Ruchin Kansal

Illustration credit: A.E. Kieren

Ruchin Kansal, Executive director and head, business innovation, Boehringer Ingelheim

You can probably count on one hand the number of top-level pharma execs with an academic background in architecture. Yet listening to Kansal talk about his role at BI—and in particular about his progressive approach to effecting change within the digital and customer-relationship realms—you start to wonder if the creative, open-minded architect mind-set may be a perfect fit for circa-2016 healthcare.

“Everyone becomes comfortable doing the job they've always done,” Kansal says. “That's just human nature, right?” Whether nudging internal constituents out of their comfort zones or working through collaborations with the likes of Humana and Anthem, Kansal and his BI group focus single-mindedly on opportunities to change or enhance the value proposition of the company's core products through emerging technologies. “It's not just about figuring out what the market changes are,” Kansal says. “It's about which of them are near-term things and which of them are going to be permanent structural changes. Focusing on the permanent ones—that's where you want to be.”

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