Novartis consolidates global services operations at Hyderabad centre

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Hyderabad, Dec 18

Swiss drugmaker Novartis has consolidated its oldest and largest global service operations at Hyderabad, housing about 3,500 employees in a spanking new office.

Supporting the global parent company on a range of services from financial reporting to medical communications, scientific support, data management etc, the Hyderabad centre is one of the five such centres located at Kuala Lumpur, Prague, Dublin and Mexico.

The global service centre had begun in 2001 with 17 people, said Ranjit Shahani, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Novartis in India. Hyderabad was chosen from a shortlist of 23 cities including Pune, Chennai and Gurgaon, he said. The centre would support the drug major’s operation across pharmaceuticals (Novartis), eye care (Alcon) and generic drugs segments (Sandoz).

In fact, in addition to being Novartis’ oldest and largest in terms of scope, headcount and services, the centre is also the largest such multinational operation in India, said Naveen Gullapalli, who heads the centre.

Incidentally, the new office facility comes at a time when a couple of multinational drug majors including Pfizer and Sandoz shut down a manufacturing facility each, as they rationalise manufacturing.

Global support 

Explaining their decision, Emmanuel Puginier, Novartis’ head of product lifecycles said that the talent and infrastructure available at the location were key reasons behind its choice, as it provides knowledge-based services to the worldwide organisation. For instance, the centre would support the company’s global clinical trials with data management, biostatistics and analysis, he said.

Gullapalli further explained that that the analytical skills and therapeutic knowledge would help bring pre-launch and post-launch insights for different markets. In supporting clinical trials, the centre would help collect data and prepare dossiers besides working with onsite regulatory teams to file for product approvals in different markets.

The centre was inaugurated by Telangana Information and Technology minister KT Rama Rao.

(The writer was at the centre on invitation from the company.)

Published on December 18, 2015

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