“We continue to push the boundaries of human potential through science”

Harshvardhan Bhatkuly, Editor, Business Goa speaks to Prahlad Singh, President and CEO, Revvity, a global healthcare company, on his plans and goals for India

Revvity, Inc. is an American company in the life sciences and diagnostics business that is focused on selling to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, especially in relation to approaches making use of new cell therapy or gene therapy developments. Its origins lie with the long-existing company PerkinElmer, which has been in a variety of business lines. In 2022, a split of PerkinElmer resulted in one part, comprising its applied, food and enterprise services businesses, being sold to the private equity firm New Mountain Capital for $2.45 billion and thus no longer being public but keeping the PerkinElmer name. The other part comprising life sciencesand diagnostics businesses remained public but required a new name, which was announced as Revvity, Inc in 2023. From the perspective of Revvity, the goal of creating a separate company was that its businesses might show greater profit margins and more in the way of growth potential. The name ‘Revvity’ itself was formed from a combination of the words ‘revolution’ and ‘vita’ (life, in Latin). It was the larger of the two splitees: of around 17,000 employees of the public PerkinElmer, about 11,000 of them were assigned to it, while some 6,000 went to the newly private PerkinElmer. Initial annual revenues for Revvity were estimated at about $3 billion. Prahlad Singh and some other senior executives came to Revvity from PerkinElmer, while others were new heirs. Headquarters for

On May 9, 2023, Revvity officially launched as “a science-based solutions company that leverages innovation across life sciences and diagnostics.” One week later, the company began trading under the stock ticker symbol RVTY. This milestone was duly celebrated by members of the Revvity team. At the climax of the festivities, Revvity’s President and CEO, Prahlad Singh, PhD, rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Revvity were kept in the same town as the old PerkinElmer, that being Waltham, Massachusetts. Revvity was de-emphasing medical devices in favour of an approach based on reagents and electronic commerce. Revvity’s Goa connection is that the company acquired Tulip Diagnostics Pvt Ltd in 2017 and has been looking at its Goan entity bringing in expertise and revenue

Welcome to Goa. As owner of Tulip Diagnostics, what is the experience of owning a ‘Made in Goa’ company?

I think partnering with Tulip is probably like being part of a family. For us, it was always a vision, both on a personal and professional level, to be able to partake in the India growth story. I think Tulip is a prime example of not only how you cater to the needs of the domestic market, but also use it as an export center of excellence. Amongst all our companies within Revvity, Tulip is a shining star doing that. We are very proud to have it as part of our portfolio.

What is your plan as far as India is concerned?

Our plan is to be able to meet the needs of the market, especially for emerging infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, sickle cell, which is a market need. How do we provide and meet the needs of the market? At the very basic level, to be able to disperse, provide and address the market needs is a key priority for us.

As a corporate entity, what are your goals for healthcare on a macro level?

Our focus has always been to explore the boundaries of human potential and true science. If you look at what we have tried to do over the last five years, if you look at the portfolio transformation that we have done during Covid we were blessed to have the most sensitive and specific RTPCR test. If you go on the FDA’s website (United States), you will see our kit ranked as number one in terms of sensitivity and specificity. It generated nearly $6 billion in revenue for us. What we did is we leveraged that strength on our balance sheet and spent about 8 to 9 billion to acquire companies in the life sciences and diagnostic arena. Back then, we were called Perkin Elmer. At that time, we made a bold decision to diversify the parent company and along with it, the brand name, which gave us an opportunity to create a new brand identity for Revvity. We have with us companies like Tulip now, which have come through acquisitions, but are fast growth and high profit companies focused around diagnostics and life sciences. Essentially, that was the creation of our brand identity. I think it sets us up as a partner to pharma, biotech on the life sciences side, and to customers who are looking for disease areas that are difficult to solve. That’s where our diagnostics businesses play a vital role.

Was it a difficult decision to divest the parent holding brand to start something totally afresh?

I would not say it was difficult, but it was a bold decision that was supported by the Board. We were at a confluence wherein we had the life sciences and diagnostics side of the business, which was growing at significantly higher growth rate and margin, profit margin, versus the legacy company, which was more instrument focused, growing at a slower, late and lower profit margin. We were looking at becoming more corporate wise, like what Tulip is. It’s a significantly higher portion of the business, which is recurring, its consumables, reagents, software services. Post the divestiture, now 80% of our businesses are on a recurring revenue basis, which in the longer term, provides a steady profile, both from revenue and a margin perspective. So it was a bold decision, but it will take time. Perkin Elmer was very easy to roll off your tongue. Yet it was an 85 year old brand, and therefore easy to relate to. It will take some time for us to establish a brand identity as Revvity, but we are really excited about it.

Elaborate on the acquisition process of Tulip.

We always wanted to build a presence in India. More than anything else, we were looking for a partner who had the same ideals as us, that is, be agile, be entrepreneurial, be bold and Deepak Tripathi (President of Tulip Diagnostics) epitomizes that. For us, it was a pretty easy decision to partner on that.

‘Sustainability’ as a concept is driving India’s vision towards 2047. What are your goals and plans for sustainability and ESG?

For us, being a publicly listed company in the US, it has an added encumbrance of what our investors demand. But I think we don’t look at Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) as a metric. It is something that we have put a lot of effort in. If you look at Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and the rating agencies, we are ranked in the top quartile in terms of our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) score. As far as our targets around carbon emission, waste reduction, and diversity are concerned we are already at the top quartile of where we need to get to. It is  just the beginning of what we can do from our perspective, it is the right thing to do, and we will continue to do that.

What are your plans as an entrepreneur? What is the nature of your business?

Primarily, I have been in the diagnostics business. I left India when I was 22 years old to pursue my graduate studies in the U.S. and continued on this journey in pharma, biotech, primarily in the diagnostics and life sciences space. I think with Revvity, we now have set up a very strong platform to take off. If I were to look five years down the road, you would find us being a partner walking hand in hand with our pharma biotech customers, wherein we license technology to them for drug development. We provide them the tools and capabilities that they can use to leverage that technology, and then we work with them to develop a companion diagnostics. For example, if they are developing a drug candidate for a rare disease such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), these are very complex diseases that require a companion diagnostics to go along with it. So we work with them to develop the companion diagnostics, do the regulatory filings in all markets, and once that is done, we have a lab network around the globe. We leverage our lab network to identify patients for them to test for efficacy of the drug, if a follow up is needed during the trials and post that they begin to administer those therapies to the patient. Our focus really is as to how we provide added value to improve the productivity and efficiency of our pharma customers leveraging both our life sciences and diagnostics businesses together, and that’s the journey we are on.

What is your management and business philosophy?

‘Be resolute, be humble, be grateful.’ Those are the terms that we start with. I’ll give you an example; globally there are 140 million newborns every year. 40 millions of the newborns are tested for inborn errors of metabolism or genetic disorders at birth. We test about 39 of those 40 million babies, so majority of the babies that are tested around the world are tested by us. If I come into work in the morning, punch my card, if I don’t mess up all day and leave, I have saved 75 newborns every day. We are a very passion focused company. It is very easy to motivate people to be inspired by the work we do. It is very easy to tell your family and your friends that what you do has a purpose and makes an impact. That’s why we do this, I keep coming back, and we continue to push the boundaries of human potential through science. That is what our aim is. I think we are well equipped and are well on our way to achieve our mission.

What would you advise youngsters who are looking at life sciences as an entrepreneurial canvas for themselves?

I think I would advise youngsters to take risks that you can do early and often. Whether it says life sciences or any professional journey, you know that you’re going to fail, right? Because you don’t achieve success till you do. But if you take risks early and ofte in your career, if you want to make moves, if you want to do something, do it early, do it often, and hesitancy creeps in, plenty of times. I’ll use my career as an example, I have moved laterally, downwards, just because I wanted to get experience in different functions. But in the longer term, it has helped my career. I think doing that is probably the one piece of advice that I would give anyone who wants to pursue a career in life sciences or any profession.

What would you rank as an essential attribute for an entrepreneur?

I feel being bold enough to be willing to take manageable risks is an essential attribute. I think it’s not only about taking risks, but knowing full well, the risk that you are going to take so that you have mitigation plans; in case A doesn’t work, you have plan B, plan C and so on. I think that’s the piece that generally people, do not follow. If you tend to look at a business plan versus understanding practically, what happens in the real world are two very different things. I think a lot of time things get lost on PowerPoint and on business plans. The real test of an enterprise in in the market place.

How do you judge an investing decision in terms of PowerPoint versus real life market dynamics?

If you are going to look at an acquisition target, the number one thing is to look at if you have a need for that technology or that product line? And if you do, is it a strategic fit? Is it a cultural fit to what you are trying to do? Do they have the same mindset? You talk to customers, you look at the technology and for me to some extent, the benefit is that my focus has primarily been in my career around innovation and research and development. We try to put a lot more emphasis on technology and once you do that, then you focus on the business part of it. Is it going to have growth? Are you going to be able to leverage what you are bringing in the house? So no different than any other parameter that you would do, but just focus on the basics, and avoid getting lost in the clouds.

Mobile Ad 1

Mobile Ad 2