Started as a Supply Chain Management solutions company, Take Solutions took a strategic turn to focus on offering solutions in the life sciences space a couple of years ago. The decision to move away from core operations was fraught with risk. But, the move to exit the core and plunge into the new has pushed Take Solutions into another growth orbit. Sitting out of Princetown, US, Srinivasan H R, vice chairman & CEO is driving the business. In an interview to TOI, he details the current scenario and the way forward. Excerpts:

Your revenue growth and profit growth for the Q1 FY19 appear very strong. Do you see this momentum continuing?

We see this momentum growing. Our last 12 quarters quarterly compounded growth rate a little over 8%. We should track in the early to mid-20s, 23% -24% organic growth rate is a possible scenario for the next 3 years.

What are the headwinds that you are facing in business?

There are no headwinds, I would not interpret that we have any headwinds. The pharma industry and the work that we do may have tailwinds. Most of the demand, have been stimulated by the regulators. The regulators have become demanding so pharma companies must turn to a few organisations to solve the problems. And since there are multiple new regulations coming and stringent observations on any noncompliance, pharma companies are taking compliance, risk and governance very seriously and that is an opportunity for us. In the last 4 years, we would have gone through over 30 inspections from different regulatory agencies including at least 4 by the FDA - one concluding a month ago where we had zero 483s (warning letter from FDA), no observations. It is an interesting situation for us while we are excited by a huge order book, we also need to be cognizant that everything is being executed correctly every time. Unlike a software business where you can do a bug fix later, here you have to deliver 100% every time.

Where do you see Take Solutions in 3 years’ time? Give us an update on your supply chain business.

Two years back, we brought in a global consulting company to work with us and we examined — in the interest of the shareholders — what would be best for them and where the money should get deployed. Given the nature of the supply chain business, the type of margins that were prevailing, the headwinds and the inability to differentiate on a number of parameters, it was felt that we should be focusing on the life science business. And so a year and half ago, we put the supply chain business on the block. We sold the Middle East business, we now have 2 businesses in the US — one in the US fully and one Indian and US business in the supply chain. We are optimistic that this will also be sold this year and we will be a 100% life sciences company. Our life sciences business is currently 91% of the total business and 9% is only supply chain.

Which are the areas you are investing in now?

For our first mode of investment, we are primarily investing in technology in these 3 major areas which are clinical, which is the largest one (where for every dollar spent on pharma R&D, 70 cents goes to the clinical function). Here we are working on mathematical models for site selection, patient recruitment and bringing AI into it. We are also investing in clinical data aggregation models besides funding integration of EHR and EMR records back to the clinical research table for dynamic models to help in predictive analysis The data aggregation piece can give a compression of clinical trial life cycle of 30% to 40% if it comes through.

Any acquisitions planned? Which areas are your target companies?

The clinical space is currently witnessing a high degree of consolidation among key players. We are looking to inorganically add to our portfolio in the clinical and regulatory spaces. We are actively scouting for and have identified prospects with an established presence in our dominant markets of North America and Europe, and are at various stages of discussion with them. We are confident that we should be closing this by this financial year.

LIFESCIENCES BUSINESS IS CURRENTLY 91% OF THE TOTAL BUSINESS AND 9% IS ONLY SUPPLY CHAIN


Srinivasan H R,
VICE CHAIRMAN & CEO,
TAKE Solutions Limited

Source - The Times Of India - Chennai

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