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7 Questions on Leadership with MD RAJAUL KARIM


Name: MD RAJAUL KARIM


Title: MARKETING MANAGER


Organisation: DBL PHARMACEUTICALS LTD.


Post-graduation from Pharmaceutical Science (Master of Pharmacy). Completed Professional MBA majoring in Marketing. Having more than 17 years of experience in Marketing-Sales & Project Management and Business Development. Working as core team member for US FDA and EU GMP Submission. Worked in Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Number 1 Pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh). Launched a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical project from scratch which was the biggest investment from green field. Participated in several cross functional programs in home and abroad.


Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!


I hope RAJAUL's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Cheers,

Jonno White



1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?


The leader must think out of the box. When the new idea or thought doesn't match with typical theories then people become conservative. They don't welcome the new idea willingly. I think this was most challenging for my case. Interestingly, it was also a scope to prove myself as a leader when the plan worked successfully. A leader must give the cushion between the two intermediaries. Sometimes it becomes tough to manages. In case of new projects always there will be a challenge in ROI. In my career, I have taken management approval for more about 100 projects and implemented accordingly. Those were challenges but were finished successfully.


2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?


A leader doesn’t become leader automatically. He must go through long process. Environment, situation, and opportunities help to explore leadership capabilities. I am the seventh child among eight brothers and sisters in my family. I didn’t get such standard level of education and I didn’t see any leader during that age. But I always feel to do something new, something additional than others. There are examples of hundreds or thousands where I played the role willingly even, I was not then a leader, or I didn’t know how to become a leader.

From the early life I used to take responsibility in most of the cases in my families. For example, someone is ill, need to call a doctor, I would be there. Need to take hospital, I would be there! There was a provision in my primary school. The students must clean the rooms, opening and closing the door, raising, and downing the flag etc. I can tell I used to do all those tasks without thinking additional benefit. The village where I lived, the number of schools going students were very limited. Parents were not interested to let them go to school. Even the rate of child marriage was very high. I encouraged many of my first and second blood relatives to go to school. I stopped several child marriages. When I was at class three, I used to serve as private tutor. I used to take the honorary class in my primary school when I read in college and university.

In school, during rag day most of the toppers refused to give speech Then they sent me to deliver the final speech. I found myself within a big clapped when I closed the session. I came to know that I can talk well. In my Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exam I stood first (among 19 colleges) and the only person had received the star marks (Avg. 75% marks in every subject). During my university I used to engage during various academic and cultural programs. I have got an accident and all my friends, seniors, juniors, and teachers taken extra care in the hospital. The doctors and hospital authority told to one of my friends that IS HE A LEADER?

Generally, Pharmacy graduates from my university avoid Pharma Marketing jobs due to huge challenges. The teachers inspired us and I was the first person from my department who was recruited in Marketing Department of Square Pharma. It was very interesting story when I met with my current boss who was also in Square Pharma. I faced an unofficial interview for half an hour. It was a huge debate that why Square Pharma wouldn’t recruit the graduates from Department of Pharmacy, University of Rajshahi ? At last, I won and spent very good time in Square Pharma with dignity for more than 8 years. In my professional activities I have been apprised several times. I have completed several successful projects. My seniors and organization have engaged me in different critical projects. Now I am leading several leaders and core business functions. Its like a miracle for me. I didn’t ever think to go university from where I have born. With my capabilities now I am in this position. Of course, there were lots of support from my family, friends, and teachers even from my countrymen.


3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?


It’s interesting and doesn’t go with a typical leader. As I have been working here in DBL Pharma from the scratch (2017), I had to manage multiple things at a time. It has impacted a lot in my lifestyle. I am early riser at about 6:30 am to 7:00 am and works till mid night. Usually in the morning I drop my daughter in school at about 7:45 AM. It takes one hour drive to reach office. Takes lunch at 3:00 PM and reach home at 8:00 to 9:00 PM. Then spend some time with family. Take care the learning part of my daughter. Then I work for some time. Like responding to the mail and message and if there is some meeting with the connections of western side. Again, it is an accelerated routine to meet the additional job needs.


4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?


Recently I have learned some leadership lesson for first time. Apart from local marketing and sales I have been engaged for new projects like FDA submission, EU GMP certificate obtaining and developing business in US market. Regularly we are meeting with Regulatory, R&D and Marketing consultants. I have learned how to communicate with those top-level consultants, how the market works and how the regulatory procedure can be impacted by operational activity. How to face audits, how to respond to the query of regulatory bodies and how to analyze the market dynamics for global market including USA and EU.


5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?


The book that motivated me a lot on the way to leadership was not a typical book like others. I have bought a total compilation of Dale Carnegie in first year of my uni. After that I have read a lot of books but still the book gives me great strength during any crisis. It suggests to being a great leader. There are the stories of thousands of leaders in the compilation which impacted me substantially.

The book has several chapters like How to be free from tension, Developing Personality is the easiest way of Success, how to be good Marketer, Public Communicator, and Public Speaker, how to make friendship and be enriched, how to learn Speech, When the wife is best friend and lastly Happy life and in search of Jobs. So, all these lines and quotes of these chapter are specific directions for me. My friends, teachers and well wishers found some changes during my student life. They praised for my changes and told that I would be good at marketing sector.

Now a days when I become anxious with some issues, I stand in front of my mini libraries and take the book. I usually open a page randomly and read for sometimes. My all anxiety and tension go away. So, it was a profound impact for an ignorant boy who came from rural area to a divisional city then to capital city.


6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?


Go in depth, judge the situation by your own and take your decision. Please don’t be superficial. Because the second line and third line leaders want to trust the first line leaders. If you misjudge, there will be a chance of series of misjudgments.


7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?


When I moved to DBL Pharma that was very new. Although the group is very big, but pharma business is just in ground Zero. Some of my friends and ex colleagues warned me the job sustainability will be very tough even some over enthusiastic person forecasted me for a two-year shelf life. Why have I chosen the company even though I have worked in number one company? Some days after my recruitment, my boss switched to another company. That was a red signal and the well wishers (!) gave me a reminder. Now, it is seven years running here. By this time I have served and still serving in DBL Healthcare Limited (www.dbl-helathcare.com), DBL Pharmaceuticals Limited (www.dbl-pharma.com) and DBL Pharmaceuticals Inc., USA with great passion. By this time, I have worked in every sector from forecasting, proposal, regulatory, market visit, policy-strategy making etc. Interestingly one can tell it as the CTC (Cleaner to Chief). I have worked dawn to dust. I never became defocused. So, passion is very important to establish a company. Passion for Precision is the slogan of DBL Pharma and I belief myself as a passionate leader for achieving the goal of the organization. Making strategy is very easy but its implementation is most important and challenging. So, a true leader doesn’t dream only he also make it happen.

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