“Culture is very important when you're trying to build a company, especially building a company from scratch. We have no built in redundancy. Everybody has to be aligned and working towards the same mission."
- Mani Mohindru
Mani Mohindru, CEO of Novasenta has a non-traditional career path, starting as a scientist studying immune cells in the context of autoimmune diseases. She later worked in investment banking, which exposed her to different therapeutic areas, treatment modalities, and a full view of what a company can grow into. She then transitioned to the operations side of public biotechs as Chief Strategy Officer and eventually became a Chief Financial Officer before becoming the CEO of Novasena. Mani’s diverse experiences have enriched her vision of what a company can be and how to build one. Her scientific background and experience in finance and operations have taught her the discipline and focus needed in running the company.
Passion is Key: Every employee is critical in Novasenta and they need their 100% at all times. There will be changes and experiments that may not work but their mission is to work towards developing therapies for the benefit of patients and it’s critical to have people who are fully committed to that and are excited to work on these problems.
Failure is an important part of the industry. Failure should be embraced as a step forward in science. Mani encourages their employees to place their bets on data and keep moving forward, but acknowledge that biology can still surprise them. Despite failures, they believe that progress has been made and a wealth of knowledge has been created for others to build upon.
Teamwork Matters. Mani emphasized the importance of teamwork in their company and the need to leave individualistic attitudes behind. She explained that while academia may focus on individual achievement, in a company, progress must be made collectively, with different departments and employees working together to achieve a common goal.
Scientist, Investment Banker, and now Biotech CEO: Mani Mohindru, CEO of Novasenta 0:00
What is Novasenta? 0:55
How Novasenta is different from other immuno-oncology companies. 2:44
Career from investment banking as CFO to Bioscience CEO 3:15
How investment banking helped Mani in her career as a CEO of Novasenta 5:33
Benefits of Serving on Multiple Boards 9:20
Things that investors are looking for to get investment in early-stage companies 13:52
Finding the right employees for the company. 15:47
Managing the Pressure of Success and Patient Advocacy in Biotech 18:00
Company's long-term vision 19:53
Building a collaborative and cohesive Team 21:37