Excellence in Leadership
Pratap Khedkar is a Managing Principal on ZS Associates’ executive team where he leads the firm’s Philadelphia office and oversees ZS’s global Pharmaceuticals practice.
In that role, he has advised numerous companies and clients in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries on a wide range of sales and marketing issues.
“As I lead work in an industry that undergoes rapid change, it has been very satisfying for me to be able to ‘look around the corner,’ identify emerging challenges and create teams led by very able colleagues who are then able to shape new offerings and perspectives that can help clients change significantly the way they operate,” he says.
“My most satisfying accomplishment is helping shape ZS and contributing to client success over the past 15 years in the health care industry. Being able to implement your answer and see the impact through has always been important to me.”
Most recently, his work with clients has focused on developing effective strategies and analytics for multi-channel marketing. “Creating new practices that help the industry evolve—such as developing commercial approaches to the payer stakeholder and encouraging a more customer-centric way of thinking—is a key to being continually relevant,” Khedkar says.
“Over the course of my career, I have been able to work across many different industries as well, and the combination of breadth and depth is personally gratifying after coming into the consulting profession following a very technical background.”
And ask him what he likes most about the consulting profession, he says: “Every problem is different, and engaging with my client to understand a situation by articulating their questions and providing answers is a source of great joy to me. This, coupled with the pressure to constantly reinvent myself, helps, too.”
In addition, Khedkar says he’s motivated by the feeling that he can’t let others down, including clients, team members, and especially himself. “Excellence is a journey, not a destination—and the impetus to keep going has to come from within, not from someone else’s demands,” he says.
And that journey has led Khedkar to a Top 25 Consultants Award.
“This award asserts my firm’s dedication to clients and to quality work, and to carry on a proud tradition of creating impact, in addition to being part of a group that has won this prestigious award in the past,” Khedkar says. “It reiterates for me the high standard to which I must hold myself accountable.”
What stands out the most about the work you do?
“I like to think that my work strives to bring scientific fact-based rigor and quantitative thinking to many aspects of business – especially sales and marketing practices that can be driven by the qualitative. A blend of science and art is always important, but as the business climate changes and the past is less relevant, there is a greater need for this. I try to not only bridge this gap, but be able to articulate the ‘why’ in a way that is practical and implementable.”