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Samina Vaziralli, Cipla: The Therapist

She has served as the executive director and the global head- strategy, M&A and New Ventures, where she was at the helm of any deal making within the company.

Photo Credit : Courtesy: Twitter

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For Samina Vaziralli, the third-generation promoter at one of India's oldest pharmaceutical firms Cipla, it's all about taking some bold steps and carving out the company's fortunes over the next few years.

While Vaziralli has been a part of the core leadership team since she joined the pharma major in 2011, it was in August 2016 that Cipla announced a major reshuffle in its top management and named her as its Executive Vice-Chairman. Following that, she assumed her new role on September 1.

For the uninitiated, Vaziralli is the grand-daughter of Cipla's founder Khwaja Abdul Hamied. She joined the company at a time when Y.K. Hamied and his younger brother M.K. Hamied (sons of the Cipla patriarch)  decided to move on to non-executive roles.

So far, in the past few years, Vaziralli has served various roles within Cipla. To mention a few, she has served as the executive director and the global head- strategy, M&A and New Ventures, where she was at the helm of any deal making within the company. She has also served as an Interim Head of Human Resources at Cipla.

What's worthwhile here is to mention that while she did not have any prior work experience in the pharmaceutical sector before joining Cipla in 2011, Vaziralli seamlessly fit into the role as she bridged the divide between a promoter-driven and professional-run company.

Before joining the company, Vaziralli worked as an investment banker abroad. A postgraduate in international finance from the London School of Economics, she has worked with Goldman Sachs in London in the past.

Cipla, incorporated in 1935, is riding on a turnover of around $2.2 billion. It is a market leader in three therapies - respiratory, urology and antiretroviral (ARV) with seven brands in the top 100 list. The company has over 1500 products across various therapeutic categories, with over 50 dosage forms.

So, what are the key challenges ahead of Vaziralli today? It's all about creating a more future-ready Cipla, she was quoted saying in an earlier media interview. This indeed is an exciting time at Cipla and Vaziralli is ready for the next phase of growth.


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