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Wockhardt gets tough, recasts its field force

Mumbai, Jan. 11: Pharmaceutical major Wockhardt Ltd today announced that it is severing links with the Federation of Medical Representatives Association of India (FMRAI) as part of restructuring its field force.

While this move has been undertaken to upgrade the competitiveness and productivity of the company’s field personnel, a miffed Wockhardt accused that the divorce with FMRAI has occurred as the latter has been making unreasonable demands on the company like re-categorising its territory managers as medical representatives. It has also been refusing to link wages with performance and productivity.

Nearly 85 per cent of the company’s 1,200-strong field personnel are territory managers in the management cadre. About 150 are members of the industry-wide FMRAI. Wockhardt said that while most pharmaceutical companies’ representatives are members of this trade union, “they are often coerced to take part in its activities. FMRAI officials often disrupt Wockhardt’s medical representatives at work.”

However, Wockhardt’s professional service representatives are keen to be part of FMRAI.

According to Habil Khorakiwala, chairman of Wockhardt, the separation of relationship with FMRAI is part of “a broader initiative to make the company more customer-centric and competitive.”

The company added that FMRAI has also been exhorting its members to follow various restrictive practices and as per its directive, members in states like Punjab and Uttar Pradesh work only till 3 PM.

Wockhardt has tied up with London College of Management for a post-graduate course in sales and marketing management for its field personnel.

At the end of the two-year programme, which includes part classroom and part distant learning, nearly 300 participants will receive MBA-equivalent degrees.

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