“The idea of establishing my own consulting firm was to be able to do interesting work on a daily basis.”
Dr Bharati Nadkarni
(Founder, Appropriate IP Services)
Last week, a Facebook memory from four years ago popped into Bharati’s feed which took her back to the days when she used to work as a Vice President (Portfolio Planning & IP Litigation) at Sun Pharma. Everything was going well but she wanted to try something new now. Bharati grins and excitingly talks about how her career has taken a complete shift now. It has been four years since Dr Bharati Nadkarni started her business – Appropriate IP Services and is gaining momentum and strength.
Dr Bharati is a pharmacist by qualification. She obtained her Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Mumbai. She has been a student of the prestigious K M Kundnani College of Pharmacy and Haffkine Institute of Mumbai. During her PhD program at the Haffkine Institute, she was also a Class I Officer with the Government of Maharashtra, in the Analytical department at Haffkine. After submitting her PhD thesis, she applied for a job at Sun Pharma and got the position of Executive in the Intellectual Property (IP) Cell in 2000. She worked there for 19 years and quit the company as the Global VP for IP litigation and portfolio planning in 2019.
Bharati did not plan her career. Assignments were thrown at her and because Bharati kept learning, she saw everything as an opportunity and excelled at it. When she joined the IP team of India’s biggest pharma company, she did not have a formal degree in IP. Bharati was sure of one thing- Learning should never stop. She took a weekend course in IP after three years and then gradually started accepting bigger responsibilities at Sun Pharma.
As years passed by, she started managing a big team. As the projects and related litigations increased, Bharati started working on product identification and selection, learning about business development, marketing, supply chain, production and regulatory aspects that possess high relevance in the pharmaceutical industry. She also enrolled for an Executive MBA to be able to better understand and manage the business aspects of her job.
The Leadership Within
“While I was working in the corporate world, my leadership coach Nirupama Subramanian helped me a lot in honing my leadership skills,” says Bharati who can never forget the contribution of her mentor.
Most of the leadership qualities that Dr Bharati is now using in her company were learnt while juggling different balls in the corporate world. There she not only learnt how to build, manage, & motivate teams, and handle personnel issues but also excelled in forging cross-functional alliances and building relationships.
Bharati runs Appropriate IP Services keeping clarity and credibility as the backbone. Bharati loves working with different people, teams and cultures. She works with people that add to her experiences and provide her with creative freedom in strategy development.
The golden rule at Appropriate IP Services is that the firm only recruits women employees. “We only recruit women leaders who are compelled to take a career break for multiple reasons like health issues, childcare or family relocation. This helps these women continue their careers, while also enjoying the flexibility they need to manage their lives.
IP Services To Pharma Companies
As fascinating as it seems to transition from an employee to an entrepreneur, the challenges to list are uncountable. “I am fortunate enough to utilize my 2 decades of rich experience to fight these hurdles. I also won’t deny that nurturing my business for the last 4 years has brought me the highest highs and the lowest lows,” laughs Dr Bharati.
Dr Bharati laid the foundation of Appropriate IP Services in 2019. The company provides IP Services to pharma companies and law firms. It provides support on patent and prior art searches, landscape reports, freedom-to-operate, invalidation strategies, product identification, competitor activity tracking, due diligence, IP creation and varied support on IP issues overlapping with business and regulatory aspects of generic pharma development and launch.
In the world of IP, confidentiality, ethics and clarity are of prime importance. “We fully understand our client’s goals and deliver quality services on time. We provide a lot of pro-bono updates to clients on their projects. We try to provide the inputs in real-time and help them craft strategy in this dynamic scenario,” explains Dr Bharati.
With a mission to provide the highest quality IP offerings in the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences industry, Dr Bharati along with her all-women team is aiming high in the industry.
The Crowns She Carries
Although Dr Bharati’s extensive experience is itself an award, a few prestigious recognitions make her the queen of the business world. She has received:
- The 3rd Annual Women Leaders in Life Sciences Empowerment Award by ACI’s Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law, in Boston, USA in 2018
- IP Leadership Award by the Niti Aayog of India in 2020 for remarkable contribution to the field of patents
‘Entrepreneurship Is A Good Ride’
Running a business and trying to build new things seem challenging but you should keep moving. Dr Bharati believes that “in the initial years of career, one should gather experience and assert oneself through the work. Building a strong network is also quite important as one can always use the network to learn and grow. Do not shy away from asking for help. Have a confidante to bounce your ideas and vent your thoughts. Entrepreneurship, in this way, can become an easy ride.”