Jitesh Devendra: A Stalwart Leader Manoeuvring The Contemporary Pharma Industry

Jitesh Devendra: A Stalwart Leader Manoeuvring The Contemporary Pharma Industry

Jitesh Devendra,Co-founder & CEO

Jitesh Devendra

Co-founder & CEO

Challenging the status quo, the berserk year 2020 left an indelible mark, disrupting lives and businesses. Of all industries, biotech & pharma suffered the worst hit. The industry acutely demanded leaders to overcome the crisis. As it has been rightly said ~ ‘Nothing tests the true mettle of leadership better than adversity’, rising above the ordinary in extraordinary times Jitesh Devendra, (Co-founder & CEO, Axxelent Pharma Science) significantly testified it.

Jitesh is a maestro leader in the Pharmaceutical space covering API and Formulations who dexterously lead several B2B as well as B2C businesses. It is his experience that bestowed him with the confidence to incorporate Axxelent, a pure-play Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), and today breaking down into finer details, doing something innovative he has been redefining the pharma & life sciences amidst the contemporary pharmaceutical legion.

In an exclusive conversation with CEO Insights, Jitesh speaks about his professional journey jotting down his company’s excellence in the pharma & life sciences industry.

Walk us through your educational and professional background prior to incepting Axxelent Pharma Science. Also, how has your journey been so far with Axxelent?
I have completed my bachelor's in commerce and master's in business administration with a specialization in International Business & Buyer Behaviour. The initial years (phase as observing & practicing) of my career focused on sales and business development. Then, came the stage of preparation by way of leading a new division with P&L responsibility. This phase was an interesting time in my career, and I was exposed to the business's technical side, albeit without the necessary technical skills.

I spent significant time in R&D and manufacturing, and I thank my
colleagues from whom I learnt the key components. With sales & business development, product portfolio, and some key technical skills, I needed to complete my knowledge sphere by learning corporate finance. Managing a division level P&L was only a part of the corporate finance world. I had to be well versed reporting the financial results and reading the annual reports. In my professional journey, I take pride in the achievement of my transition from the start as an intern to earn the stripes of leading a public listed company has truly been an exhilarating experience.

We execute our tasks with perseverance (clearly, timely and in an effective manner even in difficult times), upholding client’s confidentiality paramount, following ALCOA+ principles with full integrity and quality embedded

I also truly thank Arun Kumar (Founder of the Strides Pharma Science Limited Group), who mentored me in the latter part of my journey. It was the collective experience at the end that instilled in me the confidence to launch Axxelent, a pure-play Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) organization. The openness to learn, embrace change, seize opportunities, celebrate success with colleagues has given me the utmost satisfaction.

Brief us about the idiosyncrasies of Axxelent.
Headquartered in Chennai, India Axxelent is a focused pharma entity that specializes in Contract Development of Oral Solid Dosage, Injectables and Topicals and Manufacturing of Oral Solid Dosage. Our vision for Axxelent is to be a preferred partner by offering capabilities in various forms of the development space (following ethics & regulations) that adds value to our partners & stakeholders across the pharmaceutical chain. Hence, we execute our tasks with perseverance (clearly, timely and in an effective manner even in difficult times), upholding client’s confidentiality paramount, following ALCOA+ principles with full integrity and quality embedded.
What are your thoughts on the current pharma industry? Also, what are your strategies to harness the most of it?
India is the third largest pharmaceuticals industry in the world by volume and has taken significant strides in the distraught times of Coronavirus pandemic. Hence, with such developments we see a great potential for Axxelent in the CDMO area. The opportunity to invest in varied capabilities, potential in some of the new growth regions, a shift in non-regulated to regulated norms, cost pressures driving to outsourcing are some of the positive trends for CDMO industry. Currently, we are just at the tip of this huge potential the space offers. Our strategy is to truly be a global CDMO player having the infrastructure in various capabilities in key regions. This is the focus for the next year as we look forward to inaugurating our first commercial facility this year.

In your professional journey so far, which are the milestones that bestowed your utmost satisfaction - both as an individual and a CEO?
When I look back, communication, accountability and integrity became key parts of my DNA. Our communication with our business partner in complete transparency established us as a reliable business partner. We were accountable for our actions, and this started from the top to the bottom. We dealt with internal performance professionally. We had to make an impact on what we did. Integrity is the key in all businesses, and we demonstrated this in every function. I am pleased that we achieved this by doing it together. I express my gratitude to all my colleagues I have come across in my professional journey as I have learnt a lot from them.

How do you stay abreast of the advancements in the pharma industry?
I keep myself updated by reading relevant topics on the web, following member of the forums on digital platforms, business networking and involving in discussions with the business partners.

Jitesh Devendra, Co-founder & CEO, Axxelent Pharma Science
Having a strong pharmaceutical experience of over 21 years, leading several B2B as well as B2C businesses, Jitesh a doyen in the pharmaceutical space has been responsibly driving Axxelent towards zenith, benefitting people & businesses (with innovative pharmaceutical solutions), simultaneously.

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