Dinesh Kabaleeswaran is the vice president of advisory and insights at MMIT, leading and developing strategies for his team to deliver insights on market access challenges to pharmaceutical manufacturers. MMIT’s advisory and insights product suite includes PAR Insights, Message Monitor, Managed Care Index, IDN Formulary Insights and Rapid Response, among other solutions.
How did you join MMIT? What in your background brought you to pharma?
I joined as part of the Zitter acquisition, and it’s been an incredible journey thus far. I hold a Master’s in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and my research interests were focused in neuroscience and mathematical modeling. During my time at the University of Pennsylvania, I worked on a lot of different health care consulting projects at the Wharton School, and developed a keen interest in health care consulting and market research. Having a little bit of background in both science and business made the intersection of both the right place for me.
I spent a lot of time doing research early in my career, and that gave me a lot of satisfaction in terms of fulfilling my curiosity, but ultimately when you work in that setting, you realize that the time it takes for you to create an impact is significant — it can take 10 years or more to see a drug go to market. And that’s where I found that health care consulting projects can be really satisfying, because you can create a tangible impact for a client in as little as three or four months. Those experiences brought me to Zitter, which eventually brought me to MMIT, and I haven’t looked back since then.
What does your day-to-day usually look like?
I’m not a morning person! So my days usually start with checking my emails and making sure that I’m keeping up with the flood. Then I usually have back-to-back meetings from 10 to 5, some with clients, some internally where I’ll work with the commercial team and make sure we’re all aligned with our expectations. And after everyone else logs off for the day, that’s when I become really productive.
What are some of the larger projects you’re working on?
Now that we’re a part of Evaluate and the Dedham Group, there is a lot of opportunity and excitement to partner with these new business units. New opportunities have opened up where we can deliver additional value for my clients, and that’s infused a lot of fresh energy in my teams. So now we’re not just looking at meetings or partnerships within the organization or with our clients, but also across business units, and that’s really exciting. We have a few different projects in the works.
Do you have a favorite topic to cover?
Right now, biosimilars are probably what nine out of 10 people on my team would talk about. Humira biosimilars are set to launch in 2023, so that’s a big topic we’re focused on. It’s one of many trends we cover within the market research and advisory teams.
What are some of the most challenging aspects of your role?
I think the greatest challenge for not just myself but MMIT in general, is to ensure we deliver. There’s so much opportunity out there for us right now that we could deliver hundreds of different things to our clients. I think the most important thing for us is to focus and make sure that as we grow larger as a company, we continue to stay true to our core values. As much as it sounds cliché, I want to ensure we keep to our values and principles.
What’s been your biggest win so far?
My team is my biggest win. I’m a firm believer that I am only as good as my team. In the past 12 months, Advisory and Insights has seen at least 14 different managers, senior analysts and analysts grow into new roles. That’s almost 25% of my team. And that’s my biggest win. It’s a priority for MMIT as an organization to grow individual talent and see our employees be successful. We’re going to be even larger in two or three years than we are now, so I’m grateful that we’ve been able to encourage the young leadership that will move us forward.
Where do you see MMIT in five years? Ten?
It’s funny, I was recently on the Lab to Launch podcast with Kelly Stanton, and I told her that when we look back on this conversation in 10 years, it’s going to sound really archaic, almost like it happened 50 or 100 years ago, because that’s the pace at which the industry is growing. I think two or three years is more realistic to talk about — that’s when I see us as an industry leader in health care, not just in market access.
Which company principle resonates most with you?
We are bold, passionate and mission-first. That resonates with me the most because we’ve been absolutely fearless in partnering with our new business units as one company, and that’s core to our mission in smoothing access to therapies from pipeline to prescription. By partnering with these business units, we’ve made a strong statement that we’re here to solve access problems and smooth patient access. The pace at which we’ve grown in the past 18 months is an indicator of our intentions to deliver the highest value for our clients.
You’ve been with MMIT since the Zitter acquisition in 2018. What was most exciting about those new relationships?
With any acquisition, you learn a lot. What’s really important is to have an open mind to what’s on the other side. Our capabilities have grown immensely, because now we have an entire team that supports Zitter products. We have specialized functions that power a lot of our products. I love the Zitter brand, and MMIT has elevated it in even further.
What do you like most about working at MMIT?
Ultimately, it goes back to creating an impact in the lives of our clients and patients. I consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity to do that by performing work I love every day. Our work smoothing access benefits patients and empowers physicians and payers to make better decisions. Making those kinds of contributions is more than I could have ever asked for.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to write. I recently published a book on the history of a temple in India, that was a pet project of mine for the past two and a half years that I really enjoyed. I love to play table tennis and play with the local league every week. Apart from that, I love learning about current events, news and history.