Report on Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd in Bangladesh
Subject: Pharmacy | Topics:

Introduction :

Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has been holding the first position in Bangladesh pharmaceuticals market since 1985. Since the inception in 1958, SPL has been thriving hard for achieving higher quality standard. Yet again, the resent trend of globalization opened a new horizon of market outside the country, which requires more quality features in products and higher productivity. To gain higher productivity and quality SPL has been providing training to its employees. This report has been prepared to reveal, whether there is any positive relationship between training and employee performance in Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Objective & Purpose:

This report has been prepared primarily for the fulfillment of the Human Resource Management course, which is an essential part of the BBA program of UnitedInternationalUniversity.

The objective of this report is:

  1. To know about the Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and its HR practice.
  2. To find out the kinds of training provided by SQUARE to its employees.
  3.  To look on the frequency of training provided by SQUARE to its employees.
  4. And finally whether the training provided by the organization has any impact developing the employee.


The organization chosen is a manufacturing company; therefore, the focus of the report is mainly on specified production related functions i.e. machine operation and manual packaging. As manual jobs are easier to measure relevant performance, the author tried to concentrate more on floor level employees i.e. process operation helpers, packers etc.

Sources and Methodology:

Data Types:

Both primary and secondary information have been used to address the study objectives.

Data Sources:

Primary data have been obtained by interviewing the personnel in the Production Department and the Human Resources Department as well as the Quality Assurance Department of the factory. Secondary information will be collected from reference materials, different publications of Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd’s training manual and websites.

Limitations:Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Primary limitation of the report is that it is based on facts, accumulated from word of mouth, while consulting secondary data. Some information presented in the report may be biased, as people tend to avoid their own limitation regarding their job and tend to hold other departments responsible for drawbacks of their own. As the report is not a comprehensive one, rather based on a single facility of Square Pharmaceuticals Limited and also based on a limited number of department employees so any ultimate decision may not be drawn about the whole organizations training facility.

Contribution of the Study:

The findings of the study will give a guideline about the requirement of state of the art training ad development procedure and facilities that are needed to attain a distinct competitive edge in the pharmaceutical market.

  1. Internal Analysis:

Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (SPL) is the leading Bangladeshi pharmaceutical company and it is the most successful venture as well as the ‘Flagship Company’ of the ‘Square Group’, a renowned local business conglomerate. Square is a group of more than 30 companies that are operating in the nation. Most of these companies are renowned around the nation for their quality product / service and most of all their transparent and ethical business policies.

SQUARE today symbolizes a name – a state of mind. But its journey to the growth and prosperity has been no bed of roses. From the inception in 1958, it has today burgeoned into one of the top line conglomerates in Bangladesh. Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd., the flagship company, is holding the strong leadership position in the pharmaceutical industry of Bangladesh since 1985 and is now on its way to becoming a high performance global player.

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Limited is the largest pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh and it has been continuously in the 1st position among all national and multinational companies since 1985. It was established in 1958 and converted into a public limited company in 1991. The sales turnover of SPL was more than Taka 5 Billion (US$ 90 million) with about 15% market share (April 2003 – March 2004) having a growth rate of about 16%.

Looking Beyond the Horizon:

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Limited has extended her range of services towards the highway of global market. She pioneered exports of medicines from Bangladesh in 1981 and has been exporting antibiotics and other pharmaceutical products. This extension in business and services has manifested the credibility of Square Pharmaceuticals Limited.


  • Above all, for top quality health care products at the least cost reaching the lowest rungs of the economic class of people in the country. SQUARE values our social obligations.
  • SQUARE owe to its shareholders and strive for protection of their capital as well as ensure highest return and growth of their assets.
  • SQUARE strive for best compensation to all the employees who constitute the back-bone of the management and operational strength of the Company through a pay-package composing salary/wages, allowances, bonus, profit participation, leave salary and superannuation & retirement benefits.
  • SQUARE strive for best co-operation of the creditors & debtors the banks & financial institutions who provide financial support when it needs them, the suppliers of raw materials & suppliers who offer it at the best prices, the providers of utilities-power, gas & water etc. and the customers who buy its products & services by redeeming their claim in time by making prompt payment and by distributing proper product on due dates.
  • SQUARE strive for fulfillment of its responsibility to the Government through payment of entire range of due taxes, duties, and claim to various public agencies.
  • SQUARE strive, as responsible citizen, for a social order devoid of malpractices, anti-environmental behaviors, unethical and corruptive dealings.
  • SQUARE strive for practicing good governance in every sphere of activities covering inter alliance not being limited to, disclosure & reporting to shareholders holding AGM in time, distribution of dividends and other benefits to shareholders, reporting/dissemination of price sensitive information, acquisition of share by insiders, recruitment & promotion of staff, procurement & supplies, sale of assets etc. all that directly and indirectly affect the interest of concerned groups – the shareholders, the creditors, suppliers, employees, government and the public in general.


Year of Establishment (Initially as a Partnership):1958
Incorporated as a Private Limited Company:1964
Technical Collaboration Agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals of Belgium
(A subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson International Ltd.)
Technical Collaboration Agreement with F.Hoffman-La Roche & Co. Ltd.:1984
Converted into Public Limited Company:1991
Stock Exchange Listing (Dhaka & Chittagong):1995
Agreement with M/s. Bovis Lanvec Ltd. of UK for implementation of Dhaka Plant:1996
Awarded ISO-9001 Certificate:1998
Business Lines:Manufacturing and Marketing of Pharmaceuticals Finished Products, Basic Chemicals and AgroVet Products
Authorized Capital:US$ 16.99 Million
(Tk. 1,000 Million)
Paid-up Capital:(Tk. 432 Million)
Number of Employees:2,394

Human Resource : Practices & Climates:

SQUARE, with its progressive business outlook, believes and practices corporate work culture with a classic blend of efficiency and equity. SQUARE believes in company growth by increasing efficiency level of employees and for that offering excellent environment and support for skill and knowledge upgradation. SQUARE values productivity as the spontaneous contribution of Human Resources. Strategic Human Resource Development Programs are the energy sources for SQUARE HR for running towards the zenith of success. Flow of clear and specific information and justification of queries play the vital role to ensure the market reputation of SQUARE as the most trusted and transparent company and it enriches the motivation level of HR who are the real contributors and owners of his / her own jobs. At SQUARE, HRD symbolizes the unique blending of professionalism as well as sharing the stress and success equally like a family where every member has deep concern, feelings and pride for their own company SQUARE. HR ensures the strong supporting role to develop & implement HR policy guidelines for ensuring uninterrupted operation and spontaneous participation to achieve organizational objective as well as fulfillment of employee needs. HR is maintaining an effective way to deal with labor union and still no unrest has been recorded as dispute. Personnel working here are taking care of SQUARE as if it is their own family. Employee-employer relation is cordial and supporting always.

Training in SPL:

SPL today stands for reliance. The foundation of this reputation lays resourceful manpower, updated technology and above all devotion. Devotion to humanity and commitment to program made the story a success. SPL with its solemn vow to uplift the community health stands in the forefront. LPL is not only dedicated to production but also ensures higher quality larger product range. And higher quality cannot be ensured unless the personnel related to production are properly trained.

SQUARE’s HRD is tirelessly working on the continuous training; development and well-being of its members. Both in-house and outside organization training of employees are concomitant and ongoing process. For continuous monitoring and development, a highly scientific participatory Performance Management System (PMS) is in use for assessing employee need and appraising them once in each quarter of the year. Along with regular programs for HR Development SQUARE has number of Employee Relations Programs (ERP).

Good training lessens frustration and boredom between supervisor and worker. It contributes to improved human relations and raises morale. The improvement in skills increases productivity and lessens turnover. Through training, organization help make employees more loyal to the company. So, unless the product or service is the only one of its kind, we are looking for an edge, an advantage something special from the major competition. And training is one of the strongest tool through which a specialty can be created.

In today’s marketplace, it’s given that everyone want increased efficiency., better performance – that is a bigger piece of the pie. Yet virtually everyone is finding this more and more difficult to achieve. May be sheer number of competitors has increased.

Training also helps ambitious employees forge ahead in their own careers. On the other hand, better product increases customer satisfaction; lead to repeated business and large sales. When we develop employees potential these things are vastly related. Training is a leadership activity, which prepares individuals for their own future opportunities.

Training Management in Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd.


It is needless to mention that employee training improves skills, and add to the existing level of knowledge so that the employee is better equipped to do his/her present job, and prepare him/her for a higher level of job with increased responsibilities. The management of Square Group (Pharmaceuticals) is not an exception to this people development concept.

Towards continuous improvement, Square Group is fostering training throughout the organizations. Currently various sister concerns are conducting training program in differently but an effort is in progress for conducting training in an organized fashion.

Purpose of Training:

Why training is required?

In today’s marketplace, it’s given that everyone want increased efficiency., better performance – that is a bigger piece of the pie. Yet virtually everyone is finding this more and more difficult to achieve. May be sheer number of competitors has increased. Perhaps growing price pressure is impacting customers’ purchasing decision. Possibly the market is maturing, or the technology aging.

So, unless the product or service is the only one of its kind, we are looking for an edge, and advantage – something special from the major competition. And training is one of the strongest tool through which a specialty can be created.

Training also helps ambitious employees forge ahead in their own careers. On the other hand, better product increases customer satisfaction; lead to repeat business & large sales. When we develop employees potential these things are vastly related. Training is a leadership activity, which prepares individuals for their own future opportunities.

In Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. for the proper and effective training of its employees it has a separate wing under the Human Resources Department which is headed by a Manager. This wing is called ‘Human Resources Development and Training Wing’. Its prime concern is the training and development of SPL’s employees. Some trainings (like the trainings of SPLs’ field forces) are conducted directly by this wing and it is also responsible for coordinating all other training like in-house, external or overseas trainings.

Training Conducted by Human Resource Department:

The HR Department itself doesn’t directly conduct any training. But it shares following responsibilities regarding training:

  • Selection of trainees: HR Departments asks for names from respective departments for training. On receiving the names, the department prepares the final list of trainees and intimates it to the training wing and respective departments for the timely release of the trainees.
  • Arrange external training within the country: while necessary, SPL sends its employees for training conducted by competent outside organizations. These trainings are coordinated by the HR Department.
  • Overseas Training: All the overseas trainings are coordinated by the HR Department.
  • Training Record Maintenance: Records of all trainings by the employees are maintained by the HR department in employees’ personal file.

Training Conducted by Training Wing at the HQ:

All the in-house trainings for the sales force and other management trainings are conducted by this department. The trainings related to sales are designed for the sales force consisting of:

  • Medical Promotion Officer (MPO) :60 working days
  • Regional Sales Manager & Territory Managers: 2 working days every moth.
  • Depot In charge: 1 to 2 working days.
  • Delivery Assistants: 2/3 working hour in a regular basis.

The Training Wing also conducts different management development programs using various mid and top management people as ‘Resource Person’ (SPL name for trainer).

Training Conducted by the Concerned Department at the Factory:

The most important trainings that are directly related to the product quality are conducted by the department. These trainings are conducted on specific tasks or technical issues of that particular department. In this case managers or an executive of that department plays the role of trainer.

As it is said before, GMP is also sometimes referred to as “cGMP”. The “c” stands for “current,” reminding manufacturers that they must employ technologies and systems which are up-to-date in order to comply with the regulation. Systems and equipment used to prevent contamination, mix-ups, and errors, which may have been “top-of-the-line” 20 years ago, may be less than adequate by today’s standards. Keeping that in mind all the training in the factory is designed and conducted to ensure strict compliance of “cGMP” throughout the manufacturing process.

GMP Related Training:

  • Induction Training: This is similar to orientation training. Every new entry undertakes this training. This training is coordinated and scheduled[1] by the factory Human Resources Department (HRD). Basically it is a training aimed to give the new employee an overall view about the factory activities, activities of different departments, the activities of interacting departments with whom he would be dealing with and general rules and norms which is practiced in the factory site.
  • Quality Control (QC) Training:  QC personnel are the most important element of the manufacturing process. They have the responsibility and authority to approve or reject all components, drug product containers, closures, in-process materials, packaging material, labeling, and drug products, and the authority to review production records to assure that no errors have occurred or, if errors have occurred, that they have been fully investigated.
  • Equipment Oriented Training: the handling of every equipment according to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is very important to the product quality, such trainings are:
  • Equipment or plant installation: These trainings are usually held under the supervision of the supplying company at overseas.
  • Standard Operating Procedure: These are held for all new operators before they independently operate each machine. It also includes training on emergency or breakdown procedure.
  • Equipment cleaning and maintenance: Training on how equipment and utensils shall be cleaned, maintained, and sanitized at appropriate intervals to prevent malfunctions or contamination that may alter the safety, identity, strength, quality, or purity of the drug product beyond the official or other established requirements.
  • Production and Process Controls Training: There should be written procedures for production and process control designed to assure that the drug products have the identity, strength, quality, and purity they purport or are represented to possess. In this training trainees are trained have a thorough idea on these matters.
  • Laboratory Control Training: Laboratory control training includes the establishment of scientifically sound and appropriate specifications, standards, sampling plans, and test procedures designed to assure that components, drug product containers, closures, in-process materials, labeling, and drug products conform to appropriate standards of identity, strength, quality, and purity.

SPL regularly conducts these types of training so that all the necessary procedures are well adapted to the employees. These trainings are conducted in a regular interval and in a pre-planned manner. Normally a quarterly schedule is prepared by the Quality Assurance Department and shared with the concerned departments for necessary participation and cooperation.

Safety Related Training:

Safety is a very important issue in any manufacturing plant. SPL conducts a comprehensive training to ensure that factory employees are conversant with each and every aspect related to the safety of plant, equipment and personnel. Some of such trainings are:

  • Fire prevention and safety training: This training is compulsory for all the employees of the factory. Theoretical training is followed by real life scenario fir fighting exercise. It also includes equipment shut down and evacuation procedures.
  • Emergency procedure training: this training includes practical training related to machinery failure, toxic leakage etc.
  • Personal protective equipment training: To ensure highest product quality, safety of personnel or safety from any other health hazard, factory workers inside the plant wears various protective clothing and equipment. This training aims to make the trainees conversant with all these equipment.
  • First Aid training: this is also a compulsory training for all employees.

To combat any kind of emergency there is a team named as Emergency Response Core Team (ERCT), which is constituted by taking 2 members from each department. The purpose of this team is to respond to any emergency irrespective of the place of action. This system eliminates any chaos or confusion during actual emergency. All the ERCT members undergo thorough training on each and every aspect of safety and emergency handling.

Management Development Training:

These are the training conducted by the training department at the operational HQ or other institutions. Factory employees as and when required attend these trainings with the recommendation of the respective departments.

Training for Engineers:

SPL has number of electrical, mechanical and civil engineers at different plants. Training for them is organized at outside organizations like Engineers’ Institution, BUET etc.

4. Need Analysis

Types of Needs Analysis:

Determining training needs involve the collection of data on both the current situations within the organization and its actual requirements. The techniques that has been used are:

  • Formal or informal interviews with employees and supervisors
  • Observation of employees on the job by the supervisor

It is not possible to get training need of an individual by interviewing one by one so in this connection a designed format can get the training need of each and every employee which is distributed in a regular interval to the department and section heads. They used to evaluate the training need following both the methods mentioned above. While assessing the training needs of the employees the evaluator considers the following circumstances:

  • Promotion: If management have any plan to give the employee a promotion he must perform some additional responsibility. In that case he must get comprehensive training to coupe up with the new position. So his supervisor (mostly the department head or section head) recommends for appropriate training.
  • Job Enrichment: At times with the increase of work volume, employees need to be taking more responsibility than usual. In that case, someone may have to perform some duties previously performed by the employees from higher positions. But before that, that employee needs proper training to perform that duty. This is another reason to recommend training.
  • Job Rotation: Especially in factory level, job rotation is a natural phenomenon. Mostly in production floor, ‘assistant operators’ (process machine operators) and ‘operation helper’ are rotated in a specific intervals to give them an exposer in different machinery, which eliminates the risk of dependence upon few people who have got expertise on any particular machinery. But before an employee is rotated to another section, he/she has to be trained well. In SPL a lot of training is recommended considering the incumbent’s upcoming Job Rotation.
  • Technological Advancement: Technological advancement is a dynamic and inevitable process. Today’s advance technology is no match for tomorrows world. So Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has to upgrade its machinery frequently. With the incoming of new machines thus technologies, people related to that machine need to be trained on that new thing. That’s why people are

Training Record Keeping:

In every facility of SPL each employee has his/her own training record file. In this file he keeps all his/her ‘training record’[2] for any regulatory purpose. These records are checked by department personnel and in few cases the buyers and auditors from different foreign regulatory representatives. The training records of the employees have another vital application. Whenever any promotion proposal for an employee is raised, the department head try to determine what type of skills and abilities he/she has and whether he/she has any technical know-how.  In that case, training record is an effective document to determine the fact. That’s why every employee must fill up a training record form after the training in case of in-house training and submit a report on the training immediately after in case of overseas and off house trainings.

Training Effectiveness Analysis:

To relate training with the positive change in performance of Square Pharmaceuticals Limited employees, we have taken three parameters in consideration.

      Relative increase in PMS rating.

      Quality of work after training.

      Opinion of the employees.

Of the two parameters we have taken, the first one generates some quantitative data, but the second one is a qualitative parameter. To find out any positive relation between training provided and performance in real world, questionnaires has been prepared and on the basis of response the analysis has been done. Moreover, another survey (based on another questionnaire for the supervisors) has been done to find out whether the training provided was based on logical need.


From our close observation we have found the following aspects of their training system in Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Those are stated bellow:

Training Need Assessment:

The success of any training program depends on the perfect Training Need Assessment and perfect Training Need Assessment depends on the right answers of the following questions-

  1. Identification of the right person who is in need of training?
  2. Whether that person has the quality to acquire that knowledge, skill and aptitude which will be given/ impart in the training?
  3. Whether the topic of the training will bring positive change in productivity?
  4. Whether the training will help the incumbent to do that job in a more efficient way with less input.
  5. Whether the supervisor has that right knowledge to find out the gap between expected/ required skill, knowledge and aptitude and existing knowledge skill and aptitude of the incumbent?

Training Wing:

A leading pharmaceuticals company who’s yearly turnover gross turnover is more than 6199 million taka should have separate training department in both corporate and factory level but in Square Pharmaceuticals ltd. We have found that there is a training wing in corporate head quarter but no training wing in factory level but two third of the employee work in factory level, which creates a huge burden for the wing to coordinate all the training centrally.

Training Facilities and training budget:  

As a market leader of Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals market the training facilities of Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is not up to the standard. Although we have found modern training tools in HRD but that those are not sufficient. As same training facilities is used for her sister concerns. Moreover, if we consider the training and development budget of SPL we will find that it is less than one percent of their yearly turnover.   

Training Assessment System:

In SPL we have found a sound post training assessment system where trainee can give their feedback about the training that they have received. It’s positive that SPL authority evaluates the post training assessment of trainee to send future participants in similar training program.

Training of the trainers (TOT):  

In corporate as well as in field/ factory level there are different training programs and in most of the cases this training programs are conducted by the in house trainer but we have not found any sign of training of the trainer which is very much important for the successful implementation of training program.

Training Manual:

Till now SPL doesn’t have a structured training manual. What SPL does is to be reactive in organizing trainings. If there were a structured training manual, it would have been more effective in a sense that the focus and objective of the training system would have been clear to all thus easier to achieve.

Training record:

Training record are kept in a hard copy form. There are no system for electronic record keeping, which would have been easier for all to get access. At times a lot of time and effort have to be spent to find a person for any particular task which need specific skill and right training. But electronic data base could have solve this problem.

Pre planned training program:

In both corporate level as well as factory level of SPL they follow the pre planned training schedule and they keep record of their training strictly. In case of training schedule SPL is highly disciplined.


Since the inception Square Pharmaceuticals Limited has come a long way. Based on customer satisfaction and reliability it has already emerged as a pharmaceutical business giant in the country. Now it is looking beyond the national boundary to enter into western market. Therefore, it is going through a critical time. At this very moment, the importance of knowledgeable, skilled and efficient human resource is greater than ever for the company. Good news is SPL gives maximum value to its human resources and thereby top management gives maximum importance in training and development of the workforce.

Through the probe, it is established that Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has a strong training and development system, but which need some tuning with much care and by emphasizing training as a core activity of its business. Throughout the report much was said about the need assessment of the training in Square. In fact much of the training effort goes in vain because of the wrong selection of employees, which should be addressed by the SPL top management. Another critical issue for Square is the need for quality trainers. Though the training wing doing their best and obviously they provide quality training, but being in the Head Quarter they could do little for all the establishment based throughout the country. Positive side of the scene is Square has assigned foreign consultants for its Dhaka Unit plant to make it capable of acquiring MHRA (Medical & Healthcare Product Regulatory Authority – UK) certification, who provide training and necessary technical support. Hopefully this will be regular practice for all of its manufacturing plants. Last of all it can be concluded that despite more scope of improvement, Square Pharmaceuticals Limited has a effective training program to contribute to its employee performance. 

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