– Exclusive Interview with previous year winners of International BioCamp_2015 ¦ Dr.Pavithra Krishnan

Dr.Pavithra Krishnan with Mr.Ranjith Shahani, the Managing director and VC of Novartis, India.

As the participants of National BioCamp_Hyderabad,2016 have been announced, we present you our exclusive interview with previous year National BioCamp winners, Dr.Pavithra Krishnan and Dr.Manthan Mehta who made it to Basel, Switzerland.

To begin with, read what Dr.Pavithra Krishnan had told us!

What is biocamp and how did you come to know about it?

Biocamp is a four day event hosted by Novartis. It’s a platform where we get to meet great minds from different parts iof the country and their role in the pharmaceutical sector. I would simply  call it “a unique learning experience” and an opportunity to meet the who’s who of the pharma world.

I was introduced to it by my colleagues who had applied for the same last year.

Explain about the selection process:Road to Hyderabad

The selection process is rigorous. There are three steps to get there.

Step 1: A strong and impressive CV will help you get through step one. Extracurricular activities has also been given weightage apart from our academics which I believe gave me the edge over others.

Step 2: The aptitude test which is easy to crack if you know basic math(ematics) and good english.

Step 3: The telephonic interview where they assessed our overall personality.

Tell us about the Preliminary online test? How will you score the difficulty on a scale of 0-5 (0 – Easy | 5 – Insane)?

I would score it 0 because maths is my favourite subject. So I didn’t have any trouble.

Did you prepare for the telephonic interview? Give few tips on this for our readers.

No. I did not prepare for the interview. I had a few really nice seniors who gave me an idea of what to expect during the interview. Since it had nothing to do with our textbooks I did not prepare(for it).

What kind of questions were asked in the telephonic interview and on what topics were they?

It was not completely academic based. Apart from my thesis discussion and bioassay ,there was  personality assessment. Which included our interests, hobbies and leadership qualities, tackling with hypothetical life situations at work and elsewhere, to mention a few.

How was your state of mind after the interview? Did you feel positive or doubtful?

Very positive. I knew I had made it.

How helpful was your college in this achievement?

My HOD and staff have always been very supportive and encouraging. There have never been problems getting permission to attend such events. I was given my space to prepare.

What were your preparations after getting selected for the National BioCamp?

After getting selected I read up the pre reads that’s given to every selected participant. My friend, Dr.Divyalasya (Previous year participant of National BioCamp) from KIMS Bangalore, gave me an overview of how exactly things work there. I could then know which part of pharmacology I had to focus on. My brother Chaitanya, who gave me tips on management aspects. I believe that a medico with a fair amount of knowledge in Marketing (Yes, I read a few books) is likely to have an advantage.

Where there any bursaries from Novartis?

All our travel and accommodation and food was sponsored by Novartis.

How were the accommodation and other arrangements?

Beyond awesome!

A detailed walk through at Novartis, Hyderabad_BioCamp.

Day 0: Ice breaker.If you are an extrovert and love socializing this is your  day.And you get to roam  the beautiful city of Hyderabad.

Day 1: Talks and sessions focused on Clinical pharmacology.

Day 2: Talks and sessions focused on Management.

Day 3: Presentation of the case study and gala dinner.


Was there any bitter moments at BioCamp?

No. Not one.

How competitive were the other teams?

Extraordinary would be the appropriate word. Each and every team worked passionately in the task assigned and it showed on the last day of team presentations.

I have heard from previous BioCamp participants that, there will hardly be time to sleep at night. How did you pass through this drill?

It depends on your teammates and how well you can pull it off in the end. Our team had more than enough sleep on day 2 and we compensated by being awake for a long time on the night before our presentation. It wasn’t bad at all because we were having fun while we were at work.

How challenging it was being a female participant?

Well, I think gender never posed any challenge. In fact we have performed better. Two ladies out of top three.

Did attending BioCamp bring about any change in your career goals?

No change. Post Biocamp, I am only surer of where I am heading. It’s all clear now.

In what way do you think BioCamp will be helpful in sculpting your future?

The diversity that I was exposed to in the three days was mindblowing. I could easily identify my strengths and weaknesses. On what I have to work on urgently. The contacts of course will come a long way. I made some amazing friends for a lifetime!

 What are you planning to pursue after your MD?

May be after the Swiss trip I will be surer of which course to take up. Currently Industry.

After attending Biocamp, what is your say on Current Scenario of Big Pharma in India?

The future is bright and I am very optimistic about that.

What personalities in you have helped you to succeed in this workshop?


 If you want to re-experience a moment at Hyderabad, what will be that?

The Ice breaker session with my team and of course, the winning moment.

Where you determined to get selected for Basel or just went to attend the National BioCamp and eventually got selected?

I was determined to fly to Basel, just like everyone else. But not winning did not mean disappointment. I take everything in life as a “bonus”.

What are you expecting at Basel? (We asked this before she started to Basel)

Friends. Learning. Fun. (In that order)

How helpful was our WhatsApp/Telegram group?

IMPA is a great initiative for students like us. The timely clinical updates have been of immense help. Clinical Pharmac discussion inspired me to read and learn more about its various dimensions that came in handy during this Biocamp. Thanks to you Dr.Natesh Prabhu (Admin and Chief Editor of

Dr.Pavithra Krishnan is a student of Rajarajeswari Medical College and Hospital,Bangalore, Karnataka. She had worked as a  Research Intern in a Clinical Research Organisation during her post graduation period. Also she is a trained classical dancer who loves art and music apart from reading and travelling and strongly believes  that versatility makes life more adaptable and colourful.

We are happy to have her interviewed and soon will be presenting you all about her experience at International BioCamp held at Novartis Global HQ, Basel, Switzerland.

Dr.Pavithra with her team at Hyderabad

Dr.Pavithra with her team at Hyderabad









Drugs<>Therapeutics<>Big Pharma
impas Natesh Prabhu Administrator & Chief Editor | Clinical Pharmacologist | Diabetic-Sexual Medicine-Regenerative Therapy Consultant | President, Indian Medical Pharmacologists Association