Founded in 2010, Axtria is a global provider of cloud software and data analytics to the
industry that helps companies bring therapeutics to the market faster. It recently turned unicorn—companies with valuation of at least $1 billion—after raising $150 million from Bain Capital Tech Opportunities.
According to the Gurugram-based company, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, it had about 1,400 employees and now it has about 2,200.
“There is a war for talent. There’s always been a lot more demand for talent than the supply, but it has gone to a different level,” said Jaswinder Chadha, chief executive officer of Axtria (US).
“We need three kinds of skill sets in our business. We need pharma and industry knowledge, we need digital technologies expertise, and we need data and analytics expertise. India has a very large and a very deep pool. With the focus on data and analytics, and the focus on digital technologies, we can’t find too much talent in India and especially with people having experience in pharma and commercial operations.”
That, however, is changing gradually as every year the number of people with these skills is growing. He said that a lot of the fast-growing companies that are doing data analytics either have a lot of Indian workforce who work for them, or they actually have teams in India.
“India is very well positioned for data analytics and digital technologies. Where the market is moving is that India has largely been driven by services. So this is people’s expertise, they basically are selling their time,” Chadha said. “Where the market is changing and we are seeing a surge of companies in India is where they’re going beyond the digital technologies and building products and platforms.”
He said this will be a distinguishing factor and that it is not just technical expertise but also the ability to build products that companies are scouting for.
Chadha said that the market space that Axtria operates in is very large and is currently at over $5 billion and is growing rapidly. In the next five years, he expects this marketplace to be worth $8-10 billion, only in the commercial space. However, he said that if one were to add the clinical space too, this number would increase significantly and thus provide a large and lucrative market for the company to operate in.
He said that healthcare is a very large segment of the world GDP. And within that there’s a very large investment that is made on the product, on drug discovery and how the drugs reach the patients. He said that in the last five years, Axtria’s cumulative growth rate has been over 30%. And in 2020, it was over 50%. Currently, the company has recorded revenue of over $150 million and has been profitable, Chadha said.
“And a company like ours has the ability to get to a billion dollars in revenue. Most of it will be organic, some of this may be inorganic, because we are very strong in the commercial operations area. Where we see a lot of opportunity is in the clinical space. We don’t do a lot of work in the clinical space. We do have some products and some capabilities, but most of our expertise in the commercial space. And if you look at the spend of the pharma industry on clinical versus commercial, they spend twice the amount of dollars in clinical than they do in commercial,” he said.
Chadha said the company will continue to focus on garnering large global companies as customers, most of which will be based in the United States, Western Europe and Japan.
“The rest of the world, if you look at India, China, Brazil, South Africa and the other BRIC countries, most of those countries actually do not develop new molecules. They focus a lot on genetics and the ingredients that go into these drugs. And since our focus is very much on bringing these new products to the market, our natural selection of customers tend to be in the US, Western Europe and Japan,” he said.