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Issue of March 2006 

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Pharma CIO portal celebrates first anniversary

On 16th January 2006, the TCS Pharma CIO club celebrated its first anniversary at TCS Banyan Park, Mumbai. It was commemorated by the launch of TCS Pharma CIO portal for CIOs of the pharmaceutical industry.

The portal maintains archives of all previous meetings of the club as well as the agenda to be discussed in the next meeting. It also provides the CIOs with the latest information and current trends about the pharmaceutical industry as well as the IT industry. A key feature of the portal is the forum for brainstorming and exchange of ideas between the CIOs. Another is CIO Challenge, where CIOs can post issues faced by their company or the industry, to be solved by other CIOs. The site also has a section which provides the names, contact details, company name, designation and profile of the member CIOs.

A year back, when J Rajagopal, Executive Vice-president, Global Life Sciences and Healthcare founded the club it was met with caution. The common perception was that the pharmaceutical industry is very secretive and will not share information or cooperate with its competitors.

However, a year later, the members of the Pharma CIO club include industry heavyweights like Ranbaxy, Pfizer, Novartis, Lupin, Wockhardt, AstraZeneca and Nicholas Piramal which together make up more than 50 percent of the Indian pharmaceutical industry turnover.

The member CIOs echoed the sentiment that the club has helped them learn from the experience of their peers in the industry and is helping them to change the mindset of their organisation towards IT and its role in transforming the pharmaceutical industry. It has also helped them resolve issues like procuring budget allocation for IT. The universal feeling was that given the secretive nature of the pharma industry, this initiative is a remarkable achievement.

Kumar Dawada

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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