June 1, 2021March 17, 2021 by C-Suite PartnersVijay Karwal - Managing Director - Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences Investment Banking Asia (ex. Japan) NomuraSubscibe to our podcast Spotify Podcasts Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts TranscriptIntro 0:13 Many aspire to reach the upper echelon of the healthcare industry, but few are able to successfully navigate the corporate ladder. As Asia becomes the world epicenter of the healthcare industry, C-Suite Partners sits down with international healthcare executives asking the tough questions and unpacking the personalities of the top industry leaders.Welcome to the boardroom.Michael Murray 0:34 Vijay, thank you for joining C-Suite Partners in the boardroom. Can you tell me about your career up until today?Vijay Karwal 0:39 So I came to health care perhaps in a different manner from some of the other interview subjects in your series. With the exception of a few years in industry lifelong investment banker. I’ve been a financial and strategic advisor to the industry. I started my career 20 years ago in the United States, helping life sciences companies raise capital. That’s snowballed into a career-long involvement with the healthcare industry globally, working in the United States, in Europe, in Asia, helping clients fulfil objectives in other parts of the world, including Australia and South America. Michael Murray 1:19And what do you think the parallels are between the CEO who runs the health care company and investment banker that’s looking at the company?Vijay Karwal 1:26 I think sort of they like to circle that they overlap. In the realm of strategy and long-term value creation. Investment bankers have the benefit of a strategic perspective on an industry that they gain from speaking to many of the actors and principal parties that are active in that industry. It allows you to identify patterns, it allows you to identify opportunities to perhaps have an early read on risks that are on the horizon and you use that knowledge to help the CEO create a long term sort of five to 10-year pathway for his organisation and then ultimately, the investment banker undeniably seeks to benefit from that by proposing transactions that actualise that strategy, where the investment banker is probably very ill-suited to help the CEO is in creating that culture and creating the organizational ability to deliver on that, which to be perfectly honest, is possibly the more important of the two. But that is why the roles are obviously distinct. Michael Murray 2:32What advice would you give someone who’s coming from financial services, professional services, that actually wants to move into a healthcare company? That can always be a challenge for executives. Do you have any advice there? Vijay Karwal 2:42 It’s difficult. Okay. I think it’s important to realize that an advisor plays an important role in identifying important strategic opportunities and helping realize for their clients. But that is often where the work of the adviser ends, the work of the management of the CEO of the business is to then create value out of that opportunity. So I think the first thing I would say is to be aware that rather than your job being to create an opportunity to close deals, is much more about creating long term value on that basis. What drives into that is a very different operating rhythm. Advisory and financial services roles tend to be more event-driven, project-based. It requires a tremendous amount of detail to be able to follow those to enable yourself to intervene in time, if things are not trending as they should. So the rhythm of their life is very, very different. Having said that, I think that what is often missing in certain larger organizations, that people get so engrossed in that rhythm that they lose track of the destination. And I think a benefit that perhaps people who come from more of the advisory and strategic role will have is a more natural inclination to think long term to think about what is what I’m doing actually contributing to visit even productive? Yes, it is use, yes, I’m used to having this monthly review meeting about this topic. But is this topic in itself even, you know, materially contributing to where we want to go? Yes. And I think that is a very, very useful attribute that people with that background can bring to the business. Michael Murray 4:36And you talk about a balancing act, and I’m very interested to understand with all your international roles. How did you manage work-life balance,Vijay Karwal 4:42 I’ve always thought of that in the perspective that there are different pillars that sort of support an individual human being. First and foremost, family, friendships. I think work and the inability to dedicate yourself and your energies to something that gives meaning to your life into your output is very important that as well. And each of these can reinforce each other. I think the work that I do, and the experiences that is offered me is allow me to perhaps give interesting perspectives and insights to my family. I look at them as interdependent. There will be times when one takes more precedent than others. Yes, but and it requires constant awareness. But I’ve never looked at his trade-off. Okay, I think I think basically strengthen each other rather than take away from each other.Michael Murray 5:42 And what about your career in one word?Vijay Karwal 5:47 I think going back to the fact and already starting to, like 50 words to answer your question, going back to the fact that he said, I think the essence of being an investment banker is to have that perspective and use that perspective to identify opportunities and solutions that I often actually summarized, allow me three words, which is “connecting the dots”.Michael Murray 6:07 Vijay, thank you for spending time with C-Suite Partners In the Boardroom.