2 May 2017, 08:11 — 6 min read
India is filled with success stories. You only have to look to find them. The GlobalLinker (GL) team went to the heart of India - Nagpur, in search of stories of entrepreneurial endeavour. We met Brij Sarda who founded Medigrace in 2007. His value proposition is end-to-end marketing solutions for pharmaceutical companies.
Armed with a belief that one should follow one’s passion, Brij has established a practice that makes him a trusted figure in pharmaceutical circles in central India. He is now looking to establish a presence in Tier-1 cities in India.
Watch this video to learn more about Brij Sarda’s entrepreneurial journey.
Excerpts from the interview.
GL: Tell us about your business.
BS: Medigrace was incorporated 10 years ago. Pharmaceutical companies are our major clients. We serve them for their entire marketing needs. That includes developing concepts for medicines, branding, team-building, and providing marketing support. In central India we serve around 70 clients.
I worked in a company for 6 years and observed that there was an opportunity in the pharmaceutical sector in central India. I had studied pharmaceuticals and advertising and realised that I could amalgamate my knowledge of the two to work in the niche field of providing marketing services to pharmas.
When we started Medigrace, we worked with a lot of emerging companies who are now large players. Working with them from the start and growing with them has been a real privilege.
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
BS: When I started up in 2007, ‘startup’ was not a buzzword. The big challenge then was that someone with a technical education did not have the skills to do business. Finance and HR were a challenge from the very beginning. Though we never compromised on quality, we were also not systematic. Managing the team, having a good back-end team, ensuring customer engagement were all difficult in the beginning.
We made mistakes financially. Our rental space was unnecessarily large. Our salary structure was not prudent. Over a period of time, with the help of institutions like the Vidarbha Management Association we adopted better practices. The association, with its knowledge sharing, helps develop best practices for an organisation and that has been a key to our success.
In the second phase of business we expanded from Nagpur to central India. Cities like Raipur, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Indore and even Jaipur came within our ambit. Our clients operate in Tier 2 cities. Our next challenge is to establish a presence in Tier-1 cities like Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
The pharma industry is now customer-driven. The marketing challenges are different. Bringing new ways to market a product requires innovation. We hope to come up with new marketing techniques in the next year.
GL: What is the USP of your business?
BS: We provide comprehensive marketing services to pharmaceuticals. Also, we never compromise on quality.
GL: What are some of the milestones of your business?
BS: In central India, all the major pharmaceutical companies are our clients. Medigrace has also suggested certain products to its clients which were subsequently launched for the first time in India. Products for osteoporosis and postpartum depression which were groundbreaking at the time, and common now, were launched by us first.
Eight years ago I joined the Vidarbha Management Association of which I am the Vice President today. There, we learned a lot and improved our business practices. It’s a shared achievement - we learned from other members and we shared our experiences with them.
GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting and assisting SMEs?
BS: GlobalLinker is a very good platform. Medigrace has a presence only in Tier-2 cities currently. We are aiming to reach Tier-1 citiess. GlobalLinker will be a very useful platform in enabling this process. If there is someone in Noida who needs our services he can get in touch with us through GlobalLinker easily. Linker.store will also be a big help. I am really happy to have been introduced to GlobalLinker.
GL: What is your big business dream?
BS: After a decade of operations it is important to think about what we want the company to be for the next decade. We want to be a top-of-the-line training house. We want to have big clients and brands pan-India. More than numerical targets, I would like to continue growing by providing quality as we always have. We would like to organise, seminars, workshops and training for people within and outside the pharmaceutical industry. We want to use our knowledge of advertising to bring about social change. Our goal is to have better-trained pharmaceutical professionals in the future and this would be our contribution to the wellbeing of society.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
BS: Anyone who has a technical education should go slow when it comes to entrepreneurship because learning how to manage finances is key. Do not scale up very fast - that involves risk. Identify a need. Look for a solution, look for what you can do and how you can bring change. Success is not defined by the achievements of well-known personalities like Ambani, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. There are examples of successful people everywhere. Measure success by your happiness & satisfaction, not by money.
Good is not good where better is expected. Hard work will beat talent if talent does not work hard.
Network with Brij Sarda by clicking on the 'Invite' button on his profile.
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Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
We are a team of experienced industry professionals committed to sharing our knowledge and skills with small & medium enterprises.
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