Shameer Pirani

Country of origin: India

Director, TopGen Healthcare Private Limited (India)

After studying for my MBA at Lancaster I returned to India and started looking for jobs there. I did not succeed in finding the right job – either the job market was bad or my skill sets weren’t good enough for the jobs I was applying for. The roles and packages I was offered did not excite me enough to accept them and I was not ready to compromise at all. This process went on for almost a year. Then I decided to work on my ultimate goal of being self-employed and started exploring business opportunities in India and East Africa. It took me about a year to identify and start my own business from scratch, after travelling to East Africa (Uganda) a couple of times. 

Just 6 months ago, I started a pharmaceutical marketing company in India along with a friend, with the aim of marketing generic medicines under our own brand name to developing and under-developed countries, including India. I am pleased to share with you that we have successfully exported two consignments to Uganda, East Africa and a third one is on its way. In the next few months, we plan to enter the Indian domestic market too, concentrating on Tier III cities and rural areas. Our goal is to provide access to healthcare at affordable cost. With this goal in mind, we would gradually like to export our products to several other countries.

I guess it will still take 2-3 years to stabilise this business as it is a highly regulated industry and we have to register our products in different countries for long-term sustainability, which takes a lot of time. But the good news is we have already started making small profits and the future looks pretty bright, if things go according to plan.

Finally, I am glad that I did not compromise on my career and did what I wanted because the learning, joy and satisfaction that I get from building my own business are truly amazing. As many of the lecturers said during the MBA, and I now fully agree with them, the real MBA only starts after the MBA, and this is certainly true of my post-MBA experience so far.