BMS: Indian Leadership Transformation


Pharmaceutical industry leader, BMS, made a strategic decision to globalize their new drug discovery operations in order to take advantage of the global talent pool. BMS decided to utilize its 80 PhDs in India who previously were doing drug testing.

There were two major challenges:

  1. Create a world class drug discovery organization when the prior work of these individuals was to do drug testing a relatively uncreative, follow the rules type of work and become innovative thinkers.
  2. Develop the cultural savvy to have a far more collaborative relationship with the US based drug discovery organization.


GDI initially conducted a two day workshop for the 80 Indian PhDs in order to address the most important factors for the participants and the most impactful way to introduce culture change and organizational change required. Senior leaders were also provided with Executive Coaching to support their new responsibilities. An Executive briefing was delivered to the Executive Council in the US, detailing the key learnings and challenges and identifying specific areas of support. A series of training programs for the US-based teams on partnering with Indian Colleagues was delivered in the US for those working on the project, and senior US leaders were provided with coaching to parallel what was delivered to the Indian leadership.


Over a six month period all of the key Indian and US leaders participated in customized cross-cultural training programs and senior leaders were provided with coaching to support the new drug discovery operations in India.

The Director of the program wrote after the completion to the training:

I have been anxiously awaiting to send you this communication informing you of how very pleased and happy I am with the great program that your team developed and rolled out for our BMS-Biocon Research Center. This was much more than I expected and the program truly exceeded my expectations. Thank you very much for your assistance and being so very flexible, amenable and professional during this whole process. Not only did the GDI intervention save considerable time and resources, we had many reports indicating that trust and better relationship were directly related to the training and coaching.