MSLs around the world: Asia

Describe your career trajectory to date and how you arrived at the decision to become an MSL:

Today we are delighted to share the story of Camelia Biswas, an experienced MSL who is based in India. Camelia has given us a great insight into the varied and exciting role of an MSL

I can say, it’s been a roller coaster ride so far! I initially started as a junior researcher at the IVIVC R&D segment of Cipla Ltd. Simulation and modelling were my primary focus, but something was missing. I’m a people-oriented person and enjoy travelling. I first discovered the role of an MSL through a fellow colleague at Novartis. The responsibility and variety of the role inspired me to pursue medical affairs. Since becoming an MSL, I learn something new every day.

What is your background/qualifications?

I have a master’s degree in Pharmacology (M. Pharm) and a bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Technology.

Which therapy area do you work in?

I work in Cardio-Metabolism.

Which country are you in? How big is your region?

I’m based in India and cover three districts, West Bengal- Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly.

How much time do you spend travelling? How do you travel?

Generally, I would say 48-hours a week. I mostly travel by public transport and taxi.

What do you enjoy most about being an MSL?

I enjoy the ever-changing situations! The varied role of an MSL requires a flexible approach in building and maintaining stakeholder networks. This results in a fast-paced working environment and plays an important role in bridging the gap between stakeholders and people. I also enjoy managing relationships with KOLs, running ad boards and engaging with advocacy groups.

What 3 pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring MSL entering this career?

First of all, make sure you have a pair of running shoes! Secondly, that your scientific knowledge is presentable and clear. Finally, make sure you have a clear understanding of your role and responsibilities as an MSL.

What are your career aspirations?

I’d like to move up to the role of an MSL Manager or a Regional Medical Advisor. I’d also like to travel across different geographic locations.

How do you keep your energy and focus high to maintain performance?

  • I create SMART plans 
  • Find time to enjoy my hobbies
  • Participate in team-building activities
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle and diet (where possible)

What podcasts do you listen to or books do you read to advance your learning?

I enjoy listening to podcasts on Ted Talks. I tend to read classic literature and biographies. Since my job is interactive, I’m trying to pick up points from Dale Carnegie’s work.

I’m currently reading Tim Tamashiro.

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