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A Leader’s Career Journey Comes Full Circle to Drug Development in BMS Hyderabad

April 25, 2024
BMS LocationsGlobal Drug DevelopmentInnovation
Careers Home  /  Career Stories  /  A Leader’s Career Journey Comes Full Circle to Drug Development in BMS Hyderabad

At BMS, our people directly reflect the strength of our global footprint. Such is the case for Nataraj Kalyanaraman, who joined BMS in 2017.

BMS Drug Development leader, Nataraj Kalyanaraman, in a dark blazer and wearing glasses
Nataraj Kalyanaraman, VP, Head of BMS Hyderabad Drug Development

Nataraj began his BMS journey in the U.S., working on the Research and Development (R&D) strategy team in New Jersey. In 2022 he relocated to Lausanne, Switzerland to expand our drug development capabilities. Not only did he achieve this goal, Nataraj grew the organization, setting a strong foundation for drug development in Europe.

Now, Nataraj has come full circle to his homeland of India as Vice President, Head of BMS Hyderabad for Global Drug Development. In July 2023, he opened the doors to Drug Development at Hyderabad, where he leads a team of more than 450 Research & Development specialists. Nataraj shared his thoughts on what makes the culture at BMS unique, the traits that spell success for candidates seeking an R&D career with us, and the opportunities available at BMS Hyderabad.

A Culture Illuminated by Our North Star

When asked what differentiates the culture of BMS from that of other organizations, Nataraj stated enthusiastically: “Of everywhere I’ve worked,” he said, “BMS is grounded in interpersonal relationships, which has helped me tremendously.” He noted that our distinctly supportive culture can be experienced around the globe. “Whenever you walk into any BMS office, whether in New Jersey or Hyderabad,” said Nataraj, “you feel the same warm embrace. I think the culture comes across even during the interview and selection process.”

Nataraj believes that a support-minded culture underpins our company’s vision of transforming patients’ lives through science. “Our North Star is focused on the patient,” he said. “If you're trying to solve a big problem, trying to accelerate a clinical trial and face a roadblock, you can pick up the phone and ask for help. We are all dedicated to the same mission, which acts as a strong, unifying force.”

Drug Development Opportunity Calls. Who Should Apply?

Expansion of BMS Drug Development into Hyderabad has created interesting new career opportunities for those that align with our mission. Here, Nataraj shares three essential traits that he and his team look for in successful candidates.

First is a passion for health. “Whether for themselves, their families, or their friends, health is very personal to everybody,” remarked Nataraj. For candidates who are passionate about health, “now is an extraordinary time to be in pharma,” he said. “When I first started my career, our toolbox consisted of small molecules and biologics. That was it.” With today’s deeper understanding of genetics (as revealed by the Human Genome Project), we have “a whole host of ways to address a particular disease, and so many different kinds of modalities including cell therapy, and radioligand, antibody and gene therapy.”

The second trait that successful candidates share is intellectual curiosity. “We look for candidates who want to understand what we are doing,” he said, “but also why we are doing it, and are willing to challenge the status quo to some extent.”

Finally, successful candidates are those who can flourish in a global company. “Being able to interact with people of very different backgrounds and partner effectively is also important,” said Nataraj. “What we're building in Hyderabad is globally integrated. We partner together across one organization, so the ability to do that effectively is a critical skill.”

BMS Hyderabad: A Quickly Evolving Site with Immense Global Impact

“I grew up in India and left for the U.S. right after graduation,” shares Nataraj. “But if what we're building at BMS Hyderabad had existed then, I could have grown my career right here.” He believes that those seeking a drug development career in Hyderabad will find the opportunities particularly meaningful.

“Here, the sky’s the limit,” said Nataraj. “Part of our aspiration is to have a core set of capabilities that represent the entire drug development value chain. Nataraj remarks that by the end of 2024, the site will be one of the largest in the BMS network outside of the U.S. “By bringing together multiple pieces of drug development, technology and analytics under one roof, we can innovate substantially.”

He goes on to note that the newness of the site presents rare opportunities for this new team. “You don't get a chance to start an organization from scratch and grow it at this pace.” Furthermore, because the site is still so new, everyone has been there for less than one year. “You rarely have an organization where — regardless of background or industry tenure — everyone is coming in with a fresh set of eyes,” said Nataraj. “It gives us the ability to shape a culture that is remarkably collaborative, because everyone is in it together and has a unique opportunity to truly collaborate cross-functionally.”

Finally, Nataraj remarked that a spirit of joy is shared by all. “We want BMS Hyderabad to be a really fun place to work,” he said. “Everyone is incredibly optimistic, and our facilities are designed to energize us. We have the ability to bring people together, to celebrate our successes, and thrive in a culture where we can enjoy ourselves at work.”

Follow in Nataraj’s Footsteps

Does the opportunity to do meaningful work across drug development while shaping a new BMS site excite you? Then explore available opportunities and bring your passion for transforming patients’ lives through science to BMS Hyderabad.