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Best Advice: ‘Get your priorities right to achieve your target,' says Indegene's Manish Gupta

Manish Gupta, Chairman and CEO of Indegene Ltd., in conversation with Business Today
28 Jun 2023
What was the problem you were grappling with?
We intended to build a global, differentiated Indian company to help life sciences organisations enhance their business processes with a technology-first approach. Our early growth strategy relied on acquisitions. We made our very first acquisition in the US in 2005-06. We believed this move would boost our global growth and set the business up for years to come. However, we neither anticipated nor adequately prepared for the post-acquisition challenges. There were many process inefficiencies that came along, which constrained our growth and profitability.
Who did you approach for advice?
I reached out to our Board Member T.V.G. Krishnamurthy, a veteran corporate leader and investor. He has been a strategic advisor, friend, sounding board, and more since our early days.
What was the advice you received?
The good thing about TVG is he asks the right questions which force us to think and solve the problem ourselves. He asked us to define our priorities: choose between short-term growth and developing a scaleable, successful firm, even if it meant a temporary period of flat growth. Our answer was clear. It had to be the latter, and we wanted to do whatever it took.
How effective was it in resolving the problem?
It altered our outlook, strategy, and ability to turn obstacles into opportunities. We made the right process tweaks and brought in the right people in the right roles. The turnaround was evident after a few months. That was our first, practical lesson in institution-building. The learnings helped us build a robust playbook for acquisitions, something we continue to evolve with time and market realities. We have made 11 acquisitions in total over the years, and I can confidently say we have figured out how to integrate effectively for success.

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