In 1984, after completing his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya (Gujarat), he kick-started his professional career as a Maintenance Engineer. He joined the Textile Division of Indian Rayon and Industries Ltd. With an innovative mindset, exceptional skills, and leadership qualities, Rajeev soon set himself on the leadership course by Migrating to Italy and joining Brevetti Angela in 1997. More than 25 years and many instrumental contributions to Brevetti Angela’s growth later, Rajeev is an iconic leader and a partner in the company who has kept his innovative mindset intact. With over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical world, he holds several patents under his name for both products and technologies. Rajeev is also a recognized presence in many international conferences and meetings as a speaker.
"When it comes to ensuring the final product quality, it is essential to take particular care of several factors: facility design, equipment design, personnel training to operate and maintain the facility, and the quality control process"
In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Rajeev reminisces about his journey and walks us through Brevetti Angela’s latest innovations and industry interventions.
How did it all begin? Could you walk our readers through your journey and its turning points over the past three decades?
I believe engineering intrinsically puts you in a state of wanting to improve everything around you. After completing my engineering degree, I worked first at Indian Rayon and Industries Ltd, where I won a cash prize for reducing the power consumption by 50 percent by introducing Nylon gears in the textile winding machine. During the same time, I got invited to work for a Pharmaceutical company in Nasik. The plant had difficulty becoming profitable even after five years of starting up because they had problems working with European machines. Within three years after my joining, the plant was ready for a capacity expansion.
In 1990, I went on a tour to Europe to select machines for our plant expansion and visited pharma plants and machinery manufacturers in Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. I received an invitation to work in their company from each country. In 1991, I went on to join a company in Germany but later moved to Italy to work for Sifra Spa as a Validation Manager. When FKI took over Sifra in 1998, I joined Brevetti Angela, and shortly after, I became one of the company’s partners. Here I have been actively working on developing innovative solutions for Blow Fill Seal machines. In 2021, we founded 3CK Srl for the manufacturing of Medical Devices.
Wind back three decades, what
I have always been interested in facing the demands of the sterile product manufacturing industry as it is a particularly challenging task. When it comes to ensuring the final product quality, it is essential to take particular care of several factors: facility design, equipment design, personnel training to operate and maintain the facility, and the quality control process. Particularly when I came to Italy for the first time, I discovered ample opportunities to improve and innovate, such as processing technologies, equipment, machinery, or even container-closure and medical devices.
My major goal has always been to develop primary packaging technologies and equipment so that quality packaging can be done at an affordable cost while addressing the issues related to conventionaltechnologies and devices
What comes to mind when i ask about the most memorable moment of this journey?
I have won several awards during my career, and I have received many praises. But there is one moment that I still cherish. Once, when I returned to my office in Sifra spa, I found that my office was empty. On the desk, there was an envelope which had a letter of promotion, a letter of recognition for excellent service rendered, the new office allocation, and a key to a Mercedes. Although this is not an ‘official’ award to be displayed on a shelf, it is the most cherished recognition of my professional career and personal development.
What is the impact you have been making in your current role?
We all know that the primary packaging of drug products ensures that the product maintains its intended quality until it gets administered. My major goal has always been to develop primary packaging technologies and equipment so that quality packaging can be done at an affordable cost while addressing the issues related to conventional technologies and devices. To this, when the pharmaceutical industry worldwide is in search of packaging billions of doses of vaccines at an affordable cost, we have come up with technology and devices to do so, and I am proud to admit that I am currently working on other devices to further reduce the cost.
For example, we have recently introduced the ‘O-FLOW’ pre-fillable syringe, a ground breaking medical device that eliminates all the issues of standard prefilled syringes at a fraction of the cost.
What would you say is the uniqueness in your style of direction?
I would say that my endless enthusiasm is a key factor in my style of direction, both on a personal and a purely business level.
On a personal level, I am always willing to understand the needs and desires of the people around me. I particularly value and always respect the people I meet: I always keep in mind that they might have different education, background, life style, opinions and that this exchange is an important growth for my personal experience.
On a professional level, I am driven by my commitment to making healthcare accessible to all specifically to Low Income Economies. My mission is to provide a product that is a valuable contribution to the pharma world: that can make life easier for patients at an affordable cost and ease the production process. For this reason, I am particularly sensitive to the cost of packaging. I know that waste reduction and energy reduction are the important keys to reducing cost, not to men
How would you define brevettiangela as an organization?What makes it unique?
Brevetti Angela is a leading company producing machinery with Blow Fill Seal BFS technology for the aseptic packaging of liquids and pharmaceutical solutions. The company was founded in the late 70s in Arzignano, Northern Italy, as a family business based on plastic molding. Its experience was later applied to the pharmaceutical sector by developing and patenting SYFPAC system, an all-in-one solution to transform polymer granules in containers formed, filled, and sealed in a few seconds 100 percent aseptically. Today, Brevetti Angela machines produce aseptic bottles, syringes, and vials in more than 15 countries (including India, alongside Asia, Africa, Europe, South America). The company is one of the top players in the Blow Fill Seal technology.
Thanks to SYFPAC and the continuous search for innovation, Brevetti Angela today stands for Made in Italy excellence worldwide.
What’s your success mantra?
The pharmaceutical world is a highly competitive environment and can sometimes be very challenging. It is not unusual to find yourself in a difficult situation where you may not see any positive outcome. However, I always look at it as an opportunity to find a new, unexpected way out. I don’t allow room for negativity I allow room only for the opportunity.
What are your goals for the future?
As I was saying, my goal is to make available world class medical devices at an affordable cost.I am sure this is one of the fundamental improvements we can reach together. I want to contribute to a better and easier experience both from the patient’s point of view and from the healthcare providers’ daily experience.
What advice would you give to the upcoming professional in the industry?
Continuously pursue improvement. Be it a brand new project, just a tiny idea, or any change in your lifestyle to improve yourself, always look for a better tomorrow and actively work to make it happen.
Don’t forget to enjoy what you do, keep your enthusiasm alive and your goal always in mind.Enjoy life and maintain a positive attitude towards your career. Smile!
Whenever you feel stuck or frustrated by someone else, try walking a mile in the other person’s shoes. You might find their reasons are valid and are actually a new kind of inspiration.
Rajeev Kabbur, Director Marketing, Brevetti Angela
Rajeev was born in the Western State of India, Gujarat.He completed his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya, Gujarat, and started working in the pharmaceutical world. After he moved to Europe in 1990, even though he started in Germany, Rajeev soon moved to Italy with his wife, as they felt that life in Germany didn’t really suit them. He loves Italy. Rajeev’s words, “We fell in love with the sunny climate and the excellent food and wines. We decided to stay forever, and we shortly became Italian citizens. Our son was born here and is now working in Brevetti Angela as an Engineer”.
Hobbies:Cooking, indulging in wines, chess, and walking in mountains & hills
Favorite Cuisine:Indian, Italian and Japanese. He prefers vegetarian and occasionally fish.
Favorite Book:He says,“There is no easy answer to this question, so I’m going to mention what I recently read instead.”
•Stealth War, Robert Spalding
•Inner Engineering, Sadhguru
•Black Swan, Nassim Taleb
•On food and cooking, Harold Mc GEE
•Words can change your brain, Nudge, Richard H. THALER
Favorite Travel Destinations:
Japan & India