Sachin Singh – CEO of the Bureau of Pharma (PSUs of India – BPPI) and principal implementor of the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).

The immortal lines of Robert Frost captures the life story of Sachin Singh aptly: Miles to go before I sleep. After all, the dream he has set for himself – that of making the life of our fellow countrymen easier and peaceful via ‘Janaushadhi Pariyojana’ and its historic efforts of making healthcare accessible by all – is enough to make him get up every morning with a new burst of zeal.  It consumes most of his waking hours. And turns every milestone he and his dedicated team crosses a cause of true celebration. One that’s well and truly altering India, and the life of every Indian.

Janaushadhi Pariyojana :The genesis

Janaushadhi Pariyojana :The genesis

India exports world class generic medicines to around 200 countries. And yet, 6 out of 10 people of the population do not have access to branded medicines. Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP –  earlier known as the Jan Aushadhi Yojana) is a scheme designed to address this irony and bridge this dichotomy.

The big idea is to provide quality medicines at an affordable price to every citizen of the country at the earliest – irrespective of all cast, creed and economic background. Launched on 25th November 2008 with the first store at Amritsar in Punjab, Janaushadhi Pariyojana is spread across over 5300 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras in over 35 States and UTs of India (as on 30th June 2019).

The initiative aims to bring relief across all major therapeutic groups such as Antidiabetic, Cardiovascular system, Respiratory system, Genital-urinary system, Central Nervous system, Anti-neoplastic and immune-modulating agents and others.

Strict adherence to quality is a hallmark of the scheme, and items are sourced from WHO-GMP certified organization and CPSUs. The Supply Chain is driven by strong software-based solution for auto dispatches to stores in time to come. A state of the art cold chain facilitates ultra-modern central ware house for maintaining integrity of quality.

Early Achiever

Early Achiever

A CA, MBA and LLb by education, Sachin Singh is a truly multi-dimensional mind. A career that started with ICICI Bank wended its way through the ranks of leading banking & financial institutions and houses of India over a period spanning 5 years. In 2010, Mr Singh joined the Civil Services in Railways. In 2011, he joined the Indian Revenue Service, serving as Deputy Commissioner (GST) before joining Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India as CEO.

The Turning Point

The Turning Point

The Civil Services also brought the big turning point, or eureka moment, in Mr. Singh’s life. A platform that combines learnings across disciplines and demographics while instilling rock solid work ethics and self-discipline, the experiences gained in the Civil Services – especially while implementing policies in government sector – paved the way for a bigger leadership role. One where values were sacrosanct (indeed, Mr. Sachin is also credited with purging the stigma of corruption and mal-practise that potentially threatened to derail the project in its early years) and delivery had to happen no matter what.

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going

Like all epic journeys, the one Sachin chose had its share of thorns. Be it resource constraints, logistics issues, quality of human resources quality or huge expectations of a new generation of aware and demanding citizens, challenges accosted the grand dream at every step. Sachin took it on his chin and responded the only way he knew – by looking adversity in the eye, mobilizing positivity amongst team members and refusing to quit. Every milestone crossed and every victory notched became doubly sweet – and a template that would help them raise their sights to bold new challenges.

 

Trailblazing steps ushered by Mr. Singh have played a big role in helping the team sail over troubled waters while steadily raising proactivity and productivity. For instance, Sachin has introduced a professional, performance-based appraisal system for employees. He has also instituted other robust practices such as implementing the Vishakha guidelines on sexual harassment at the workplace, which the BPPI had been illegally operating without.

 

Mentors, peers and well-wishers who extended a hand of support during these trying times became kindred souls, forging bonds that remain loyal and rewarding to this day.

A game changer that’s changing much more…

A game changer that’s changing much more…

As per a survey by NSSO, about 55 million people in India are pushed below poverty line due to out of pocket expenditure on medicines. Thus, the burning need of the hour to provide an alternative low cost but equivalent quality health care to the people. The Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana is designed as an answer to that riddle, and a solution to that dilemma.

 

So what makes the mammoth, pan-India initiative Sachin leads a game-changer? For one thing, it is breaking new ground almost as briskly as it is busting prevailing misconceptions. Founded on the firm conviction that right of affordable health care is a part of the fundamental ‘Right to life’, Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) aims to create awareness about use of generic medicines and break the myth that quality is synonymous with price.

A moment of inspiration…

A moment of inspiration…

While the PMBJP has already added several feathers in its cap, some of them are arguably more important than others. Some, certainly, hold greater meaning for Sachin Singh at a personal level. Such as the day when the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India recognised the teams’ untiring efforts and declared 7th March as Janaushadhi Diwas. For Sachin, it was a validation of the commitment and sacrifice each member of the organization braves everyday to breathe life to a national agenda. One that brings smiles to millions. And lights up every eye in his own team. As far as Sachin is concerned, there can be nothing more rewarding than this.

Where does the road go from here?

Where does the road go from here?

As with all great leaders, goals are never conquered, but merely replaced with bigger ones. In next five year, the PMBJP looks to have 10,000 functional outlets in place, and help Indians save at least Rs 10,000 crores in medical expenses. Not only that. It is Sachin’s personal wish to usher the healing touch of innovation to the masses, and popularize their mobile application, Janaushadhi Sugam, that can be used for locating stores and comparing medicines.

A legacy called greatness

A legacy called greatness

While his legacy in the pantheon of Indian healthcare as an inspiring change-maker

is assured, Sachin isn’t the one to run after personal victories. In his own words, “It isn’t a question of individual legacy. It is a shared vision to make the health care affordable to every citizen irrespective of their economic and social status. We want Janaushadhi Scheme to be remembered as the pioneer in this direction.”

By any estimate, that’s the way things are headed. And it is Sachin’s unique vision and perspective that’s lending the movement its distinctive character. His advice to the next generation of achievers – be in healthcare or any other domain – captures this perfectly. Sachin wants India’s young entrepreneurs and leaders to stay mindful of the reality that times are changing, and businesses have to remain open to transforming their DNA constantly to not just keep up, but stay ahead of the curve. As a business house, it is also important to accept inputs from the environment. Be a champion of sustainable progress that keeps nature in front. And finally – but perhaps most significantly – one must never let go of one’s values.

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