Dr. Neeta Nargundkar, She Glorifying Businesses, Nari Shakti

Dr. Neeta Nargundkar: The Queen Of Clinical Research

Magazine Women

“We have a hunger to get innovative therapies and medications for the betterment of mankind.”

 Dr. Neeta Nargundkar (Director,
Biosphere Clinical Research Pvt Ltd)

With a mission to craft collaborative, innovative and smart solutions to enhance clinical trials, Dr. Neeta Nargundkar stands tall in the clinical research industry. As the Director of a leading Clinical Research Organisation, she is fulfilling the emerging needs of the healthcare industry. 

Dr. Neeta, initially a dedicated general practitioner for over a decade, established herself as a leading medical professional, wholeheartedly treating patients with various medical concerns. However, after becoming a mother, she decided to select a field that would be relevant to her clinical knowledge and she would get some time to look after her child. After doing rigorous research, she discovered the field of clinical research. She opted for the M.Sc. in Clinical Research program offered by Sikkim Manipal. Despite the risk of starting from scratch, she committed herself to delving into this field. Initially, she started working as a Site Management Officer on global projects while simultaneously completing her M.Sc. To deepen her understanding of data management and statistics, Dr. Neeta pursued additional courses in Mumbai.

Later, as Dr. Neeta’s husband changed his job to Mumbai, they decided to relocate to their hometown. In Mumbai, she joined the Biosphere Group as a Centre Head for a Clinical Research Institute. Inspired by her interest in starting a Clinical Research Organization (CRO), she sought approval from the Partners and officially registered the company as “Biosphere Clinical Research Pvt Ltd” with four Directors.

All the Directors were allotted roles and responsibilities– Director (Business Development), Director (Data Management), Director (Finance) and I became the Director (Clinical Operation). There was a twist in the roles; all the Directors were unable to play their roles so they stepped down,” But Dr. Neeta was firm on her dream of a CRO, therefore she took on all the responsibilities single-handedly. Her resilience paid off when she began her business development activities and secured her first order. From there, there was no looking back. She started getting more orders and executed them brilliantly, thereby establishing Biosphere Clinical Research Pvt Ltd as a reputable and thriving Clinical Research Organisation.

Dr. Neeta Nargundkar, The Queen Of Clinical Research

During her operations of Clinical Research, she kept on adding other domains like Medical Writing, Regulatory Affairs, IP Management, Clinical Data Management, Statistical Analysis and other domains to help clients avail all the allied functionality under one roof. Since the inception of Biosphere, Dr. Neeta has nurtured a team of experts, expanding the services to encompass a wide array of clinical trials across therapeutic areas. Biosphere is renowned for its rigorous scientific methodology, ethical standards, and a commitment to transparency.

As the Director of Biosphere, Dr. Neeta manages all domains of the company. Her roles involve project handling, implementation and delivery in a time-bound and quality manner. She also manages financial planning and resource allocation to maximise the company’s growth and achievement of preset goals. 

A crucial factor in Dr. Neeta’s success lies in her knack for attracting and keeping top-notch talent. She has established a workplace that is supportive and inclusive, valuing diversity and encouraging collaboration. Today, she leads a team of skilled researchers, clinicians, pharmacists, and support staff who can pull out all the stops to achieve the best outcomes for clinical trials. 

She values dedication and commitment to personal growth. She possesses the prerequisite decision-making skills, stays alert for opportunities, understands industry requirements, stays updated with the market, and delivers quality outcomes within committed timelines. Dr. Neeta believes in being honest in her profession, reflecting integrity and a strong ethical foundation in her leadership approach. Honesty and Integrity are non-negotiable, as Dr. Neeta believes in upholding the highest ethical standards and being transparent in all her dealings, which creates trust and credibility within the organisation and external stakeholders.

Facing Challenges Head-On

When Dr. Neeta found herself at the peak of her career, she got diagnosed with cancer. It was when she had numerous projects on her plate. Despite undergoing surgery, she fought back with resilience and continued working tirelessly, ensuring that none of the project timelines were left unattended. Her dedication prevailed, and Biosphere not only thrived but surpassed expectations. Dr. Neeta shares, “I worked tirelessly days and nights towards an insatiable hunger to take Biosphere to where it is today. None of the timelines went unattended and the disease had to kneel.”

The journey of Biosphere began with just 4 to 5 members but today it has grown to a highly skilled and professional team of 35 to 40 people, actively engaged in clinical trials. With offices in Thane (Maharashtra) and Canada, Biosphere extends its impact to global clinical trials. Biosphere also runs training programs for graduates interested in pursuing a career in Clinical Research. This initiative has placed over 200 enthusiastic minds in this industry. 

“From the very beginning, I was an entrepreneur. I was successfully managing my general practice and indoor hospital. I was totally unaware of the corporate sector and was not tech-savvy at all. While pursuing my MSc in Clinical Research, I took the initiative to train myself in computers, mailing systems and allied technology to keep myself in line with industry requirements,” shares Dr. Neeta.

Also, the inception of Biosphere brought many challenges, particularly with the dilution of the other Partners. After they started quitting, my dream made me learn all the aspects of Business, be it Finance, HR or Admin. In a predominantly male-dominated industry, challenges persist, but I choose to overlook them and consistently deliver my best performance in this industry,” she adds while highlighting the challenges she faced in this ever-evolving industry.

Clinical Research Services In India And Globally

Dr. Neeta with her team

Established in 2012, under the stewardship of Dr. Neeta, Biosphere provides top-notch expertise and technology to ensure successful Clinical trial management, data collection, and documentation for clinical trials spread worldwide. It provides end-to-end services like medical writing, regulatory affairs, clinical operations, data management, statistical analysis, IP management and all allied services. 

Biosphere follows several approaches to provide the best solutions. The first is ‘Quality’; Biosphere brings in the best quality data by following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for successful clinical trials. The company ensures that the project management practices and outcomes follow the global quality standards and adhere to prevailing laws. The second is ‘Promptness’; the company ensures the timely acquisition of data and recruitment of patients as per project requirements to meet the deadline. Third comes ‘Ethics’; Biosphere carries out tasks at each stage of clinical trials as per the industry-defined ethical standards. Lastly, it follows ‘Safety and Confidentiality’ guidelines for the safety and protection of patients in clinical trials.

Biosphere has introduced e-Prudent, an innovative online platform for remote monitoring, that features an Interactive Web Response System (IWRS). This system supports Project Managers and Clinical Research Associates (CRAs) to efficiently mitigate risks. 

Dr. Neeta Nargundkar with her team

To stay proactive in exploring new growth avenues, Team Biosphere keeps a strict eye on the industry and market movements. It provides end-to-end services under one roof with timely and quality deliverables and has also developed a strong portfolio for all therapeutic indications. 

Dr. Neeta has received the ‘Women Entrepreneur Award’ from the Udyog Sarathi Group for her exemplary work in the clinical research field. 

Dr. Neeta believes that one should always be prepared for challenges and succeed in achieving their dreams. Success comes by facing difficulties with a positive mindset, learning from setbacks, being open to learning new things and exploring new avenues, celebrating small victories, and staying focused on the goal. The key is to never underestimate the potential, surround yourself with the right people and seek guidance from supportive people and mentors when needed.

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