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Managing a team? Here’s how you can boost productivity

Ishan Sharma, Zonal Sales Manager at Johnson & Johnson, shares lessons on leadership



Born and brought up in Delhi, Ishan Sharma, is an alumnus of Apeejay School, Pitampura. His zest for acting coupled with six years of training at commercial theatre has made him observant towards people’s moods, behaviours and inclinations. Interestingly, this knowledge is today helping Sharma in his corporate career where he is responsible for boosting sales for Johnson & Johnson in Bihar. So, how does he do that? Read On:  

Please tell us about your background.

I completed my under graduation in BTech with Computer Science from Ramanujan College, University of Delhi in 2017. Then, I pursued a management degree from Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad till 2019.

My first professional stint was at Maruti Suzuki India Limited where I worked as a Territory Sales Manager – Nexa for about three years. After that, I moved to Johnson & Johnson in May 2022. At present, I am in the Consumer Health Division of the company.

What does your role entail?

I lead a six-member sales team to drive the business and distributors in Bihar. My role requires me to perform sales analysis, market research, just to mention a few. The consumer heath sector is broadly spread across five categories like Baby Health, Healthcare, Sanitary, Beauty and Over-The-Counter (OTC). These include more than 10 brands which our team caters to.

How has Consumer Health altered post-COVID-19?

During COVID-19, many companies faced challenges like managing supplies and keeping them steady. I would say that people associated with consumer health and healthcare have worked very hard to make products available during the pandemic. Naturally, the revenue and sales at that time shot up!

Now, post-Covid, there are changes, especially due to macro-economic factors. This means that many who lost their jobs, and are now struggling with the affordability of these products. This is now visible especially for agrarian economy.

Which sectors are likely to profit in the next five years?

In my view, banking is certainly there. The interest rates may witness some relaxation in the near future. Also, India has unlocked its potential for having startups and those are even taking on the giants! This is a very exciting trend!

For those climbing up the corporate ladder, your message.

Empathise with your team because everyone has a unique understanding, motivation and thought process. Once you have established this, as a manager, it will become easier for you to bring out their best!

To give you an example, if I lead a team of six; I cannot communicate with each member in a similar way and expect comparable proficiency. I must know what drives each one of them so that we can function at the same level and enjoy a great understanding. I have imbibed these learnings during my theatre classes where I understood that every individual is just different!

An ethic you closely follow.

People management forms a crucial part of my role. Therefore, I consistently interact with all my teammates and ensure that I am aware about their job-related challenges or concerns. Also, I like to collaboratively work towards solving problems.

What was your experience at Apeejay, Pitampura like?

My years in school were simply the best! I wouldn’t say that I was the most studious child. I was drawn to extra-curricular activities more. And, the school’s teachers boosted my confidence because I was a shy kid. In fact, the seeds of becoming a theatre artist were also sown in the school. Apeejay provided me with supportive teachers and many friends!

Any life lessons you picked from your school.

Be honest about your work and studies. Never hide facts from your superiors, parents, or teachers.  

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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