Mandip comes from a biomedical background and started in the industry about five years ago at the age of 22, working in Primary Care and selling cardiovascular and diabetes products. Mandip has been working for Otsuka Pharmaceuticals for one and half years now and has made a tremendous impact on her territory, with the help of her team partner George Olifa, over this short time.
What is your role?
I work as Psychiatry Hospital Specialist in London. When I first meet a customer I focus on understanding their needs. Then I try to provide the best pharmacological solution. I co-promote a new generation atypical antipsychotic for the treatment of schizophrenia with Bristol-Meyers Squibb. It can be used as another tool to help patients.
What do you find most challenging?
When I started with this product a year and half ago, my territory was at the bottom for sales and coverage/frequency. I was shooting for the top quarter . . . well, now the territory is NUMBER 1 for Otsuka and BMS. This was achieved by targeting the right customers, at the right frequency, with the right message.
How do you find co-promoting products?
I find it very good. We work very closely together in comparison to other companies I have co-promoted with . . . this is the best place to work in my opinion. All aspects of the job are shared, such as training. The product was jointly launched here in the UK and globally. Everything from the outset was done together.
What was your most rewarding experience?
It was the ‘Our London’ project. That was a project we supported to help mental health patients express their feelings about their illness and London. The East London City Mental Health Trust supported the project and showcased it in their local magazine, Trust Talk. It was a three-dimensional model that was built by patients to help them express themselves. It was a fantastic feeling to be involved in something like that and be able to help that many mental health patients express themselves.
How did it feel to win the Mental Health Representative of the Year Award?
It was amazing to win! Being so new I really had no idea of the impact I was having on my customers. I knew the sales but not the opinions of my customers. The role is really about listening and communicating in and around their needs. I detailed three doctors along with other representatives from 12 other companies . . . so as you can imagine, it was a fantastic shock to win!
Do you have any advice for new reps in Mental Health?
I think: be open and honest with customers, do not promise what you cannot deliver. Be different and imaginative, and most importantly . . . know your therapy area really well. As for the choice in companies . . . there are a lot out there to choose from. Otsuka Pharmaceuticals is a small family-oriented Japanese company with a promising pipeline for the future. I feel a lot of my success is down to great products and a great company. I am really happy with my choice of a small company because I really feel like ‘a BIG fish in a small pond!’