Leaders of Asia — Interview with Anand Tharmaratnam, Senior Vice President & Head of Asia Markets, Quintiles East Asia

How is it like to overseeing the world’s largest CRO’s clinical development and market access businesses across 13 Asia-Pacific countries that account for half the world’s population – including Japan and China, the world’s second- and third-largest biopharmaceutical markets, respectively?

It is definitely not a walk in the park for some others but it’s all in a day’s job for Asian Male Executive of the Year Finalist, Anand Tharmaratnam, Senior Vice President & Head of Asia Markets, Quintiles East Asia.

As of the 5th BioPharma Asia Industry Awards, Anand shares his insights on Asia’s biopharma industry progress and thoughts on the current clinical development market.


Anand_Quintiles Anand Tharmaratnam

Senior Vice President & Head of Asia Markets, Quintiles East Asia

 5th BioPharma Asia Industry Awards

 Asian Executive of the Year Finalist


Terrapinn (T) : Congratulations Anand for making it this far! To what do you owe your current success to?

Anand : I have been fortunate to have had the honor to manage a clinical development business in Asia at a time when the industry has truly taken off in Asia. Timing has been good. Secondly, the foundations that we put in place in the mid 90’s when Quintiles first invested in Asia, well ahead of any of our competitors. This was thanks to the foresight of our founder and Chairman, Dr Dennis Gillings , who took and still does have a keen interest in growing our business in Asia and serving Asian companies. We were first movers. Thirdly, I have a very good management team around me, and they continue to work with me in taking us to greater heights in Asia. That’s the teamwork.

T: Is there a particular role model that you look up to?

Anand : I have many and it would be wrong to name just one. I think  in our industry especially , where we have so many people- doctors, investigators, clinical researches , lab workers, scientists all pulling together to improve health.


T: What would be a piece of advice you would give to budding executives in Asia’s biopharma industry?

Anand : Remember that at the end of everything that we do in our industry , there is a patient. So however ambitious one is, however transformational one is, patient safety , integrity of data and good science is essential. That aside, it is truly an exciting time in the industry in Asia, the emergence of domestic companies in the region  makes this a pioneering time, and pioneering times make for good growth and business opportunities.

T: What opportunities do you foresee coming up in the Asian biopharma industry?

Anand : Asia in certain ways has leapfrogged other regions in terms of hospital infrastructure, technology and data capture. The way our industry is progressing globally, access to data, quick access to data and technology are all going to play an even more important role. Asia is well positioned to take a lead in future data driven , technology underpinned, biopharmaceutical development.


Vote for Anand as the Asian Male Executive of the Year at the BioPharma Asia Industry Awards! To vote, simply click on this voting link.

Network with Asia’s biopharmaceutical industry at the BioPharma Asia Convention 2015 on 24 – 25 March. For more details, log on towww.terrapinn.com/exhibition/bio-asia. 

We’ll see you there!

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