Editor’s note: This story is part of our 2022 PharmaVoice 100 feature.
Over the past few years, as Saama Technologies has grown, evolved, integrated an acquisition and transformed into an AI-enabled ClinTech company, Nekzad Shroff says his role has become like one of an orchestra conductor.
“In guiding our transformation, I’ve aligned our functions and teams to work together in harmony, fill in all the gaps and produce beautiful music together, while avoiding the clashes and discordant notes that threaten evolution,” he says.
That evolution has been ongoing since Shroff joined Saama in 2011. In that time, he has held various roles that have reinvented Saama’s value proposition for the clinical space as well as engineering a companywide transformation. In leading the reorientation of Saama’s technical practices to focus on key value drivers, Shroff was instrumental in creating, what one of his nominators says was a comprehensive training program and leadership development framework to drive this mindset shift.
As vice president of product management, Shroff’s mandate is clear: “Productize Saama’s service offerings and build IP-driven solutions for life sciences.”
This focus started from his early days with the company, as he immersed himself into the company’s clients and technical service offerings to reorient them to business focus and impact as the head of business consulting.
As Shroff continues to make his mark and achieve one significant milestone after another, Saama leadership says he is “truly one of the industry’s most powerful minds” and he continues to impress with the delivery of “extraordinary results.”
In developing Saama’s Life Science Analytics Cloud, a signature platform, Shroff leaned into his technical acumen and knowledge to unlock what he says is the vast potential value in clinical data, which can drive the speed and efficacy of developing therapies to improve patient lives.
“The life sciences industry is unique in that it is founded on directly improving the human condition,” he says. “However, it is also an industry which was historically very conservative, risk averse and inefficient in its operations. I was drawn to the industry because of the huge untapped potential that exists for disruption through the application of AI and advanced technologies. Bringing life-saving therapies to patients faster and more equitably is a very inspirational goal for me in my work at Saama.”
“I focus on having a growth mindset and continuing to learn from the next generation of leaders, while helping direct their energies based on my experience.”
Vice president, product management, Saama Technologies
Shroff is also driven by a commitment to addressing the unsustainable costs of clinical research and development, saying the ethical considerations of affordability and equitable access to healthcare resources and therapies are daunting, with no easy answers.
“Creating solutions that help address this complex issue and its implications are what keep me up at night,” he says.
With a background in management consulting, Shroff is adept at working cross-functionally to communicate a clear vision and rally the organization to execute on a common purpose. He says Saama has given him the freedom to chart his own course in driving the company forward, and he is now focused on mentoring the next generation of leaders to forge their own paths to success.
Shroff says he enjoys learning from those around him and sharing his experiences to help them direct their energies to address new opportunities for professional growth.
“I recognize that change is hard, and I make sure that I devote energy toward driving internal change management within the company — training, communications, alignment initiatives — in order to prepare the company for the next phase of growth,” he says.
Shroff says his brand is built around four key pillars: strategic — creating and aligning to a bold vision; dynamic — adapting and transforming; principled — leading with honesty and integrity; and inspirational — motivating the team to achieve a shared vision.
“As leaders, we need to think beyond immediate short-term tactical goals and dedicate greater mindshare toward industrywide collaboration, innovation and standardization to address the larger problems of sustainability and access looming on the horizon,” he says. “Our ability to paint a bold vision of improving patient outcomes and to collaborate as an industry is the ultimate success that we should all aim for.”