Team Pharma Literati is pleased to announce our readers an exclusive series on pharma entrepreneurship. In this series, we would present interviews of new-age entrepreneurs who chose the unique path of entrepreneurship.
"If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs".
PHARMACAD is a dream of a first generation Entrepreneur Mr. Pranav Ganatra. He along with his co-founder Ms. Jigyasa Jain is making sure that the pharmacy students get proper career guidance during their graduation years.
PHARMACAD is not only about coaching for GPAT, NIPER, NMAT and other exams but also about the industrial training program for the students, a placement agency planned and career guidance centre. Please visit www.pharmacad.in
Hello, firstly thank you for having me here today. Ever since I decided to take pharmacy as my career, the journey has been pretty amazing. After getting a decent score in my XII CET, I managed to get a merit seat in one of the colleges in Mumbai. Managing my academics, I was involved in several extracurricular activities. I became the General Secretary of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association Students’ Forum Maharashtra State Branch in 2011-12. That year was instrumental in developing my management skills and helping me identify my passion and potential. After completing B. Pharmacy in 2012, I worked with an NGO, a BPO, a Pharma company and finally here I am today as a full-time professor and counselor. I teach chemistry to students from 11th and 12th grade appearing for IIT-JEE, NEET, and MH-CET. I also manage the functioning of PHARMACAD. Along with this, I am currently pursuing a management course from the Welingkar Institute of Management.
Highly inspiring to have someone of your age become an entrepreneur. How it all started?
While I was pursuing my pharmacy course, I always felt the need for proper guidance to select a suitable career option. I got placed at GSK Pharmaceuticals and was quite happy with the start. Later I realized that I am not following my passion and that I am not able to contribute to the society in anyway. Thus, I switched to teaching. In the last two years, I have learned the management process of a coaching institute, which helped me to put my ideas into action. This resulted in the planning and execution of PHARMACAD.
Give us a brief idea about PHARMACAD.
The first ever lecture of PHARMACAD was conducted at Palghar for the students of St. Johns Institute of Pharmacy. Eventually, I realized that the location was not suitable for several students who reside in the other parts of the city. We shifted to Vile Parle. Here we conducted promotional demo lectures, took interviews of professors; once a full team was ready, and we had a decent number of enrolments we started regular lectures at our current location, Dadar branch. Today we have students from 9 different Pharmacy colleges in Mumbai. We shall soon start conducting lectures at the Thane Branch. Several changes in the planning and execution have been made since the time I first thought about PHARMACAD. The plan is simple, to make PHARMACAD a one stop solution for all pharmacy students planning to make a career in India or Abroad.
What differentiates PHARMACAD with other competitors?
The main aspect that differentiates PHARMACAD from any other similar organization is the Young and Dynamic team of professors. Most teachers are associated with the industry and can give theoretical as well as application based knowledge to our students. The services that we provide to our students add value to their experience at PHARMACAD. It is not just about regular coaching institute; it is about an experience which will only get better with time to come for anyone who becomes a part of the PHARMACAD family.
How was your journey with PHARMACAD till date?
Even though it has been a short journey so far, the journey was amazing. Questions were raised regarding its acceptability amongst the students, but the response we received answered all the questions. Hours of meetings with my co-founder Jigyasa Jain, consulting senior professors from different pharmacy colleges, lots of arguments over the start-up have all proven to be worth the time and effort. It has been exhilarating, intimidating, sometimes discouraging but always challenging. The experience has been tremendous and helped me a lot to grow as an individual.
Do you think you have achieved what you had planned for the first year?
“You do not have to be great to start; you have to start to be great,” keeping absolute faith in this sentence, our primary goal was just to start PHARMACAD regardless of the number of students we have. However, with the great support from my friends, my juniors and all members of IPA-MSB and IPA-SF-MSB we got an overwhelming response. Yes, we have achieved what we had planned for the first year. Now it will be about raising the bar.
What are the other activities apart from GPAT preps?
Apart from GPAT/NIPER & NMAT preparation, we have a separate team of profs for semester pattern coaching. We also have a team of counselors for guiding students who wish to go abroad for higher studies. We are about to start a placement committee at PHARMACAD so that our students do not have to hunt for suitable jobs. To provide the practical hands-on experience of industrial equipment, we have an industrial training program. We also conduct guest lectures for our students to guide them select a suitable career option in India. We are in the process of developing a team of management teachers who can help students crack entrance exams for PharmaMBA course. We are also working on community service programs where all students can volunteer and work together for the betterment of the society.
You future Plans?
Since PHARMACAD right now is at a very nascent stage, anything I think of or speak about is the future. The margin for growth is huge, and I am sure soon we shall reach our goal to make PHARMACAD one stop solution for all pharmacy students. As said in the famous Harry Potter series “Help will be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it,” I would also like to work on the same principle. Promoting Pharmacy as a career and Pharmacists as professionals will be the key driving factor for Team PHARMACAD.
One advice to pharmacy students, especially the ones appearing GPAT 2018.
Just one advice: JOIN PHARMACAD, Our team will take care of the rest.
On a serious note, would just like to tell all the students to not over burden themselves by the fear of results. It is not about the course that you’re pursuing, it is not about the college that you belong to; it is not about the marks that you score. It is only about the person you are. Just try to be a better person and a better life will follow.
Who has been inspirational for you as an individual in personal and professional life?
Many people have motivated me in my pursuit so far. Three personalities who have constantly kept me motivated.
1. Wayne Rooney (Play with your heart, give your 100% at everything, never give up);
2. Adam Gilchrist (Do your work with honesty);
3. Roger Federer (It is always Skill over Power, age is just a number).
Mr. Deepak Marathe (Owner-Margadarshak Classes) who helped us during our starting days when we did not have a place to conduct demo lectures and take interviews.
Mr. Nitin Maniar (Bombay College of Pharmacy) and Dr. N Sivaprasad (President – IPAMSB) who showed faith in my idea and encouraged me to execute it.
Mr. Amit Karvir (Owner- Aakar’s Education Center) who constantly kept telling me that no goal is big and everything is achievable.
All the senior professors who guided me and supported me at each and every step, they have been a constant motivating factor for our team. Mrs. Mamta Singh, Dr.(Mrs) Alka Mukne, Dr.(Mrs) Anuradha Majumdar, Dr.Kamlesh Soni, Dr.(Mrs) Sudha Rathod, Dr.(Mrs) Supriya Shidhaye, Dr.(Mrs) Ganga Srinivasan, Mr. Bhavik Shah, Dr(Mrs) Rajani Shettigar. All these professors have been instrumental in making me what I am today and strongly supporting Team PHARMACAD and its activities. I would like to take this moment to thank each and every one for directly or indirectly playing a vital role in my life.
Thanks Pranav for your valuable time and all the best for your venture.