Meet one of PHARMExcel’s Senior Operations Managers – what do they do, and what experience does it take to get there?
We sat down with Anshu Ahuja to find out more about his clinical experience before PHARMExcel, what his responsibilities as Senior Operations Manager are, and his thoughts on the industry.
After pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy, a Masters in Clinical Research and Masters in Healthcare Management, Anshu began a career as a Clinical Research Coordinator in New Delhi, India. In 2006, he became a Clinical Research Associate (CRA).
Anshu then moved to the UK, working as a CRA at PPD, progressing to Clinical Operations Manager. His responsibilities involved overseeing progress, metrics, and deliverables on cross functional global studies at country and regional level. He provided line management support primarily for CRAs whilst overseeing planning and support for business resource needs for the UK and Ireland. He has experience working across different teams on large global/multi-national studies (Phase I, II & III) with significant experience in Oncology, Immunology, Neurology, Cardiology, Respiratory & Vaccines therapeutic areas.
Anshu’s experience has evolved from commercial studies to specialist support for academic and NHS funded research studies, a well-established client sector of PHARMExcel’s. He has enjoyed developing his professional expertise and enjoys adapting his role and responsibilities to the strategic development needs of PHARMExcel.
Throughout his time at PHARMExcel, Anshu has been impressed by the growth of the company and the introduction of digital systems which have transformed operations and streamlined processes. In the last year, PHARMExcel introduced Harvest – an electronic timesheet software, an electronic quality management system (eQMS), and a clinical trial management system (CTMS). This significant development keeps PHARMExcel at pace with the fast changing, competitive life science landscape and Anshu believes PHARMExcel is already seeing the results of being adaptive and responsive to the ever-changing needs of the industry. He also sees PHARMExcel’s ISO 9001 certification as an incredible achievement in cementing the company’s quality assurance.
Anshu sees the changes in the industry over the last ten years as significant, noting the improvements in efficiency, integrity, and data sharing, with COVID-19 being one of the biggest drivers of change. This continuous evolution provides plenty of opportunities to learn which Anshu considers to be one of the most exciting things about the industry. He also notes that knowing that the work you are doing will contribute towards society and public health is incredibly important, and highlights PHARMExcel’s involvement in the COVBOOST vaccine studies which was instrumental in informing the booster vaccine programme in the UK.
However, some of these changes have introduced more challenges into the industry. Anshu sees that there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit – the life science sector is still trying to determine how the new regulations will impact business delivery, especially when working with global organisations and studies. He acknowledges that the industry needs more clarity from policy makers to assist in understanding the new processes that will be put in place.
One of the questions we asked Anshu was what he likes the most about working at PHARMExcel, and here’s what he had to say.
The opportunity to learn and grow at PHARMExcel has been an incredibly positive aspect about being part of the company. Anshu feels this can be seen at both company and individual level. He feels that the staff work hard to adhere to and live by the company values – honesty and integrity, teamwork, quality, and passion.
Along with the experienced, hardworking, and friendly team, Anshu believes that PHARMExcel’s transparency makes the company special. With openness at both operational and management level, Anshu feels this level of transparency is a key factor in his appreciation of PHARMExcel and allows him to feel comfortable and confident contributing his ideas and feedback.
We wanted to know a bit more about Anshu outside of his role at PHARMExcel. Here is what else we asked!
If you could have dinner with any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?
Professor Brian Cox.
I struggled a lot with Physics as a subject at school – I could never understand the fundamentals, the laws, or the theories, as much as I tried. I happened to watch one of his documentaries called Wonders of the Universe and it all clicked.
Everything began to make sense, and I became a big fan of his. I started watching more and more of his documentaries, gaining significant knowledge, and now I am confident with the subject and discussing it with others.
My wife loves him too, so it would be a great evening!
If you had as much money as your phone number, what would be the first thing you bought?
I’d love to travel the world…and space! I’d probably do a round-trip around the world first, then buy a return (that’s the important part!) ticket to space.
Would you invite Professor Brian Cox to join you?
If I had enough money and he wanted to join then absolutely!
We also asked some quick-fire questions:
Tea or coffee? Both! 🍵 ☕️
Morning or night? Night 🌙
Marmite – yes or no? No! ❌
Text or phone call? Phone 📞
Messy or clean desk? Clean and organised! 🗃️
We then asked our final question.
What is the best advice you’ve received – either in your career or in life?
You don’t lose until you have given up.
Back in my childhood days, I used to play cricket with my grandfather. I would often feel very defeated if I lost points and would say that I’m never going to play again. My grandfather would always tell me, “You don’t lose until you have given up.”
At the time it didn’t make much sense, but thinking about it now, it has huge meaning. If you give up straight away, you will never achieve what you want for the rest of your life. You must keep trying again and again and continue to work on your goals and then you will be able to achieve what you are aiming for.Thank you Anshu for giving us an insight into your role and allowing us to get to know you better.
Thank you Anshu for giving us an insight into your role and your life at PHARMExcel.
Learn more about the people behind PHARMExcel here!
PHARMExcel is an award-winning, full-service Contract Research Organisation (CRO) providing a flexible and innovative approach to clinical trial delivery. The company is recognised for its in-depth knowledge and experience of the clinical research environment, particularly in the UK, and has a network of regulatory and industry associates, allowing it to provide a global reach.
Katie Howe, Head of Marketing
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