our company. We collected almost £70,000”, said Anand Sharma.

“Give me some examples of your vast responsibilities with the company.”

I am mainly involved in healthcare schemes round the world. We plan global strategy for marketing our brand products. I am also involved in imparting training and getting the best manpower for the company. Expanding the health programs globally is our prime priority now. We have entered Easter Europe, East Asia and China. The company has expanded to 120 countries employing almost 26 thousand people”, said Anand Sharma.

“What are your views about the economic progress of India in recent years”, I asked.

“India’s future as a great economic power is assured”, said Anand confidently. “India is in a fortunate position of having big corporations which are leading India to global domination. In the field of biotechnology, India is bound to become a leader. It offers good climate, a large pool of educated manpower and an industrial base. India offers cutting edge clinical practices. Our accountants and medical doctors are second to none in the world. We have also entered in the field of marketing and business administration,” said Anand with enthusiasm.

Undoubtedly, many Indians have achieved high positions in global corporations. The man sitting before me is one concrete example. Anand Sharma started his professional life as a medical representative of a small company in Delhi. Today he is the Global Category Director of Reckitt Benckiser, a vast global pharmaceutical company. Despite his enormously busy routine, Anand Sharma finds enough time to be with his wife and two lovely daughters. He does proud to India and his profession.

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