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R-Net Blog

R Net Blog

R-Net spotlight: Shankar Suresh, BOBI Best Newcomer 2015

25-08-2015
Shankar Suresh won the British Healthcare Business Intelligence Association’s BOBI Best Newcomer Award for his thoroughness, analytical skills and excellent delivery. After completing a BSc and MSc at the University of Nottingham and an MRes and PhD at the University of Birmingham, Shankar joined Janssen in 2014 as a Business Intelligence Executive.

To win the BOBI Best Newcomer Award you had to compete in a one-day business intelligence simulation exercise. How did you find the experience?
I originally thought the day was going to be similar to an assessment centre, but it ended up being much more enjoyable and relevant to my current role. The tasks were varied and suitable for participants from both the client and agency sides. They ranged from sales target setting to pitching a market research project to product managers. The judges and other participants were all friendly, and I believe this is a great way to meet your peers and build connections for the future.

What’s your most hated buzzword?
The pharma industry has several buzzwords which are fine when used in the correct context. However, words such as “strategic thinking”, “insight” and “competitiveness” are frequently used in research proposals and presentations without much proof or meaning.

Who’s your biggest influence?
My parents have always supported me throughout my childhood and further education and influenced me to pursue a career in healthcare. Without them, I would not be where I am today. Business-wise, I am also lucky to be working with a great bunch of colleagues at Janssen who have helped me develop from an ‘industry newbie’ into a valued member of the team.

What do clients get wrong?
As a current client-side employee, areas for improvement in projects that I have commissioned would include narrowing down and focusing the key business questions I want answered and setting more realistic timelines for delivery.

What would you do with a £1million research budget?
Coming from a biomedical research background, I would invest the budget in advancing research into cell therapies for liver diseases. The fund would be targeted towards early-stage researchers who are looking to establish their own laboratories.

What’s the next big thing?
I believe that wearable devices for non-invasive, real-time monitoring of one’s health look set to be the ‘next big thing’ in our industry. As sensors become better, smaller and cheaper we could see them used in devices that offer more than simple activity tracking, resulting in new gadgets that have the potential to diagnose ailments at an earlier stage.

What did you last spend too much money on?
Personally speaking I would say that my purchases are entirely justified, but others close to me would probably mention my numerous electronic gadgets and new car!

Finish this sentence; if I weren’t sitting here right now I’d be working as a post-doctoral researcher in the field of stem cell therapies.

The 2015 BOBI Awards open for entries in October. The IJMR New Research Writer Award is open for entries until Friday 11 September.

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