Selected as World’s Best Emerging Leader 2023, Dr. Kannan Vishwanatth is a visionary leader in the pharmaceutical industry. His ability to anticipate future trends, identify opportunities, and develop a clear and compelling vision and forward-thinking approach has inspired others to rally behind their vision.
A select few people stand out as visionary leaders who push the boundaries of innovation in the constantly changing world of pharmaceutical advancements. One such trailblazer is Dr. Kannan Vishwanatth, the creator of Rupus Global Limited. Dr. Vishwanatth has made a name for himself in the field through his unwavering commitment to industry transformation and unrelenting pursuit of excellence.
Dr. Kannan Vishwanatth is an Indian researcher, academic, and businessman who studied petroleum engineering at Pune’s Maharashtra Institute of Technology from 1992 to 1996. He continued on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration in the academic years 2008–2009 at Asia-E-University and Indian Institute of Research and Management. Dr. Vishwanatth continued his education by pursuing doctoral studies in business management at the Indian Institute of Research and Management in India (2009–2012) and the University of Azteca’s European Programmes. From October 2022 to October 2023, the Haas School of Business at Berkeley University in California will host the Garwood Innovation Fellow.
Dr. Kannan Vishwanatth, who has a degree in chemical engineering, began his entrepreneurial journey ten years ago and established a successful mid-sized pharmaceutical company with a focus on API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient).
Dr. Kannan Vishwanatth’s journey with Rupus Global Limited has been nothing short of remarkable. Under his guidance, the company has redefined the way industries operate, utilizing cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions. By identifying gaps and inefficiencies in various sectors, Dr. Vishwanatth has successfully spearheaded transformative initiatives that have had a profound impact.
In all its initiatives, Rupus Global Limited has made significant strides in solving complex challenges. Driven by a vision to create sustainable and scalable solutions, Dr. Vishwanatth has steered the company towards pioneering advancements that have disrupted traditional models and improved operational efficiency.
An ace in the pharmaceutical industry, what sets Dr. Kannan Vishwanatth apart is his ability to blend his technical expertise with a deep understanding of market needs. He has consistently demonstrated his ability to identify emerging trends and leverage them to develop groundbreaking solutions. Rupus Global Limited, under his astute leadership, has brought forth a range of innovative products and services that have reshaped industries.
Social Impact and Sustainability:
Beyond his contributions to the business world, Dr. Vishwanatth has remained steadfast in his commitment to social impact and sustainability. Recognizing the role technology can play in addressing global challenges, he has championed initiatives that promote inclusivity, environmental consciousness, and social responsibility.
Dr. Vishwanatth has supported numerous philanthropic endeavors, focusing on areas such as education, healthcare, and environmental conservation. His unwavering dedication to creating a positive societal impact demonstrates his belief in leveraging technology as a force for good.
Dr. Kannan Vishwanatth’s leadership style serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators. His unwavering passion, resilience, and unwavering commitment to excellence have been instrumental in driving the success of Rupus Global Limited. By fostering a culture of collaboration, creativity, and continuous learning, he has created an environment that nurtures talent and encourages innovation.
Dr. Vishwanatth’s visionary leadership extends beyond the confines of his own organization. He actively mentors and supports budding entrepreneurs, sharing his insights and experiences to empower the next generation of innovators. His dedication to cultivating and nurturing talent showcases his belief in the power of collaboration and collective growth.
The Last Word:
Dr. Kannan Vishwanatth, the founder of Rupus Global Limited, has undeniably made a significant impact on multiple industries through his innovative mindset and unwavering determination. His visionary approach to problem-solving, emphasis on sustainable solutions, and commitment to social impact have positioned him as a true leader in the field of technology and innovation.
As we move forward into a future driven by technology, we can only anticipate that Dr. Vishwanatth’s transformative work will continue to shape industries and improve lives. His legacy serves as a testament to the power of innovation and the profound impact one individual can have.
In Conversation with Dr. Kannan Vishwanatth, Founder and Managing Director, Rupus Global Limited
What makes a reliable and trustworthy business leader?
I believe “Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.”. Some believe that true leaders are born that way—naturally charismatic, influential, and inspiring individuals who are destined to make a mark. But while certain people may be naturally predisposed to leadership, just as they’re naturally predisposed to athleticism or musicality, I believe it’s absolutely possible to cultivate the characteristics and skills necessary to call yourself a leader.
My journey as an entrepreneur has been marked with many significant imprints in shaping my future aspirations not only to be a global business leader but contribute significantly to the world community. Looking back when I see my initial days where I started from the scratch filled with many exciting landmark achievements stem from the fact that to be a reliable & trustworthy leader, one must be compassionate & team leader rather than working in isolation. I have always empowered my team & associates & given them opportunities to grow in the changing business environment.
How have you re strategised and adopted to the digital transformations globally?
Strategy & innovations are buzzwords to respond to the emerging world order. Digital transformation globally are clearly visible that was miniscule a decade back. Digital transformation is perhaps the fuzziest term in the business world. Trying to capture too many moving parts, it becomes white noise. Then, struggling to explain it, we say it’s an umbrella term. But what does digital transformation mean? Is it about keeping up with new gadgets and software? Or does it imply that consumers want to interact with brands using completely different means? Or maybe it conveys the idea of reshaping your company to meet what the exciting new world of tech has to offer.
In my own organizations at Rupus Global Limited, Rupus Global Herbal Research & Development Institute & Dr Ashley’s Limited, we have imbibed digital technology in every sphere of our business culture & addressing to the stakeholders both internally & externally. When we talk about digital transformation, we know that it’s not a commodity. It’s the processes that are triggered on the C-level. They imply tectonic shifts in the ways organizations build and utilize software, the ways organizations tweak internal operations, and eventually the ways people in these organizations think. But does it necessarily come from inside the business?. Try to recall when you used cash the last time. Or here’s another experiment. When did you send an important business message using a handwritten note and a stamp? Many things went digital. We get used to digital ways of interacting with the outside world. Inside organizations, this change of mindset is ultimately driven by the changes with our end customers and we must respond.
What are the clear changes that you have made to your journey in the last decade?
In my career spanning more than two decades, I have very clearly observed that the only change that is clearly visible is the idea to think different & to be a leader that can motivate & inspire the team & society. Executing an idea can require confidence, commitment and determination. Learning what motivated an entrepreneur to take action toward implementing their idea can help you evaluate your own ideas, motivators and challenges. In entrepreneurship, some challenges can be inevitable. However, learning what to expect can help you prepare for challenges before they arise. Not all challenges are negative, learning from early obstacles can help you grow your business, refocus your efforts and teach you important recovery skills. Their answer to this question can also reveal a lot about how much they overcame to achieve their success. Stories like these can serve as inspirational reminders to persevere even when things don’t go the way you expect.
What is the current vision and mission at your current role?
Messaging & clear communications are hallmark of a great leader. When floated three world-class companies in Hong Kong & Latvia, I was driven by passion not just to increase the balance sheet or wealth but to be a catalyst of change in the areas that I always wanted to engage. Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.
Headquartered at Hong Kong, Rupus Global Limited is one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical company with leadership position in active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), finished dosage forms (FDFs) and provides contract research and manufacturing services (CRAMS) in key segments such as Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Protozoal, Anti-Diabetic, Vitamins, Anti-Malarial, Anti Cancer has set out an ambitious goal to boost its revenue for 225 Million USD by 2023-24.
To accelerate its growth engine by revenue & global expansion, Rupus Global Limited is exploring new partnerships in Africa & UAE to launch about 50 products in the next 12 months – from Anti-Malarial drugs to pain management and Anti-Cancer. Rupus Global Herbal & Research & Development Institute, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Rupus Global Limited will function as a pioneer institute in the area of research, education, conservation, and popularization of Ayurveda medicinal plants. The Institute will be one of Latvia’s innovative herbal centers of excellence & first of its kind model to develop as a leading herbal destination for the healthy life of national and international communities. Rupus Global Herbal & Research & Development Institute will promote the establishment of eco and herbal tourism among farmers of Latvia for the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants. The key feature of Rupus Global Herbal & Research & Development Institute will be to its endeavor for the attainment of higher objectives in the field of medicinal plants research is the establishment of the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research.
My vision & mission are aligned to the idea of thinking differently & packaging it in a way that my stakeholders can relate to. It is not always to see growth in revenues but to produce products in the areas that many may not like to venture into.
How do you draw a balance between target orientation and empathetic and compassionate leadership?
As a research scholar & deeply involved in academic research, I am quite clear that I need to be scholarly in my academic pursuit. I do extensive research & emulate ideas that will create target orientation and empathetic and compassionate leadership in my current assignments at the Institute of Economics of The Latvian academy of Sciences Riga. As members of the Council, my role would be to suggesting policies that would create a stimulating environment for innovation and research in order to attract and retain a generation of scientists in various fields, providing scientific advice to the Council of Ministers when required, raising nationally and internationally awareness above the science and technology developed in the country, and effectively establishing collaborations between the public and private sectors to make an impact in the economy and well-being of the country.
Being an effective leader who can drive teams to strong results requires giving tough feedback and making hard decisions that may dishearten employees. Given that reality, business leaders must be able to demonstrate compassion as they lead teams in an increasingly stressful world. Beyond the benefits of engendering trust and loyalty, studies have found that compassionate leaders are perceived as stronger and more competent. However, it is important to recognize that empathy alone is not sufficient—authentic compassion requires intentional action to alleviate problematic situations. Compassionate leadership results in mutual growth and encourages leaders to take care of themselves and their people. Leaders are encouraged to approach thorny situations by being present, courageous, direct, and transparent to be most effective in leading with compassion.
What has been your greatest strength and weakness in context of leadership?
I believe that leadership is all about delivering opportunities & creating values & a passionate leader is the one who think the universe in a perspective that is evolving & changing constantly. There are no short cuts to success & Perseverance and Not Just Hard Work, is The Key to Success. Success is often defined as the ability to reach your goals in life, whatever those goals may be. In some ways, a better word for success might be attainment, accomplishment, or progress. It is not necessarily a destination but a journey that helps develop the skills and resources you need to thrive. Because goals are self-created, what people view as success can vary depending on their needs, goals, and situation. There are many different tactics for how to be successful in life, but the strategy that works best for you may depend on what success means to you. If you think of success as doing well at work or earning a high salary, your professional goals and accomplishments will take priority.
What has been your driving force or philosophy in life?
The driving philosophy in life as per my understanding is to have strong value system & unless & until you realize that the direction in which you are going are driven by your intuitions, the basis purpose of your life philosophy is lost. I think there are some parallels between philosophy and entrepreneurship. In philosophy, the goal is to examine certain logical transitions we make, and see if those transitions survive scrutiny. When thinking about a topic like free will, for example, we will make a number of assertions, and whizz from one assertion to the next. The goal is to slow your mind down, and try to spot possible problems with a transition. For example, you might be going through a transition (e.g. saying something like “free will is the ability to do otherwise”), and you might experience some kind of glitch with that transition. Something may not feel entirely right. At this point you should slow your mind down, and try to figure out why you are feeling that glitch. The glitch is a gift that your mind is giving you, signaling that something may not be right.
In entrepreneurship, the parallel is that we speed around our lives, and we acclimatize ourselves to the obstacles in our way. We do this so well that we often don’t consciously notice that they are obstacles. We just navigate our way around them. Your mind might register a tiny glitch at some obstacle, and part of being an entrepreneur is being able to slow down and consider the source of that glitch. Is there a problem right there, and is there a way of removing it?
How do you plan to drive your business at a global level at your current role?
When I founded Rupus Global Limited & Dr Ashley’s Limited, two successful companies today in the business of pharmaceuticals, I see my role as that of an innovator who can bring to tables infinite possibilities & plethora of opportunities. Now we are present in more than 70 countries worldwide as a reliable partner in the field of pharmaceuticals. This year I floated Rupus Global Herbal Research & Development Institute in Latvia with an aim to indulge in advanced research of herbal medicines. I selected Riga in Latvia to set up the research Centre as I found the country could be benefited from the herbal research & make it as a destination hub for supplying natural medicines, extracts to the world. We are exploring collaborations & partnership with leading institutions for advanced research. The use of herbal medicinal products and supplements has increased tremendously over the past three decades with not less than 80% of people worldwide relying on them for some part of primary healthcare. Although therapies involving these agents have shown promising potential with the efficacy of a good number of herbal products clearly established, many of them remain untested and their use are either poorly monitored or not even monitored at all. The consequence of this is an inadequate knowledge of their mode of action, potential adverse reactions, contraindications, and interactions with existing orthodox pharmaceuticals and functional foods to promote both safe and rational use of these agents. Since safety continues to be a major issue with the use of herbal remedies, it becomes imperative, therefore, that relevant regulatory authorities put in place appropriate measures to protect public health by ensuring that all herbal medicines are safe and of suitable quality. This review discusses toxicity-related issues and major safety concerns arising from the use of herbal medicinal products and also highlights some important challenges associated with effective monitoring of their safety.
Globalization is the buzzword driving the world. We are living in an era of uncertainties where global economy are at crossroads. The global economy, still reeling from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is facing an increasingly gloomy and uncertain outlook. Many of the downside risks flagged in our April World Economic Outlook have begun to materialize.Higher-than-expected inflation, especially in the United States and major European economies, is triggering a tightening of global financial conditions. China’s slowdown has been worse than anticipated amid COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns, and there have been further negative spillovers from the war in Ukraine. As a result, global output contracted in the second quarter of this year.
Your top leadership goals during tough times?
A strong leader is the one who manage crisis in difficult times. Global pandemics, domestic terrorism, cyber-attacks, white-collar crimes, and other catastrophic events are just a few of the potential crises companies face. As a leader, how can you manage each crisis in the best possible way? What are the traits you must possess to manage a crisis?. At Rupus Global, we have managed crisis effectively due to our strong understanding of the situations. During a crisis, it’s important to constantly communicate not just with employees but also with customers, clients, partners, stakeholders, or any other party that is directly or indirectly affected by how the crisis affects your business.It’s important to understand how they are affected and are coping with the situation to convey what you expect from them and what they can expect from you. It’s critical to keep your communication honest and transparent, so there’s greater accountability during difficult times. Leaders with a transformational leadership style are able to convey empathy when they communicate, leading to more effective solutions to the traditional challenges encountered in the context of a crisis in which there’s bound to be lapses in delivery.
Your greatest success mantras?
There is no single mantra to success as it has multifaceted manifestations. My mantra to success is very clear. You must be patient enough to deliver results with strong moral values, ethics & integrity. Steve Jobs once said – “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean and make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because, once you get there, you can move mountains.”. It is in our nature to complicate things. We get caught in the quagmire of information overload and lose sight of the core. The situation may be simple, but our thinking makes it complex.However, if you want to capture the essence of something, you need to figure out a way to simplify more than complicate it. Whenever you simplify a subject or phenomenon, you get closer to its original nature, essence, or truth.