After MBA, Pharmacist Brings Dose Of Data Analytics To Novartis' Healthcare

Vikas Shrivastava feverishly analyzes mountains of health data

Just a few months out of an MBA, Vikas Shrivastava is bringing data analytics to healthcare.

A pharmacist by trade, he spends most days feverishly analyzing mountains of data to develop business insights for his employer, Alcon, a company under the umbrella of Novartis, the leading Swiss pharma group. Vikas is passionate about using technology to improve patient care. Accenture forecasts digital health solutions could save the healthcare sector $100 billion over four years in the US alone.

The Lancaster University Management School has helped him transition from health practitioner to business manager. Vikas has previously worked across India for Johnson & Johnson and Merck, two global healthcare leaders.

What were you most passionate about in your role at Alcon and in healthcare more generally?

Learning new things every day, which will eventually benefit patients in need.

The healthcare industry keeps me excited and motivated to deliver my best, because I am part of an industry which brings better healthcare technology to doctors, and eventually to patients.

And for me to do my bit in this ever-evolving, fast-moving and vibrant industry, I need to ensure that whichever work I do is of high quality. And this can be done only by upgrading and acquiring new skills. So it’s learning at every level which keeps me passionate in this industry.

Alcon gave me an opportunity to further develop my data analytics and recommendation building skills. This required analyzing and building insights from a lot of complex data from multiple resources.

What makes an MBA a good fit with the healthcare industry?

Three things which drive healthcare industry recruiters to select top b-school MBAs like ones from Lancaster are:

1) MBAs are trained to reach granularity using academic, qualitative and quantitative research.

2) MBAs have excellent presentation skills and can reach out to a large audience with logic and criticality.

3) MBAs aren’t shy to reach out and learn new things. And their ability to do so is quite mature.

How has your MBA benefited your career development?

I am now eligible for a lot of job roles for which I was ineligible earlier, like project manager and regional commercial manager, which require project management skills, and being a part of multilingual and multicultural teams.

What made the Lancaster MBA stand out?

Every MBA student would agree that they joined a globally-recognized MBA to gain career progression. The Lancaster MBA is living up well to that challenge.

It is very well recognized in the corporate world, because of its rank in the Financial Times, Economist and Forbes MBA rankings, which gives employers a sense of surety when hiring from the school. Employers like Novartis, TCS, Microsoft, Grant Thornton, L’Oreal, Alcimed, PwC, and EY are hiring Lancaster MBAs.

The careers team is very supportive and proactive in helping students find placements. They help them them build connections with industry experts and alumni.

What do Lancaster MBAs get up to at the weekend?

Lancaster MBAs are known to integrate work and social life very well (thanks to the master-classes by Kevin Roberts – the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi). So they generally party hard on weekend nights, spend time with family and friends during the day, participate in volunteering events, or go for an off-campus city exploration. I think it all depends on the mood, weather and pre-planning they have done.

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