There have been innumerable challenges since I took over as CEO of the organisation at 29. Glenmark was just a Rs 80-crore company then. It has transitioned today, with revenue in excess of Rs 4,000 crore. Most importantly, we have been successful in discovering new molecules which are first-in-class globally indicated for unmet medical needs. We have also concluded six out-licensing deals with big pharmaceutical firms, making us one of the more successful companies across emerging markets in the area of drug discovery.
I can recollect many instances when people and consultants advised me against venturing into innovation and that, being an Indian company, one must stay focused on producing generics. But from all the advice that I ever got, and when I look back at my years, I feel the most important advice given to me was: "Marry the right person."
As the years have passed, I have realised you can't separate your professional from your personal life, and that your personal life is your support system. Being in innovation, the business model is fraught with risk and we have had our share of failures. Times were tough four years ago, when all our molecules failed in clinical trials. Ups and downs are a constant in this business. During these times it is so important to have a strong support system. Even a CEO is human, and when the going is tough he also needs to be regularly reassured that things will be fine. Thus, I feel that the best advice I ever got was to marry the right person. Which I did!