Nandini Hadker, executive director of commercial strategy at Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions, is the next generation of leadership.

• Her approach is multidisciplinary: She’s an economist by training immersed in the biotech and pharmaceutical worlds.

• She puts in 100 percent both at work and at home.
• She thrives on her client work and relationships, and is bent on moving her company forward.

• Once she has the right people in place, she steps back and empowers them to make things happen.

• And she’s as concerned for her staff as she is about her clients.

“It’s important to me that I grow a business that’s committed to serving our clients’ needs but also supports the career aspirations of our staff,” she says. “What do we as professionals want? Where do we see our careers going?”

Hadker, 37, knew at an early age that she would find a career in science. At that time, her then 6-year-old sister survived a life-threatening illness, thanks in part to experimental pharmaceuticals.

Leaving Bombay, India, for her undergraduate work at the University of Connecticut as an 18-year-old – a gutsy move at the time – Hadker majored in economics as the first step in her overall vision for creating well-being.

“As an economist, my thoughts are shaped by how we can make societal improvements on a large scale given that we have limited resources to do so,” she says. “So these two threads, the life sciences and economics, come together in the work that I do: bringing pharmaceuticals and medical diagnostics to market to help patients and help improve their quality of life.”

Upon her return to India after graduation, Hadker worked at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research to manage aid coming into India. Her colleagues had advanced degrees, and so she returned to the U.S. to earn a master’s at Boston University. Her initial intention was to return to India, but she was courted by U.S. companies and by her now husband.

Beginning at A.C. Nielsen’s BASES Client Service Group, Hadker was an analyst testing new product concepts and forecasting their demand and sales potential in U.S. and international markets.

“That gave me a strong foundation in understanding human behavior and how that varies as you move from country to country, how products are adopted in different societies and the impact of competitive activity. It taught me about quantitative statistical methods. I leverage those skills and that knowledge to this day.”

Hadker moved to Boston from Connecticut to collocate with her husband, who was working here, choosing Lexington-based Abt in 1999 from a number of opportunities.

The company stood out for several reasons, Hadker says: its macro perspective and broad portfolio of services, an impressive multidisciplinary talent pool and staff dedicated to improving the quality of life and well-being of people worldwide.

Working primarily with Fortune 50 clients, Hadker’s role has progressed from senior consultant/project manager to principal consultant to executive director. Along the way, she added business development to her responsibilities of new product development, pricing and brand management.

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