Interview with Vishal Chandra, Associate Vice President, Venus Pharma GmbH

What are the three most important factors when evaluating a deal?

   1) Equality of Stakes of the partnering organisations in the project

If one partner will have higher stakes: the other side might become dominating and too demanding in the long term.
The deal shall be a mutual win-win situation and on long term prospects of the collaboration.

Of course no two organisations will have exactly equal capabilities hence minor tilt of strengths / weakness have to fall within acceptable limits.

   2) Core Competency of the Partnering organisation(s)

Is it just the financial capability of the partner or does the partner has a proven history of successful product commercialisation with different business models?

In case of a new entrant with Financial capability: efforts shall be made to interact and find out core competency of KEY MANAGEMENT and KEY FUNCTIONAL TEAM LEADERS and their previous success rate.

A laid back approach and not interacting/knowing about key functional teams of the partnering company often results in delayed results, Blame games for failures.

   3) Scale up capabilities & flexibility of supply chain

Plan for 3-5 year period post real product launch.

  • Can the supplier company’s move fast if an immediate / expiated supply is required?
  • Is the front end partner capable to grow the business and gradually gain market share based on its internal capabilities OR some joint capabilities will be required to achieve the projected growths?

How would you keep in touch with existing customers?

Until now it was purely over emails and some mobile based IM Platforms.

During & post Covid era, the trend has shown a positive shift in usage of Video based platforms like Webex, Zoom, Microsoft Teams. These platforms enable multiple users and a fairly big audience to join a conference call at the same time: each from its own office / home location.

In fact, current e-enabled platforms also enable recording of video calls which can be shared with audiences which missed the interaction in real time and also as reference for the purpose of record keeping.

Have you ever lost an opportunity to do business with an important partner? Why and what did you learn?

In international pharma business, the environment is getting regulated every passing year. Due diligence and scouting of a country specific regulatory environment is very important and then bench marking the same visa vs. your own preparedness is one of the most important parameters a company shall cross-check before proceeding for agreement signing.

Usually a reverse trend is seen and lack of compliance of mutual expectations is observed after months of efforts spent on signing of commercial & technical agreements.

A little extra time spent on PRE-AGREEMENT Due Diligence can save precious man hours and other efforts that may be wasted if a non compliance of GMP / Dossiers / API / Vendor of Packing material is found at time of filing of MA or a pre audit before submission of dossiers.

What should we do more often and to engage our employees constantly?

Make the team members a partner in project design, Collective decision making and then for implementation of the project. Only asking the team for implementation and making them liable for delayed results or failures results in lack of project ownership and disengagement.

Vishal Chandra
Associate Vice President at Venus Pharma GmbH


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