Hyderabad / Mumbai: Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, one among India’s top two drug makers and among the largest employers in the pharmaceuticals industry, plans to set up a so-called ‘corporate university’ to groom management professionals with an idea to meet its internal manpower requirements.

The company, which employs some 9,300 worldwide, will offer professional training programmes to aspiring managers. The courses will be tailor-made for pharmaceutical industry aiming at management in various disciplines such as research and development, international operations, legal and corporate affairs, manufacturing, sales and distribution, and finance and administration among others functions.

Important plans: Dr Reddy’s chief executive G. V. Prasad

Not only do drug makers have to deal with employee attrition rates of 10-15% annually, fast-growing and large pharmaceutical companies such as Dr Reddy’s or its nearest rival Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd on an average need fresh recruitments of at least 10% of its existing employee strength every year to keep expanding their businesses.

The corporate university of Dr Reddy’s is coming up in its 200-acre campus at Bachupally near Hyderabad, which currently houses its biotechnology research centre, integrated product development division, and its human resources development activities. “Considering the very specialized and sophisticated nature of pharmaceutical industry today, there is a dearth of skilled manpower," the company’s chief executive G. V. Prasad said.

The Dr Reddy’s training centre is expected to be operational by February 2008, though the specific details of training modules and the capacity of the centre are yet to be finalized.

Dr Reddy’s corporate university, to be known as “Leadership Academy", will have an investment outlay of Rs15 crore. It aims to nurture and develop the future leadership pipeline. The features of this academy, which is under construction now, include a 340 seater auditorium, two Harvard Business style 70 seater classrooms, five training halls each to seat 40 people and a residential facility for 100 people.

A dedicated human resources development centre will help Dr Reddy’s, an expert said. According to K. Vani Shetty, associate consultant at Interlink, a Mumbai-based pharmaceutical services consulting firm: “The pharma industry, though poised for changes, is yet to recognize the importance of keeping its employees competent and engaging them to leverage the competitive strength in the global context. Even though the potential to be competitive in the global arena exists in this sector, companies are yet to move strategically (on human resources)."