“EMTM has played a role in putting my career on a fast track within J&J. … There's a real focus on the big picture. It makes you start thinking in broader terms on strategy rather than just the details.”
Pavan Heda, MS, PhD, EMTM’06
Director, BIO R&D, Project & Pipeline Information
Centocor R&D, Inc.,
Johnson & Johnson
Pavan Heda, MS, PhD, EMTM’06
The Bigger Picture …
from Research to Portfolio Management
A licensed pharmacist, Pavan Heda has always held an interest in the broader science and business of pharmaceuticals. After earning a bachelor's degree in pharmacy in his native India, Pavan moved to the United States to pursue graduate degrees in pharmaceutical science, earning his MS from the University of Toledo and PhD from the University of Maryland. As a graduate research fellow, his work on capsule formulations gave him exposure to several pharmaceutical firms, including Pfizer, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline.
Pavan joined Johnson & Johnson as a research scientist after receiving his PhD in 1998. His responsibilities expanded to principal scientist and then R&D group leader in J&J's Consumer & Personal Products Worldwide division. When he started EMTM in 2003, Pavan was promoted to project manager, leading cross-functional new product launch teams. In 2005, he was promoted again to portfolio manager, and shortly after graduating a year later, he moved over to the company’s Centacor division to serve as director of pipeline and portfolio information for biologic products.
Pavan wanted to be able to contribute to J&J at more strategic levels of the business, and had a long-term aspiration of leading a franchise or business unit. "I already had the technical side of product development. Now I wanted to be able to pursue the business and commercial side." Like many other EMTM students, Pavan first thought of a part-time or executive MBA. "I had two main criteria: I wanted to continue to work full-time, and I wanted my degree to be from a top-tier school." As he was considering programs, he heard about EMTM from a recent graduate. "Once I learned more about EMTM, it made sense for me. It's an Ivy League program that combines courses from both Engineering and Wharton."
EMTM has benefited both Pavan and J&J. "I sincerely believe that EMTM has played a role in putting my career on a fast track within J&J." Most important, Pavan says, "EMTM gave me the confidence to look for new roles and move into business development, combining my technical skills and business skills." He feels that he can now add greater value at higher levels of the organization.
A few examples of specific benefits:
- As project manager, charged with leading cross-functional teams for new product launches, Pavan found that his Accounting, Decision Models, Finance, Marketing and Operations Management courses "helped me understand and relate better to my cross-functional partners in the firm. Because of my technical background, I could relate easily to issues in operations management and supply chain, but I hadn't had any exposure before to accounting and marketing. EMTM helped me get up to speed more quickly and understand what was important to these areas of the teams."
- In his three years at the program, Pavan took 23 classes, going beyond the requirements to leverage the opportunity to learn as much as possible. Technology courses such as Drug Discovery, Clinical Technology & Innovation, Biotechnology & Medicine, broadened knowledge in his own field. "Even though I'm from a pharmaceutical background, I'd never had the chance to learn much about biotechnology, something I wouldn't have had access to in a regular executive MBA program. I came away with a better understanding of many different functions in my industry — for instance, if I had wanted to move into supply chain management, I would have been prepared to do that.
- Pavan says he came away from the program with a more holistic view of how business functions. “I can see the links among R&D, finance, process excellence and technology management. This is especially helpful for teamwork, an important part of my current job, because I now have the principles and tools to look at issues from a variety of angles.”
- Pavan cites the quality of faculty as a particular value of EMTM. "I was surprised at how different the teaching style is. There's a real focus on the big picture. It makes you start thinking in broader terms — on strategy rather than just the details. The details are important, but you can get caught in them if you don't look at the big picture, as well.”