Who are you? What are you here?

I joined Cipla as a Medical Representative on the 15th of September 1980 after a series of interviews.

After sometime, I received a communication through a post card, asking me to present myself for a Central Training Program in Bombay. The Program’s intent was to provide me with knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Pharmacology and related subjects on one side and equip me with selling skills on the other.

On the appointed day, I walked in to the Hotel where the Program was to be held and found that about 100 others like me have been recruited into Cipla at the same time.

The Training Program began at about 9.30 am. I watched this young, good looking man in a suit, enthralling all of us with his in depth understanding of the subject of medicine, presenting to us various concepts in an elegant and easy manner for us to understand, and completed the day’s plan with a series of questions put to us to assess our clarity on the day’s proceedings.

Almost every one of us not only understood what this young man had taught us but also answered his questions correctly. Right through the breaks, we were all discussing about this young man so much, who brought in so much of passion and purpose into the training program, that he had already become our hero.

Of course there were others who were also teaching and training us through the program but Mr Vijayaraghavan just stood out. To me, Mr Vijayaraghavan was an epitome of preparedness, presentation skills and passion.

I still vividly and fondly recall that on the very first day, during the lunch break, I walked straight to Mr Vijayaraghavan and asked him the question, ‘Sir, who are you, and what are you here?’. Without any hesitation and irritation with the directness of my approach, Mr Vijayaraghavan told me that his name is, and that he holds the position of Marketing Services Manager at Cipla. He holds a Masters Degree in Pharmacology with a Gold medal to his credit.

I was so impressed with his credentials, achievements, and most of all his presence, I adopted him as my role model instantly, imbibing his qualities of preparedness, presentation skills and passion in whatever I chose to do throughout my career.

I am sure that like I had Mr Vijayaraghavan early in my career, you had one too. Will be happy to know about yours.

PS. Mr Vijayaraghavan, over the years, rose to very senior level positions in the Indian Pharma Industry. When I shifted in late eighties to FMCG sector from Cipla, he was my reference to the new employer.

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