With radical changes in lifestyle and increasing clinical problems, infertility has become one of the major issues in Indian healthcare, affecting nearly 10–15 percent of the married couples. Since 1987, CooperSurgical has been providing complete solutions for women’s health with its comprehensive portfolio of ART equipment, products, and services from oocyte retrieval to transfer, including quality management throughout the process.
As Country General Manager, Dr. Amit Kr Bhatnagar is responsible for the India - Hub operations of CooperSurgical’s product portfolio. Amongst Dr. Bhatnagar’s mandates are strengthening business operations & support functions, integration of distribution business, developing long term strategy for footprint expansion via product portfolio and spearhead Financial and Reputational outcomes.
It’s a role not just for a thoroughbred professional but someone with robust ‘humane’ qualities. And it all begins with ‘the power of will’. Scratch under the surface, and the motivation that sparked Dr. Amit Kr. Bhatnagar’s cherished journey becomes a little clearer. “Making a difference and bringing smiles to people's faces. I think that drives me and I feel I am contributing and making a difference”, shares Dr. Bhatnagar when asked about the passions that drive him.
Blessed with two kids (15 years old son Amish and 10 years old daughter Aditri) and married to Akanksha, Dr. Bhatnagar’s eventful journey in healthcare has its genesis in Auroprobe Laboratories, a New Delhi based outfit he joined as a Biotech Trainee. Starting out handling TB diagnosis and working on newer molecular technologies for infectious diseases, he subsequently went on to handle sales and application in BD for microbiology.
The big turning point in his career came after BD, when Amit moved to Mumbai joining Roche as Product Manager - with the express mandate of handling the Molecular Diagnostics and Applied Sciences verticals of the global conglomerate. The move marked a decisive levelling-up in his career, one that has only gotten stronger with every passing year. Indeed, Dr. Bhatnagar has been handling India operations for a host of global behemoths since – such as Beckman Coulter, BD and now, CooperSurgical.
His experience with Roche marks a pivotal point especially since Amit was expected to set up an entire lab for the diagnosis of Leptospira, Dengue and Swine-flu with the iconic Kasturba Hospital BMC, Mumbai. A larger-than-life project that wasn’t for the faint of heart or grit, it was ‘baptism by fire’ for Dr. Bhatnagar’s initiation into the truly Big League. Summoning every bit of his reserves of courage and stamina, he went beyond the traditional call of duty to meet both duty and deadline with steadfast commitment – be it meeting both government and private stakeholders, standardizing a clinical assay & lab infrastructure from scratch or helping build an integrated diagnostic facility. The result was a flawlessly executed masterpiece that is still cited in knowing circles as an exemplary case study of masterful execution.
Dr. Bhatnagar’s kaleidoscopic, evolutionary odyssey - down the labyrinthine twists and turns of the healthcare landscape – tends to shine a little brighter when interpreted through the lens of the many adversaries he had to conquer along the way. Dwelling on the topic of setbacks – and the learnings gained as a by-product of it – Dr. Amit Bhatnagar reflectively opines, “Things don’t come wrapped in a gift paper, it is very important to be disciplined, patient, hardworking and being clear on what you want. Also one more important thing I have learnt is that it’s absolutely necessary in today’s scenario to be agile and quick to adapt to changes if you want to be successful in this VUCA world.”
Dr. Amit Kr. Bhatnagar’s excitement - when on the subject of his current mission as the Country General Manager for CooperSurgical’s India operations – is palpable. His conviction in the ability of CooperSurgical to fill a gaping need gap is easy to spot, and, along with his sparkling credentials, add to his suitability for the august role. So what exactly is the transformation they are ushering into the space? In Amit’s candid words, “Quality in both products and services in IVF. We are not only a global company who provides high quality products but we also focus a lot on trainings, CMEs, hands on workshops, scientific knowledge sharing to ensure global expertise and practices are brought in our country”
CooperSurgical’s impact on India’s fertility universe isn’t just a ‘need of the hour’; in its own unique way, it is no less than a quiet and long-overdue revolution. Continues Amit, “Being a global company direct in India and backed up by a strong medical affairs team we are the only company who can offer complete basket of products (end to end) for an IVF lab and bring in global expertise and knowledge to India through our dedicated team of embryologists with a combined experience of >200 years.” It’s a move that can translate into a breakthrough for couples, and indeed, for India’s demographic dividend.
No road is smooth – certainly not the ones that endeavour to shake up the status-quo. So what are the roadblocks - and helping hands – that he has experienced along the way? Amit answers in his usual ‘take the bull by the horns’ style, “It is not always easy when people change, organisations change, however to be able to bring out the best in everyone, gaining their trust is of utmost importance and I have faced similar situations, and am fortunate to be blessed with people who have supported me and helped me build stronger teams and companies.”
Even as he chronicles the challenges, Dr. Bhatnagar insists that the satisfaction of spearheading a nation-wide crusade far outweighs the downside. For him, the proverbial glass is always half-full, never half-empty. That, after all, is the litmus test of a true-blue leader, one that separates the men from the boys. And there are many things that make it ‘worth it’ for Amit at the end of the day. He patiently enumerates them, one by one :
“My team members and mentees are well placed and doing well, that makes me very proud. My customers are always happy to see me and trust me and my advice, which makes my day. My seniors, mentors and ex-bosses always have a special smile reserved for me that silently acknowledges my contribution. And above all, all the friends that I have made during my career share an extremely good rapport with me – we continuously learn from each other’s experiences and stand by each other in all times.”
Dr. Bhatnagar’s work has been acknowledged by more than his seniors. The industry has been quick to spot his rare blend of industry and grit, and generous in bestowing upon them their due honour. “In last 3 year, I have received the ABP news CEO of the year award, Top 100 influential leaders' award and also last 2 years I have been in receipt of the CEO of the year award from CooperSurgical APAC VP. Last year I have been nominated for the executive leadership program with Yale School of Management”, elucidates Amit.
An insatiable appetite for new challenges is what keeps a true karma yogi ticking. Dr. Amit Bhatnagar is no different. So what are his future goals? What are the new peaks in the crosshairs of his telescope? “I would next like to handle Asia Pasific region responsibility and/ or a stronger business portfolio going further”, says Dr. Bhatnagar.
Whether they are aware of it or not, all leaders leave a legacy – an indelible fingerprint that makes them easy to spot in a crowd, and ‘readable’ for future generation in search of a role-model. So how would he like to be remembered? What, in short, is Dr. Amit Kr. Bhatnagar’s legacy to an industry he loves? It may be early days yet – for the man who has travelled a thousand miles has, by his own admission, several thousands more to go. Nevertheless, Dr. Bhatnagar tries to answer the question in good humor : “A person who made a difference in whatever I undertook, someone who built businesses and most importantly people- for me people who are with me are most important both internal and external customers.”
For a new breed of leaders, Dr. Amit Bhatnagar is a fine example of how far the right combination of will and ability can go. To them, his advice is simple, yet profound: “Be passionate about what you do, read and invest time in yourself and increasing your knowledge, stay connected to your customers, above all be ethical and transparent in your dealings and things are bound to fall in place.”
His message to the readers of Voice of Healthcare (VOH) is equally loud and clear: “If you want to make a difference, be confident, believe in yourself, plan, prepare and achieve your dreams!”
Other Limelight Stories