Life science firms up hiringsAs domestic pharma and life science companies aggressively scale up their R&D capabilities to meet the rising demand for clinical research from global majors, they are back in the job market to scout and woo talent with attractive salary packages.

USV Ltd, the healthcare company which focuses on generics, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and bio-similars, is planning to hire 231 people this year across board.

Ravindra Waghmare, senior VP- HR at USV, sees 30-50% hike in salaries while changing jobs in the life sciences sector following a revival in the economy. “With pharma majors tapping opportunities in newer segments, the demand for medical researchers, field managers, marketing managers, manufacturing and logistic support will increase significantly,” he said. India contributes around 67% of USV’s total revenues, of which 8-9% is spent on R&D. The company employs 3,300 people in India.

In the last few years, India has emerged as a clinical research outsourcing (CRO) hub.

And it’s not just the pharma biggies flexing their hiring muscle, small- and mid-sized firm are also bracing up to meet the spurt in outsourcing demand.

Biotech venture tech company, Actis Biologics, specialising in active R&D for cancer, will also scale up its headcount.“We are expecting a 50% jump in headcount in 2010,” said VT Gopinath, executive VP, Actis Biologics.

S Krishna Prakash, managing partner, India, at executive search firm EMA Partner, said the specialists are back in demand as the last 6-8 months’ caution has been replaced by optimism. Around 25% of EMA Partner’s revenues come from recruitment services to life sciences industry.