The 10 Most Influential Women In Tech 2019

Janaki Joshi: Transforming Product Commercialization in the Life Sciences Industry

Janaki Joshi CEO at Iris Interactive

Today’s technology world is going through a transformation of corporate IT systems. The switch from in-house infrastructure and teams to cloud-based infrastructure as well as the continued trend towards the Software as a Service (SaaS) model has completely altered the way business is done. Furthermore, the arrival of pioneering technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AL), Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Text mining has attracted attention from various industries.

This is not dissimilar to the trends in the telecommunications and entertainment industries where we have seen a shift from traditional to new technologies. Over a decade ago, consumers moved to smartphones and VoIP based communication from landlines and old mobile phones. In the entertainment industry on-demand content streamed by Netflix or Amazon Prime has led to the demise of traditional DVD chains such as Blockbuster.

For developing and launching new products in the Consumer Packaged Goods and Life Sciences industry, Iris Interactive offers an innovative approach to its customers. The New York-based company is as an independent software vendor, which has developed a product commercialization platform that companies use to innovate with speed, efficiency and quality. Janaki Joshi, the CEO of Iris Interactive leads the company to achieve breakthrough results for its customers in commercializing their products.

Journey from Accountant to an Entrepreneur

Janaki started her professional life as a Chartered Accountant. During the early stages of her career, she worked with big consumer, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications organizations. While working as an accountant, she uncovered the need for a companywide software system that cross-functional teams can use to develop and commercialize their products in the market more effectively. Furthermore, she observed that in accounting, software systems are used to automate tasks with capabilities to track every activity. However, the business processes in R&D, marketing and sales of new products were being managed in an ad-hoc manner which led to wasted investment and resources as well as lost opportunities to achieve the success and loss of competitive edge.

Further, Janaki observed that the stock market was focused on the net present value of future cash flow of the company and innovation was the key driver which crucially relies on the ability of a company to successfully commercialize products ahead of their competitors. She saw that effective product commercialization was one of the prime factors impacting the future of the company.

In the Life Sciences industry, this is even more mission-critical due to the short time available for companies to launch their products to fully realize their revenue potential before the patents expire. Janaki saw a big opportunity that needed to be addressed, so she quit her job to embark on a journey to become an entrepreneur and established Iris Interactive to offer comprehensive end to end product management solution.

Iris Interactive, Providing Platform for Commercialization

Statistics show that more than 90% of product launches in the consumer packaged and the life sciences industries are either late to the market or do not fully realize their sales potential. Iris Interactive helps such companies by enabling cross-functional teams coordinate their activities in all aspects of the commercialization process including customer insights, R&D, communication development and go-to-market activities. Janaki and her team at Iris Interactive is committed to helping companies launch the products faster to the market, accomplish higher sales and build strong brands.

The Iris system supports multi-disciplinary teams comprising marketing, clinical, R&D and sales professionals involved in the new product development and commercialization process. In the life sciences industry, to bring a new drug or biologic to market, the Iris platform provides tracking of all the activities that involve FDA submissions, clinical milestones, launch and post-launch activities. Iris provides a central platform for all information related to the new product so that each team member can access it from anywhere.

CEO’s Philosophy to empower teams to innovate      

Janaki believes that to become an effective leader, it is necessary to balance the growth of the organization and endure the failure that comes with the growth. Furthermore, an innovation culture requires taking risks and accepting the fact that some ideas may not be easy to implement or the initial investment may exceed the company’s willingness to invest in innovation.

In the last 25 years of her professional life, Janaki has had the privilege of working with the leaders of global fortune 500 companies and interacting with cultures across Europe, USA, Australia, and Asia. This opportunity provided her with an insight into the leadership styles which makes her as an operationally focused, strong and skillful leader.

Janaki JoshiFacing Challenges while Aiming for Growth and Profit

The biggest challenge for a platform like Iris is the lack of awareness among companies that innovation and product commercialization can be managed using an enterprise platform to bring high levels of transparency, accountability, and control. Therefore, increasing awareness among business leaders regarding end-to-end innovation management using both ‘Challenge based and Open Innovation based’ thinking to increase the rate of launch success, is a high priority. Moreover, Janaki wants to help corporate leaders realize that growth and profitability can be achieved without unnecessary stress and with the help of innovative technologies, that minimize wastage of resources help teams achieve work life balance.

Janaki Joshi