08 March 2022 | Features
On Women’s Day, in conversation with Priya Gandhi- Executive Director, Hester Biosciences
What were the major challenges faced in 2021- on the professional and personal front, and how did you overcome those?
The pandemic and its repercussions have been very challenging to face on a professional as well as a personal level during the last 2 years. As far as the business is concerned, the supply chain was adversely affected, resulting in an inevitable impact on the operations. However, I am grateful towards the phased COVID-19 recovery plans by the government, and the cooperation of our stakeholders that has helped us in coping well, despite the setbacks faced.
Personally, it was an extremely overwhelming experience. Nobody foresaw the aggravated devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The constant influx of news and reports of the immense pain and suffering of people all over the world was disheartening.
Although we are on the road to recovery, there is much speed to be picked up. However, these were exceptional circumstances and I believe that, as a company, and as people, we have stood the test of time and hopefully will emerge as winners.
Any take-home message for all women achievers in the life science sector?
The Life Sciences sector is full of infinite possibilities and so is the future for women leaders. Both make a powerful combination. With global health challenges such as climate change, antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases coming to the forefront, never before has there been a need for out-of-the-box thinking and unique solutions in the Life Sciences. This is exactly where I see women taking the lead by using their talent and innate abilities to lead innovation, drive change and develop solutions through their unique perspectives. On the whole, I urge all women to shed any inhibitions and come forth, regardless of the industry or profession they are in!
Priya Gandhi joined Hester Biosciences in the year 2016 and has worked since then from being an officer to a Deputy Director, before being inducted in the board and appointed as the Executive Director of the company. She is currently part of the team which is involved in designing Hester’s strategic direction besides being involved in day-to-day business operations. This entails coordinating across all organisational functions, implementing policies as well as ensuring that business objectives and the company philosophy trickles all the way down in the organisation. In addition, she also directs the company’s communication and brand management. She has played an active role in setting up the manufacturing plant and the business activities in Hester Africa. Priya Gandhi has done her under-graduation from Srishti School of Art, Design, Bangalore, and post-graduation in Management for Family Business from the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad. Outside work, Priya Gandhi is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer. After earning a formal education in the classical dance form in 2006, she continues to practice it and give performances since then. Priya Gandhi is the daughter of Nina Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, CEO and MD, Hester Biosciences Limited, and belongs to the promoter group.