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Alumni connect: Dr Shaikh speaks about Poona College of Arts,Science and Commerce

Guidance from teachers changed my life and shaped my career, says the pharmaceutical professional

pune Updated: Mar 23, 2018 17:30 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times,Pune
Pune,Maharashtra,Poona College of Arts
Dr Harun Shaikh, senior manager, third party operations, Xellia Pharmaceuticals. (HT PHOTO )

Dr Harun Shaikh, 38, is a pharmaceutical industry professional with experience in research and development, business development and sales. Harun has worked in companies like Evotec India Ltd, Hikal Ltd and Neuland Laboratories Ltd in his career spanning 10 years. His current assignment is at Xellia Pharmaceuticals, which has its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark where he is responsible for tech-commercial management of external manufacturing of pharma products.

Tell us about your educational background. How good were you in academics?

I did my M.Sc in organic chemistry from Poona College of Arts, Science and Commerce, 2000-2002 batch.I did my graduation in Solapur. I was an average student.

What drove you to chose this career path?

While at Poona College, I was blessed to interact with inspiring teachers, seniors, various visiting professors and scientists. I even got an opportunity to do my research project at NCL where I was further exposed to critical research and development in Organic Chemistry.

What did you do after graduation?

After my masters, I got an opportunity to work at Poona College (PC) as a lecturer which gave me a chance to strengthen my knowledge in Organic Chemistry. After a brief stint at PC, I got an opportunity to do Ph.D in University of Kiel and completed the same in 2008 in the area of carbohydrates and glycopeptides.

What has been your career path, so far?

After completely Ph.D , I came to India and started working for Indian subsidiary of German drug discovery company 'Evotec AG'. Later, I took a position in Hikal Ltd in Pune, in the area of process development for CDMO business (Custom Development and Manufacturing Organization). After 2 year at Hikal, I took a position at Neuland Laboratories Ltd in Hyderabad. There for first 3 years, I developed processes for APIs and then decided to take up a position internally in international business development. For 2 years, I actively worked in Japan and then Europe; and in 2017 took up a position as Sr. manager, third party operations in Xellia Pharmaceuticals, where I am responsible for techno-commercial aspects of external manufacturing products.

What about the highs and lows?

Luckily, I was always at the right place at the right time and things worked very well. Nevertheless, I must say that without the solid support I got from my college during my masters and the guidance from various teachers, I would not be what I am today. At various stages of my life, I got exposed to different areas within the Pharma industry and that has been very helpful.

What are your future plans?

My college has played a vital role in building not just mine but the career of many and has left a deep impact in our lives. As an registered alumni, I would like to play a small role in supporting the next generation of students i,n various ways like updating them with current trends, opportunities, skills, further education which would complement the basic Chemistry education. I don’t want just students but also the entire department and college to benefit from my efforts.

First Published: Mar 23, 2018 17:08 IST