Innately curious and determined to uphold her values have driven Arvshni Seeripat to success within her industry.
What’s your story?
I am a biopharmaceutical business leader with more than 25 years of healthcare experience. I was born in South Africa and have lived in the United States for the last 7 years. I started in the healthcare industry intending to stay for a short period of time, however I learnt very quickly that this is an industry that has the potential to give people back their lives through the innovation in medicine and services that it can offer. This impacts individuals, but it can also impact families and communities at scale. It can change the course of the world.
What excites you most about your industry?
This industry is incredibly innovative yet deeply involved in improving the healthcare of individuals and nations. The rush of drug discovery is particularly intense. The ability to take a laboratory examined and developed molecule and finally see the impact on the lives of people living with disease is satisfying. I am particularly excited by the talent that the healthcare industry attracts. These are individuals that are intellectually amazing, but also are deeply driven by purpose. The ability to do real good in the world, and make profit, seems to me to be the sweet spot.
What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?
My values of Kindness, Authenticity, Integrity, and Courage fuel my focus on the work that is right for me and drive the choices that I make. I think we do what is right for ourselves and our businesses when we keep a bright North star in focus. I am insanely curious and seek relentlessly to understand why we do what we do. What drives our decisions? Could we make different choices if we asked questions that looked at different perspectives? My career has progressed because of my curiosity, but I have been fulfilled because of my values.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
I have learned that people make choices not because of logic, but because of their internal motivators. Often, we think the decision is obvious, however others will make different choices. The skill of focusing first on the individual desires and motivations and then on the task or strategy on hand, has been a critical success factor for me. This has allowed me to bring divergent teams together, to ensure that individuals become a cohesive group and that for the most part, people feel like they get something out of a decision that does good and drives profit.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Intention, determination, and playfulness are a golden trifecta for success in business and in life. Setting the right intentions coupled with a determination to succeed, will certainly create environments conducive to success. However, if you leave out fun and joy in the process, all you have are shells of emptiness that are not sustainable. This golden trifecta creates the right culture for success. What is equally important is to constantly evaluate where you are, how you got there, and what should you do differently. This ensures that you don’t stay in a circle of failure, or a loop of despair.
Who inspires you?
My Dad inspires me. My Dad because he is an example of choice at every turn. Life sometimes doesn’t hand you the best set of cards. No point in waiting for a royal flush before you decide to act. Take the step, Take the breath, before you know it, one step becomes a marathon, one breath becomes a lifetime. Just go! Strive for progress and success and excellence will follow.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
We are the product of all our choices. If we believe we landed where we are because of the choices we make, then we believe we have the power to change the situation. If we believe that circumstances led to where we are, then we are powerless. Be the product of your choices, small or large.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Just go when I hesitated. Just move when I doubted. We can always change the next step we take. The same applies to the work we do. People living with diseases will die if we hesitate too long or live lives of pain and anguish. Take calculated decisions. Move with speed and constantly check these against your values and your intentions.
How do you unwind?
I laugh a lot (love comedy!), run (actually more a fast walk, but I like to think its a run!) and I meditate. What also fills my cup, is connecting with others, engaging on what brings them joy.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?
Your agenda and your objectives are not of critical importance to others. Seek first to understand what is key for others, help them achieve this, create value in the world first, before seeking to drive your own agenda.
Everyone in business should read this book:
- Thinking, fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman
- Finite and Infinite Games by James P Carse
Shameless plug for your business or career:
I make an impact through foresight, ability to navigate a complex and often challenging healthcare environment, both in the US and globally. I bring a deeply experienced yet focused learning mindset on what it takes to build organizations for today and the future. It starts with aligning purpose, vision, and driving incredible execution. I am extremely successful because of this approach.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.