A portrait of AAPS instructor Atikur Talukder at our pharmaceutical training school

How to succeed in the Pharmaceutical Industry? Insights From Atikur Talukder’s Journey

The world of pharmaceutical manufacturing demands meticulous attention to detail and unwavering commitment to quality assurance. Atikur Talukder, a leading expert in advanced GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) and auditing at AAPS embodies these qualities.

A seasoned pharmaceutical professional with a rich background in commercial manufacturing, quality assurance, and R&D, Atikur epitomizes the dedication required to achieve and maintain high standards in this field.

His journey provides invaluable insights for those aspiring to excel in pharmaceutical manufacturing and quality assurance. In this blog post, Atikur shares his insights on navigating the ever-evolving world of pharmaceutical regulations and offers invaluable advice for aspiring professionals.

From Quality Assurance to the Classroom

Atikur’s journey within the pharmaceutical industry began in Quality Assurance (QA). Over several years of engagement, he shouldered the crucial responsibility of ensuring his company’s adherence to GMP regulations. Atikur’s extensive experience in Quality Assurance has emphasized the critical importance of adhering to GMP standards to ensure the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products.

Years of interacting with regulatory inspectors in several roles and departments throughout his career helped forge his auditing skills and equipped him to navigate industry inspections effectively.

Ultimately, witnessing the evolution of international regulatory standards firsthand fueled his commitment to continuous learning, which has become a guiding principle of his teaching philosophy. “I always make an effort to learn new things in different departments or industries. It keeps me connected to the real world and prevents me from developing a siloed mindset,” he shares.

A QA professional checking documents on his laptop after completing his quality assurance training

Atikur’s journey within the pharmaceutical industry began with quality assurance.

Teaching Style and Philosophy

Atikur brings his rich industry experience to the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS) classrooms. He emphasizes the practical application of theoretical knowledge, regularly incorporating real-world challenges and current examples into his curriculum to ensure that his students grasp the theory and the practical application of GMP principles.

Atikur acknowledges that GMP guidelines are broad and require interpretation based on specific contexts. His teaching style emphasizes these nuances, empowering students to become knowledgeable and adaptable professionals.

Atikur’s background in project management has significantly influenced his approach to teaching. He understands the importance of tailoring his communication to resonate with diverse learning styles and experience levels. “Project management principles”, he says, equip him with the tools to effectively engage students regardless of their prior knowledge or attention span.

A group of adult learners undergoing pharmaceutical training at AAPS

Atikur employs scenario-based learning while teaching adult learners in pharmaceutical training.

For adult learners in pharmaceutical training, Atikur finds scenario-based learning particularly impactful. “I usually attempt to ask situational questions, trying to build a scenario and asking them how they’d respond,” he explains.

By posing situational questions and encouraging students to formulate responses, he fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills—essential for navigating GMP compliance.

Insights on Industry Trends and the Future of GMP and Auditing

Looking ahead, Atikur anticipates automation and AI-driven processes playing a major role in pharmaceutical manufacturing. “Automation and AI-guided processes are the way of the future. Companies are striving to become efficient and agile, and these will be at the forefront of that attempt,” he predicts.

However, while these advancements promise increased efficiency and agility, they also introduce new challenges related to data integrity and equipment/computer systems validation. Atikur emphasizes the importance of preparing future professionals for these upcoming changes by equipping them with a solid understanding of process and equipment validation, and the benefits and considerations surrounding automation.

An automated pharmaceutical manufacturing environment to be explored in quality assurance training

Atikur anticipates AI to play a major role in manufacturing after quality assurance training.

Advice for Aspiring Quality Assurance Industry Professionals

For those just starting their careers in pharmaceutical manufacturing or quality assurance, Atikur offers advice: “Get in at any role and work your way up. Learn to grind and challenge yourself to apply your skills to disciplines and topics outside your comfort zone”. He stresses the importance of actively partaking in cross-departmental projects and engaging in discussions beyond one’s expertise.

He believes that success in this industry does not come from staying within one’s comfort zone but from a relentless pursuit of knowledge and practical experience across different facets of the GMP world. This approach, according to Atikur, is essential for developing into a strong, quality-minded leader.

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