It was World Pharmacist’s Day last week on September 25. We got an opportunity to speak with author Vivek Hattangadi, author of several pharma-brand management books at the Pothi.com Store.
You can reach Vivek Hattangadi at email@example.com for brand management consulting, and training.
Pothi.com: You have been invested in the pharma field for several decades. Tell us how you decided to start writing books.
Vivek Hattangadi: That’s a very interesting question.
I have been inspired by my students and mentees.
Often after brick and mortar Learning and Development sessions, I was loaded with questions on email from my students. Some were very tough questions and I had to run to the British Library and rummage through the books from my small library at home, before I could respond satisfactorily.
On one occasion, my student from Kathmandu, Arpana Dangol, said, “Sir, when you write, you make even the complex topics so lucid and simple. Today, there are no books specific to pharma brand management. Why don’t you write one?”
I thought over this, started writing and even completed one:WHAT THE PHARMA CEO WANTS FROM THE BRAND MANAGER.
But who would publish it? That’s when I started looking for a publisher and learnt about self-publishing. And then Pothi.com.
I really loved the name पोथी which in Sanskrit has a lovely connotation. Since then, I have been using Pothi as my platform for self-publishing.
Pothi.com: You have published several books on our platform. What do you like about self-publishing?
Vivek Hattangadi: Oh! There are several things which I like, but the most important thing about Pothi is the high level of professionalism, integrity and even punctuality during normal times. I don’t have to look outside for copyediting, proofreading or formatting. All done under one roof.
I don’t have to worry about the logistics part too and availability on e-commerce sites.
And most importantly, Pothi is very cooperative and helpful.
Pothi.com: That’s really heartening to hear. Tell us about your writing routine.
Vivek Hattangadi: I wake up at ब्रह्ममूहूर्तम (Brahma muhurtam) and commence writing at 4.00 am continue till 6.30 am. That’s the time I can fully focus – totally undisturbed. And that’s the most suitable time to think.
Then by 9.30 am, I am back to my usual work. As my guides, two books are always on my tableside: Roget’s Thesaurus and the Oxford Dictionary. I rarely use online dictionaries.
Pothi.com: What should a writer remember while writing a non-fiction book?
Always try to make the copy conversational and articulate as a story. When you do this, you engage your readers.
Have plenty of case studies. That helps the readers in retaining what they have read.
Use simple language which even a 10-year-old can understand. Using jargon is a sin. That alienates you from the reader.
Avoid writing in the third person or else, you create a deep chasm between you and the readers. Use the second person.
Pothi.com: What books have influenced you the most?
Vivek Hattangadi: Obvious Adams written way back in 1916 by Robert R Updegraff. The lessons in brand management are relevant even today.
Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilivy. To me it is like the Bible of advertising. Everything he has written is after thorough research. Anyone in advertising or brand management should internalize the lessons from this book.
The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly. It is a guide to copywriting, especially for the greenhorn writers. This is a book for everyone who writes and wants to enhance their writing skills.
Pothi.com: Tell us about the Covid impact on the pharma industry and on your pursuit of writing.
Since pharma produces drugs, many which are life-saving and boost immunity against viral infections, this industry hasn’t been affected significantly.
An interesting phenomenon during the lockdown period: strong brands became stronger because of accessibility, small brands suffered a lot. That’s a big lesson for pharma – invest in building brands.
Covid turned out to be a boon for me. I had to stop travel – which on an average used to be a fortnight every month. And there’s one book I completed in record time – 51 LESSONS FROM VIVEK HATTANGADI: PHARMA BRANDING, SALES AND LEADERSHIP – within less than three months of the lockdown.
Pothi.com: What are you working on now?
Currently, I am working on my seventh book DOCTORS AS BRAND ADVOCATES: Make Your Brand the Darling of Doctors and Patients.
In this book, in 21 steps (chapters) I have elaborated on Philip Kotlers’ thoughts on Human-to-Human Mindset (H2H Mindset). This forms the basis of the patient-centric approach in pharma marketing. Patient-centricity in marketing, which is a natural outgrowth H2H Marketing principles, will be the new marketing model for the 21st century.
Pothi.com: Our readers would love to hear you read an excerpt from one of your books.
Vivek Hattangadi: Sure! Here’s an audio clip from one of my books:
Pothi.com: Thanks so much for talking with us and sharing your delightful audio clip! Wish you all the best for your future projects!