Here’s how TalentSurabhi is transforming talent acquisition in India's life sciences industry
TalentSurabhi is bridging the talent gap in the IT and life sciences industries. The bootstrapped recruitment firm helps companies find the most suitable candidates through their unique talent pool landscape analytics and preparing fresh graduates for the current and future work force.
In March 2020, as COVID-19 upended the world, Gayathri D.A, a business development manager at an IT leadership recruitment firm in Bangalore, found herself at a crossroads.
IT companies were struggling to survive amid an uncertain job market. On the other hand, as the race for the COVID vaccine began, clinical research companies were looking to hire niche talent. Gayathri saw a promising opportunity there.
With extensive experience in the IT industry and a talent for finding top-notch candidates, she knew this was her calling. After careful consideration, she quit her job at the IT recruitment firm and in June 2020 founded.
TalentSurabhi specialises in identifying and recruiting candidates for a wide range of roles in the IT and life sciences industry, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, and healthcare services. The startup aims to facilitate synergy between clients and talents by evaluating specific skill sets and expertise sought by clients.
The entrepreneurial journey
The decision to quit a well-paying job and embark on an entrepreneurial journey is always accompanied by profound self-doubt, and Gayathri was no stranger to this internal struggle. But she was determined to make this work.
She dove headfirst into turning her vision into a reality. She collaborated with a group of clinical research professionals, delving into the intricacies of the industry and identifying hiring gaps and unmet needs.
As she began to reach out to potential clients, she quickly realised that her intuition was right. Many clinical research companies were struggling to find the right people for their projects; they needed someone who understood the industry and who could identify the niche talent they required.
TalentSurabhi set out to bridge that void. It started by understanding the unique requirements of each client, assessing the capabilities and track record of potential clients, and establishing effective communication channels to facilitate successful collaboration.
“I started TS with a lot of passion to serve the clinical industry because at the end of the day we are indirectly working to save a patient’s life by identifying talents who are directly working in the drug development process to save patients,” Gayathri says.
A steady growth
Gayathri's initial clients came from the US, the UK and India. She and her team began working closely with them to understand their needs and find qualified candidates, from drug development to regulatory affairs.
She gained a deep understanding of CRO, pharma, and healthcare IT industries, and covered crucial areas of drug discovery, clinical development, medical affairs, regulatory affairs, quality assurance and control, and other chiefs of operation roles.
Soon enough, business took off. Gayathri's focused approach and dedication impressed clients who referred TalentSurabhi to others. She formed long-term relationships with influential industry leaders and focused on building a strong foundation. Within three years of inception, TalentSurabhi had closed over 200 positions in the IT healthcare, CRO, and pharma industries - from freshers to C-level executive roles.
Within a year of launch, the company was featured in CIO Look magazine as one of the “Booming Startups to Watch Out in 2021” within the specialised domain of clinical research recruitment. Today, it is a leading player in the clinical research recruitment space, with a strong presence in key markets and a reputation for excellence.
Bridging the talent gap in the IT and life sciences industries
Gayathri's personalised approach enables her to match the perfect talent with the ideal company. She leverages her extensive industry network and an intuitive recruiter’s “sixth sense”.
Elucidating this with an example, she recalls the time she hired talent for a top CRO company. The hiring manager, who was having a tough time recruiting talent, reached out to TalentSurabhi. Gayathri heard about the unique challenges, and asked insightful questions about the job requirements and the company culture. She also spent time studying the industry and understanding its specific needs.
Within weeks, the CRO company had landed the perfect candidate for their open position. TalentSurabhi, meanwhile, had bagged a long-term client who would work with it for specialised talent hiring.
Building a strong talent pipeline
Gayathri thinks of TalentSurabhi as not just a recruitment firm, but as a catalyst for change in the clinical research industry, one that is “actively shaping the future of talent development in the life sciences sector”.
The founder says she is proactively addressing industry demands and building a robust talent pipeline by collaborating with universities, colleges, and training institutes.
TalentSurabhi conducts a series of seminars, workshops, and conferences in collaboration with industry leaders and subject matter experts. It leverages these platforms to educate fresh graduates about job opportunities in the clinical research domain and equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their careers. By engaging directly with academia, it aligns industry expectations with educational curriculums, ensuring that graduates possess the relevant skills that employers seek.
TalentSurabhi is also helping new mothers re-enter the workforce after a career break.
“In our eyes, a resume gap due to being a stay-at-home mom is never a weakness. Women re-entering the workforce offer a level of talent and aptitude that can greatly benefit any company,” Gayathri explains. She elaborates that in the last one year, half of the team’s closures were of women candidates who were on a career break.
The way ahead
Talking about future plans, Gayathri says, “For the last three years, we focused on life sciences recruitment. We are now stepping into supporting diversity hiring for IT, semiconductor, and ecommerce clients.”
Five years down the line, she envisions TalentSurabhi as one of the top recruitment firms serving the clinical research industry and among the top five recruitment firms serving other sectors in India. The aim is to scale the team up to 50, five years down the line, the founder says.
The company aims to expand its footprint in different cities in India and to have a presence in other APAC countries.