Agency 100 2022: Purohit Navigation
In 2021, Purohit Navigation President Anshal Purohit found herself asking two related questions: What makes our people work best? And what gives the best job?
While the previous year was disrupted by COVID-19, Purohit says the agency overcame the immediate crisis thanks to a strong internal support system, strong client relationships and already established work from home .
Politics. In contrast, 2021 has been “more of a period of optimization,” she explains. “We have found a new spirit and a new character as a company. Everything else was taken away and we were forced to rely on each other in different ways.
As a result, Purohit felt confident moving to a fully remote model, even though the company retains its Chicago offices. “It freed us up in the caliber of hiring that we can do,” she adds. The workforce remained stable in 2021 at 50 full-time.
Another initiative that kicked off in 2020 and crystallized in the last year was Purohit Navigation’s investment in its strategy and critical analytics teams. The agency has also tweaked the way it structures its account teams: each is now assigned a dedicated strategic planner, most of whom have advanced health degrees, to help bridge the gaps between project management, capabilities creative and scientific.
Customers have responded favorably, Purohit reports. “Partnerships that we’ve always valued are those where we can engage with our customers early and bring them to fruition,” she says. “And we have more than ever.”
As an example, she cites the agency’s work with Star Therapeutics. Purohit Navigation started working with the company a few years ago and led it through “corporate de-stealth”, developing a brand identity and logo. During that time, Star has raised over $100 million in funding.
Two other examples of the agency’s ability to cover strategy through launch stand out for Purohit: exploratory strategy work on a point-of-care COVID diagnostics and monitoring code for LumiraDx, one of eight clients which Purohit Navigation added to its roster in 2021, and an ongoing global launch of Hepcludex, Gilead’s antiviral treatment for chronic hepatitis D. After Gilead acquired German virology biotech MYR, which developed the therapy that was to become Hepcludex, Purohit Navigation won the account based on a previous working relationship with Gilead over its liver portfolio.
2021 revenue was flat at $19 million estimated by MM+M, though Purohit is quick to note that “the start of this year is stronger than the start of last year for us” – which is testament possibly from the aforementioned optimization period.
As Purohit Navigation enters its 37th year as an independent woman-led business, Purohit is proud of the company’s ability to endure and thrive without compromising its values.
“There have been ups and downs over the years, but we’ve been doing this for a long time,” she says. “A lot of it is because we’re rooted in research and have people who are willing to go the extra mile for their colleagues, themselves and our clients.
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Work from outside the pharmaceutical industry you admire…
There have been so many amazing innovations. There are books I wish I had the talent to write (like A hundred years of loneliness), technologies I wish I had the ability to invent (like Curiosity), and service platforms I wish I had the foresight to design (like Airbnb). That said, I’m quite happy to learn from ideas while looking to the future, trying to come up with new innovations on my own. — Purohit
Excerpt from the June 01, 2022 issue of MM+M – Medical Marketing and Media