Chirag Mehta: A Dynamic Finance Professional Anchoring his Pharma Firm Through The Post - Pandemic ERA


Chirag Mehta: A Dynamic Finance Professional Anchoring his Pharma Firm Through The Post - Pandemic ERACradling the financial aspects of the organization to cement its position in the industry, the finance function officers undoubtedly play a pivotal role in escalating the overall growth factor of a company. Equipped with strong business and analytical skills, these professionals are not only accountable for designing budgets supervising business transactions, and preparing financial reports for their respective organizations, but also contribute effectively towards bringing economic reforms across India through efficientdigitization and risk management. Regarded as one of the finest executives of the finance domain, Chirag Mehta (CFO, Bharat Serums and Vaccines) is often complimented for his exceptional financial strategies that played a prominent role in upsurging his company’s repute as a noteworthy pharma company during the ongoing catastrophe of COVID-19 pandemic. A physics graduate, Chirag has completed his MBA from the US before venturing into the investment banking sector. After moving back into India, he found himself dealing with financial fundraising and designing financial and business strategies for the Indian firms owing to his expertise across investment banking. As destiny paved his path towards the Pharma industry, Chirag was not only able to envisage the exemplary goodwill that remains embedded within his work in terms of treating patients and making drugs available for them at such crucial times, but also upholds these benevolent facets as his motto to move forwards as a finance expert.

Chirag engages in an exclusive interaction with CEO Insights.

What is the success mantra that helped you succeed in this segment?
I think my success lies in being very open minded. Till now in my professional career, I have been lucky to get diverse experiences or projects that has been handed over to me. I am sure that it has helped me understand the overall business nuances comprehensively and not just finance. I have worked in the investment banking sector for seven years in the US before coming back to India. Through experience have a fair knowledge across R&D, investments, project management, resource allocation and so on. The apt mix of technical as well as the commercial knowledge of finance has helped me to succeed across this competitive business environment.

The apt mix of technical as well as the commercial knowledge of finance has helped me to succeed across this competitive business environment

Define Bharat Serums and Vaccines as an organization and its position in the market?What is the USP that differentiates it from other competitors in the market?
A five decades old company the distinctiveness of Bharat Serums and Vaccines lies in being extremely rich in biotech, a highly technical, innovative pharma company of India. Our USP lies in our R&D as well as the products that we bring to the market. We are probably the only company in India that has worldwide patents on innovative molecules. And in terms of the market presence, we are a market leader in majority of the products that we have in our portfolio, the company is majorly concentrating on women's health care critical care and emergency medicine. So as a very niche pharma player our USP lies in our innovation R&D and manufacturing capabilities. 

As the CFO of the company, how do you align your strategies to make sure that they support the company's history of producing high quality products?
One of our underlying factors is that we stay strong to innovation, meanwhile focusing on areas pertaining to women's health and critical medicine. Anything that the company needs to do in terms of investments or rejigging itself, has to ultimately fit in those criteria. Being an innovative company we keep our R&D well funded and keep expanding our manufacturing footprint not just in India but also around the globe. We do have a manufacturing facility in Germany. Also, risk management plays an important role in whatever we invest, as it strengthens our market presence as well as the stance that we have in our distribution and sales force.

What were the challenges you encountered during COVID and how did you overcome them?
Bharat Serums and Vaccines is India's largest manufacturer of Amphotericin B.The medication is used to tackle black fungus, which was a massive issue for this country during the second wave of COVID. Kudos to our manufacturing and technical team that decided to make our production capacity more than double in a short period of time. I think here strategy doesn't play a role; you just have to get the things done. The whole finance team along with s with the technical manufacturing team and made sure that we're able to supply enough products to the patients of India’s needs. That's been the crux of what happened during the COVID. Sometimes finance has this habit of becoming bureaucratic, which is typically old school, but our partnership with other organizational verticals has boosted the business and delivered as per the company’s objectives.

What are your expectations about the upcoming market behaviour of the pharma sector and what are the opportunities you foresee as a leader?
Going forward I think two major changes are apparently evident one is consolidation will happen in this industry and secondly, changing regulatory environment as well as the patient environment that we are seeing. COVID has accelerated the Digital marketing and digital presence of industries. The CFOs will play a very important role in looking at the opportunities ofM&A, consolidation, and digitalfootprints of the organization.