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Vijaya Kuppa

Vijaya Kuppa

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

An expert independent Pharmacovigilance and Drug Safety consultant with over 14 years of experience facing and resolving some of the industry's toughest challenges in the GCP, GVP space..

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

As a new member, I joined the network to find a community of hard working, expert women working with integrity and professional pride. I hope that through this community, I am able to find lasting mentorship, friendship, and provide support to others!

How would you define your professional mission?

To build a career based on reputation and personal brand value. To become the leading consulting service provider within the Pharmacovigilance and Drug Safety Quality/Compliance space globally. To become known for the value and quality of my work.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

High integrity, speaking up when no one else is willing to, handling mistakes or challenges head on and fixing them, being comfortable with silence, only speaking when adding value, knowing self-worth and the value of your own ideas, having the ability to think creatively, having the mindset that quality is by design and not due to chance.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

I hope that I can become a thought leader in my field, being known as someone who isn't afraid to challenge even the highest status quo, leading by example and compassion. I hope that my work and my integrity are seen as bench markers to others in the field.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

My job is aligned with my sense of purpose. I hope that through diligent compliance and quality management, my teams are able to bring more life-saving, cutting edge therapies to patients in need. Each new therapy that makes it on to the market provides hope for someone - I feel a sense of moral obligation to be the gatekeeper, to ensure that the teams I am working with are delivering the best quality work and product they can to ensure it is as safe as possible to the patients.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

Compassion. In any company I work with, people feel comfortable to discuss their personal journeys, difficulties and often seek ways to move forward and improve themselves.

What does success look like to you?

Growing my business to become an international service provider, to have clients share their positive experiences. Have client reviews which indicate they had peace of mind/confidence upon hiring me/my team. To become financially independent, to pass on this responsibility to my children.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

Work-life balance often is a disillusionment. In my line of work, we have a lot of down time followed by intense, 20 hour work days for weeks at a time. Instead of focusing on creating a balance, I focus on establishing appropriate expectations. I always give priority to my life (i.e. children, my marriage, my parents etc). As a consultant, I ensure there is no mismatch in expectations with my tribe/village (my husband, my parents, etc). This helps me enjoy my family time when I can but also focus 100% on my work when I need to.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

Don't focus on the name/brand of company. It's the work that matters. While it may sound great to work with a very high profile company, often the work is repetitive and ability to move up/across is limited due to competition. In smaller companies, you get an idea of what makes a company run, how a team is built, and how various functions interact with each other. You can earn a sense of respect for other teams and have more insights into the overall lifecycle management. It really helps to get this experience early on in the career, before we become 'too experienced'.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Be loyal to your career and your purpose, not to a company.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

It's overwhelming to be a working mom. The background noise of worrying about kids is never ending and unfortunately, people at work may or may not get it. It's not your burden to educate them. Focus on yourself, your needs, and your changing requirements. Do your best when you have the opportunity and when needed, take the time you need to feel your best. And please don't ask for permission to take care of a sick child. Instead, inform that you will need some time to take care of your child, and explain how you will manage your work and when needed, delegate the work to members on your team. It shows initiative, leadership, and most of all, ownership to ensuring you will deliver on your work. Work, like life, is a give and take. Give respect to others, help when you can. When needed, take the due respect for yourself as well.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.