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NASSCOM EMERGEOUT Startup 15: Amit Sadana, President and CEO, PharmARC

Team YS
14th Apr 2010
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Amit Sadana has over 14 years of multifaceted experience in the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry in the US, UK, and European markets. He started his career at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NY and subsequently worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche in various roles. He has extensive experience in sales and marketing analytics across diverse therapeutic areas and geographies. He then cofounded PharmARC with Siraj Dhanani in 2004.

Amit has a MS in statistics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

PharmARC is trusted by customers, including 15 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world, to enable efficiencies in pharma commercialization. The company is 100 percent focused on life sciences and has a unique engagement model to enable customers to benefit from efficient commercialization, making it the new source of competitive advantage. The engagement model is led by a consulting approach to understand the real issues faced by customers. PharmARC then works backwards to develop a solution that is enabled with the right data, analytics, and technology. It provides expertise in the areas of sales analytics and marketing analytics (forecasting, competitive intelligence, market assessments, primary market research, epidemiology studies, and Key Opinion Leader databases). PharmARC has a strong network of industry experts who supplement local knowledge and understanding of customers’ needs to drive actionable insights.

PharmARC was recognized as one of the Top 10 emerging companies by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) in 2009. It is also certified for ISO 27001:2005 and HIPAA compliance, ensuring industry-defined standards are adhered to for information security and data privacy across all our customer engagements. Headquartered in Bangalore (India), PharmARC also has offices in Mumbai (India), Basel (Switzerland), and New Jersey (USA).

After a rich experience in the industry, Amit took to entrepreneurship. He tells Indian Startup NASSCOM EMERGEOUT initiative why he did so.

Why did you take up the entrepreneurship journey?

Amit: Both Siraj Dhanani and I were consumers of pharmaceutical analytics in our previous jobs in the health care industry when we realized the immense potential India has to offer in terms of offshore analytics services. Siraj and I had a vision to develop an innovative business model within the pharmaceutical consulting space—an analytics resource center dedicated to the pharmaceutical industry. That is how PharmARC came into being on January 5, 2004.

What keeps you going (how and where do you find your motivation levels)?

Amit: An organization is only as good as its people, and is driven forward by the selfless dedication of those who see no distinction between personal and organizational growth. On this front, we are truly blessed with a dedicated leadership team and motivated colleagues who inspire me to aim higher.

What is your advice to wannabe entrepreneurs in India?

Amit: In my opinion, there is a very high correlation between an individual’s level of passion, commitment, and focus and an organization’s success. If you are passionate and committed about your work, and have an unwavering focus on the business model, you can succeed. As an entrepreneur, you sometimes have too many distractions and believe you can do many things with the same level of energy. Don’t fall into that trap. Do a few things, but do them well. Never just sit back and let things be … your passion and commitment should consume you to always strive for something better.

Listen to your customers. Understand their needs—not just the stated ones, but observe how they explain their problem, the words they use, the expressions, and then look for a solution to solve it. At the end of the day, we exist because of them. The more you can figure out what they are all about, the better a product/service you can provide

It’s all about quality—focus on delivering your product or service at the highest levels of quality. Attention to detail is critical; underpromise and overdeliver.

What does success mean to you and to your organization?

Amit: In many ways, an organization is like a living being that grows, responds to changes in the environment, and evolves with time. We still have a long way to go before we become the No. 1 pharma commercial analytics company in the world, but we are on the right track. We are focused on growing our core business. There’s a lot of potential out there, and positive experiences from all our key customers are testaments to our potential.

What are your learnings from the failures?

Amit: The road to success in business is often filled with setbacks. But, failure can also be a positive experience—it is an important element for growth and learning. Oscar Wilde once said that “experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”

Learning never stops. The more I learn, the more I realize I know so little. Learning makes me think and grow as a person.

Amit’s focus of customer delight by knowing their unstated problems and also not getting consumed by too many distractions have helped him build a great organization. He has done it of course with lot of passion.


As part of the Indian startup NASSCOM EMERGEOUT initiative, 14 entrepreneurs have shared their views. To know what they are, please visit the links given below.

1. Kishore Mandyam of PK4 Software

2. Anil Pagar of Spadeworx

3. Ajay Sharma of Shristi Software

4. Pallav Nadhani of InfoSoft Global (FusionCharts)

5. Manoj Srivatsava of Hanu Software

6. Sriram Raghavan of Comat

7. Sushil Chaudary of Mann-India

8. Manav Garg of Eka

9. R. Swaminathan of Matrix Business Solution

10. Suresh Sambandam of OrangeScape

11. Ajay Mian of Alletech

12. Prasad Guntupalli of Attra

13. Varun Khurana of Wirkle

14. Anil Kaul of AbsolutData

NASSCOM EMERGEOUT Conclave, Chennai, April 30, 2010

NASSCOM EMERGEOUT conclave comes to Chennai on 30 April 2010. With “Nurturing the IT DNA in India’s growth sectors” as its theme, the conclave focuses on sectors that hold relevance to Chennai such as the automotive sector, in addition to opportunities that exist in the UID space, and workshops on marketing, product design, and many others.

Mr. Bharat Goenka, founder, Tally Software is the keynote speaker. It is a no-brainer right now that if you walk to anyone and ask them to cite you an example of an Indian product, Tally ranks among the top list, and it has been that way for a while. Mr. Goenka is without doubt one of the most prolific icons of the Indian product software industry. Talk to him about product positioning, understanding user behaviour, pricing, marketing and building a brand that is as big as Microsoft in terms of training and development centers, and you are sure to walk away in awe. Would you miss hearing him?

To wrap up the conclave, Mr. Lakshmi Narayanan, Vice Chairman, Cognizant, is going to engage in rather inquisitive conversation with Prasanto Roy from CyberMedia. He has been a technology industry leader for over 30 years. As a founding member of Cognizant, he was been responsible for the company’s high-touch customer relationship and delivery excellence model. Under his leadership, Cognizant became the youngest IT services company to reach the $1 billion revenue milestone. He is also the part of NASSCOM Chairmen Council and under his leadership, some new initiatives in the EMERGE Forum were started.

To find the speaker list, please visit http://bit.ly/dvMYqq

Jessie Paul, MD, Paul Writer Strategic Services, author of No Money Marketing, and formerly Chief Marketing Officer of Wipro, is holding a workshop on “Frugal Marketing—What Works, What's Trendy, What's Hype.” Besides great product or service and innovation, marketing right is crucial to build a brand. Jessie is going to demystify the art of brand building using a frugal budget. Visit her blog post at the EMERGE blog http://bit.ly/ahqdqO for details.

The complete program agenda is available and is waiting to be updated: http://bit.ly/9on2ci Many speakers and impressive lineup of programs await participants. Don’t miss all the action! Join the bandwagon of the emerging opportunities in India!!

Please register for the conference here.

Contributed by Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, Chief Evangelist, YourStory

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