• 4 November 2010
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"Life sciences industry is supportive to women"

—Dr Saral Thangam, Managing Director, Norwich Clinical Services, Bangalore

Dr Saral Thangam, a winner of awards—such as Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) Shakuntala Amirchand Award—for significant contribution to biomedical sciences has several publications to her credit in national and international journals. Here Dr Thangam shares her achievements as an entrepreneur

Q How did you tackle challenges during the initial stage of your career?
I am a physician trained in Christian Medical College, Vellore. As a woman doctor I have successfully followed many role models. Many women have excelled in the medical field, an area that has been very supportive to women.

Q What has been your formula for success?
I enjoy my work every moment.  I believe that remaining grateful for the opportunities that we have, brings greater opportunities.

Q As a leader, what are the challenges in running a business in the life sciences industry?
Being a leader in the life sciences industry in the current global economic scenario is a challenge. In order to run a business successfully, as a leader, one has to attract and retain clients, talent; visualize and evolve a strategy for growth and opportunity at every level.

Q How do you manage family and work together?
Balancing work and home is a challenge. Most women are better at multi-tasking and have the ability to stay focused at work, while also supporting, nurturing and caring for their families. At the end of the day, we each find a balance that we are happy about.

Q How can women emerge as leaders in life sciences industry?
The life sciences industry employs women at different capacities and provides a woman-friendly environment. I do not believe that there is any specific discrimination against women in this industry. However, there are several jobs in the life sciences sector that require staff to be present at night and after-hours. These are by nature difficult for women especially those with families to care for. In my present and previous positions, I have had the privilege to work with many women, several of whom were in top positions. The key is to remain sensitive to women in order to encourage their growth.

Q How do you see women in life sciences industry in the next five years?
There are several highly-qualified women in this industry with excellent track record. I believe that women have a great future in this industry.

Q Could you suggest five tips to become a successful entrepreneur?
To become a successful entrepreneur one needs to show willingness to take risks, be self-confident, work hard, care for people around us, and have an urge to do things at the appropriate time.

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