Aragen Life Sciences: Creating A Culture Of Excellence & Empowerment | CEOInsights Vendor
Aragen Life Sciences: Creating A Culture Of Excellence & Empowerment

Aragen Life Sciences: Creating A Culture Of Excellence & Empowerment

 Suresh Anubolu,  Chief Human Resources Officer

Suresh Anubolu

Chief Human Resources Officer

Just about a decade ago, for most of the job aspirants, a good pay rise & brand name played a critical role in job selection. However, today several other factors are gaining importance a compelling purpose, work-life integration, flexibility, and empowerment in taking decisions, and the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technologies or a conducive work environment that supports innovative ideas. Aragen has evolved to be one of the best companies to work for by focusing on understanding the emerging needs of employees. They are certified by the Great Place to Work in India for the fourth consecutive year. CEO Insights engages in an interview with the CHRO of Aragen, Suresh Anubolu.

Tell us about Aragen as an organization.
We began our journey in 2001 as an organization specializing in Bioinformatics services. Over the years, we have expanded our portfolio with chemistry, biology Integrated Drug discovery, formulation development and chemical development capabilities and made significant strides in the industry. In 2014, we acquired Aragen Bioscience, a US-based preclinical CRO, allowing us to incorporate biologics services and in 2022 we acquired INTOX, a safety assessment services company, and added these offerings to our portfolio. Today, we have become a one-stop integrated solution provider for the global life sciences industry .

Customers choose us for our reputation for on time delivery & ability to solve their complex scientific problems, as well as transparent systems. As a contract research and development organization, Aragen is trusted for its intellectual property protection and its dedication to providing exceptional customer service.

Elaborate about the exposure and growth you offer to your team.
We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach as each employee has unique career goals and aspirations. When it comes to offering exposure and new experiences to our team, we rely on our global job architecture framework, which has defined competencies for each role and also different career ladders to suit people scientific and leadership
growth aspirations.

For those who are looking at scientific depth or problem solving skills, we offer support for higher education such as Ph.D. programs, and nurture them through a scientific excellence academy where they were mentored by seniors. For those who aim for growth in managerial career ladders, we offer band wise career transition programs which are further supported through internal mobility opportunities to sharpen their skills. These programs helped us to grow our leaders within: more than 55 percent of our director level employees are being internally groomed.

Aragen’s purpose is, 'In every molecule is the possibility for better health’ and its EVP is ‘We Invest. We Learn. We Grow

Tell us about the technology and scientific environment the team gets to work in.
As an innovative solutions provider to the global life sciences industry, it is imperative that we stay ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting the latest technology and scientific models. My CEO Manni Kantipudi and I come from the technology industry and hence we understand the value of technology adoption in our organization. We have a unified HR tool to cater to all needs of our employees (from hire to retire) and also an AI tool (chatbot) to enhance employee and customer experience when they reach out to us.

We stay up to date with the latest technologies to enhance productivity, bring transparency, and prioritize collaboration and governance. Digital applications such as electronic lab notebooks (eLNB), electronic quality management systems (eQMS), Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), Robotic Process Automation, e-procurement, logitracker, and Chemwatch systems help in speeding up processes, improve operational efficiencies, increase productivity, and reduce errors.

Customers look for innovative ways to solve their problems and we have tools and practices to drive their requirements. We have a scientific career ladder, where many PhDs work as individual contributors. Backed by their seasoned expertise and long-standing experience, they are accomplished in solving complex problems and we reward these behaviours. At the core of our company’s culture is a focus on being a modern organization that is a bellwether in our industry.

How do you ensure to maintain safety and compliance at every level?
Safety and compliance First and Always. This is one of the core values that define our organizational culture. We prioritize safety and compliance at every work stream, complemented by leadership commitment and policies to support it. Our executive committee meetings start with a safety briefing and every near miss is taken seriously and proactively work worked upon. During their shop floor visits, leaders emphasize the importance of safety and compliance. We have implemented various safety tracking tools and automation technology to reduce human intervention in the hazardous work stream, to prevent any accidents.

We invest significantly in training programs, from entry level to senior management, on our safety practices and their responsibility towards maintaining a safe workplace. Our safety efforts have earned us a silver certification from ECOVADIS, for sustainable practices.

How do you recognize top talents and reward great performers?
Top talent is not limited to employees who get Exceeds Expectations’ ratings in the PMS process, there are many employees whose potential remains untapped and not being fully leveraged. We have Business HR roles where HR business partners continuously look for these talented employees to identify their key strengths, and their impediments and help them realize their full potential. We support their learning and growth through training programs, job rotations or challenging project works to aid in unleashing their potential. We also have a training program designed specifically for managers, to train them on attaining the best performance from their teams.

We designed different rewards for different people. We give higher increments and high bonuses to top performers, offer a global mobility program to move people between countries, an internal mobility program to move to different job streams and provide mentors to further fasttrack their careers.

We believe in understanding the unique value system of each employee and tailoring our approach to encourage their best performance. Our employee value proposition is we invest in people, and we learn and grow together.

Suresh Anubolu, Chief Human Resources Officer, Aragen Life Sciences
Suresh has played a crucial role in building Aragen as a great place to work along with his leadership team. He was recognized as the CHRO of the Year in 2017 by HRO Today Magazine in the USA and is amongst the top 20 CHROs followed on LinkedIn. Suresh has garnered many well-deserved recognitions during his illustrious career as an HR professional.

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