From a young age, Ivan J. Dsouza was inspired to lead and he knew he would require grit, perseverance, and a positive attitude to achieve his goals. Knowing that any significant journey requires one to make a start somewhere, at the age of 18, he embarked on a career that took him to his highest potential, now serving as the CEO of Bioviser Inc, a pharmaceutical consulting firm. He started his professional path for market research and event companies, developing business and organizational skills during his college years. Though he experienced a considerable amount of failures in idea and execution, it never left him disappointed. He took it as an opportunity to perfect his craft, push himself further, and get involved in a makeshift setup to advise and inspire individuals for project management, business consultation, and market research.
Ivan J Dsouza, now the CEO of a global consulting firm, has mastered the art of successfully juggling different tasks, which would not have been possible without the initial attempts made. “To be a successful business leader, I feel, it is vital to go through the process of trying, failing, learning, and ultimately succeeding. Also, I must add that my entrepreneurial journey would have been incomplete without the continuous support and trust I received from my wife and business partner,” he explains. Ivan has a master’s degree in clinical research and a postgraduate diploma in pharmaceutical management, doing everything a youngster typically thinks and does. But, the one thing he believes he has discovered in and preserved from his youth is the enthusiasm for trying, learning, and retrying. “I truly believe the more you explore and experiment in your younger days, the more risk-averse you learn to be in your later years. Businesses, as we all know, cannot be established without risks, and risks cannot be taken by those who have not experienced the joy of learning through exploration, failure, and determination to triumph despite several unsuccessful attempts,” he shares.
Creating his own path
Like countless teenagers, Ivan dreamed of a purpose-driven life by making a difference. However, the road ahead was not very clear. So, like any player, he dribbled the professional ball enough to arrive at the point where everything became clear and easy. “In my opinion, one cannot know what he/she may be until one goes through the grind. I started as a clinical research associate and monitored all trial phases in pharma and CROs for the first four years. Next, I supported functional services for BPOs and medical communication agencies and these roles molded me into a business development professional. When my consulting capabilities merged with the medical and clinical research realm, mental lightbulbs lit up and illuminated the path meant for me,” he opines.
As a highly focused person, Ivan believes in reorienting himself to the rapid transformations that occur within the pharmaceutical industry, ensuring that his team is aligned with the vision and determination of Bioviser Inc to fruitfully maintain the delicate balance between client and patient success, conscientiously filtering organizational values to every team member, and strategizing to ensure collective victory. Work stresses are part of the dream everyone at Bioviser works together to fulfill, so Ivan views it as a fundamental component of the whole.
Following COVID, Ivan tried to keep everything as simple and fluid as possible and focus on priorities such as health, family, and business, thus being able to make time to go on three vacations in one year, pursue a hobby, meet with friends, and follow other interests. “I believe, if I can do this, any team member can do it too. In addition, I avoid checking emails/communications after 8 pm unless something urgent arises. Most of my client/internal meetings are planned between 9 am and 1 pm,” he shares. Ivan believes the days of motivating teams with rewards and recognition are past us and that today’s times require each to focus on quality work, learning, and leading happy and successful lives.
Thriving under pressure
Ivan feels that the biggest challenge any CEO faces is direction. It is a huge responsibility, and he realizes that the all-important question of whether one is steering the wheel in the right direction never ceases to chase the CEO. This includes making a sound decision by factoring in the niche area and reduced competition from companies offering similar services or identifying and filling gaps in that sense. Ivan says, “The best way to know and trust the direction, I believe, is to keep pushing against doubts and discovering your true potential in due time. Another important challenge is to bring together dedicated individuals with multiple talents and skills to support the company’s goal of delivering best-in-class services worldwide.”
In his opinion, leaders must pave the way conscientiously, gracefully, patiently, and resolutely for the workforce to follow. He also feels there is a need to show trust and allow freedom to those who help build a successful setup. In addition, he understands that it is vital to empower the team to take ownership of their decisions and determine corrective measures when necessary. “It is my belief that when a leader shares a part of his responsibility with the team, he makes everyone accountable for how a business shapes itself in the short and long run,” says Ivan.
Guiding Bioviser Inc
Bioviser’s USP lies in maintaining a delicate balance between client success and positive patient outcomes. Additionally, the services they offer, their commitment to maintaining global standards, the manner in which they conduct business, and their corporate culture makes them unique. All these are driven through the highly skilled and integrated teams at Bioviser, offering specific expertise and experience to create quality output that is innovative and unmatched. “Our key strengths are agility, process-driven execution, and capability to manage demand variability while offering cost efficiencies to our clients,” he adds.
Similar to other setups, Bioviser’s journey has been a challenging one. Bioviser offered pharmacovigilance support to clients in need in the company’s initial days. They performed a pivot by expanding the core services based on market needs and extending their reach to pharma and the overall health science sector. Additionally, Bioviser began offering space research services to challenge themselves and become significant contributors to future scientific progress of the type that cannot be easily imagined at this time. The company focused on growing its global footprints through regional teams in various countries, increasing team strength to accommodate specialized skill sets, and becoming a consulting solution provider.
“Our overall purpose is simple: all efforts should be invested in collective success. Our personal and organizational tenets are rooted in trust, transparency, meaningful approach, adaptability, and readiness and zest to solve any problem coming our way. Integrity is at the core of everything we do as an organization,” explains Ivan. Bioviser’s services are built around the customer, respecting individuals for what they stand for and considering human connections above business deals. The company is determined to add value by protecting data, determining highly effective solutions, and providing high-quality services, striving to maintain a balance between those they serve and those who help to satisfactorily serve.
Bioviser’s company culture requires every member to be client- and patient-centric as they believe benefits can be maximized by playing a crucial, diligent, and objective role between clients and the patients who must ultimately gain from the joint efforts made by Bioviser and its clients. “We maintain a modular and flat organizational structure, offer a work-from-anywhere policy, drive efficiencies through highly skilled and qualified people, stay true to the organizational tenets, and do not over-engineer processes or over-complicate technologies,” shares Ivan.
The way forward
Ivan strives to make Bioviser spread its wings worldwide by strengthening its presence in the USA and Japan and expanding to markets in the EU and Oceania. His goal is to make the best-in-class services globally accessible and have a competent team to deliver these services.
In the face of adversity, Bioviser has been increasingly flexible in understanding and adapting to the changing face of business since 2020. The company’s business model will continue to ensure effective virtual business meetings, efficient operations via a remote working setup, and successful stories of client understanding and satisfaction. “I doubt that things will go back to being how they used to, and I am confident that Bioviser will continue finding ways for proficient, reliable conduits to be constructed in the eye of any storm,” opines Ivan.