Park People: Saj from Convatec
Published on 15 June 2023
Following the acquisition of Milton Park-based 30 Technology’s antimicrobial platform, we spoke to Saj from Convatec to learn more about the company’s plans and the transition of becoming part of a worldwide organisation.
Can you tell us a bit about Convatec?
Convatec is a global medical products and technologies company with a 10,000 strong workforce – providing products and services in nearly 100 countries across advanced wound care, ostomy care, continence care and infusion care.
Our solutions provide a range of benefits, from infection prevention and protection of at-risk skin, to improved patient outcomes and reduced care costs. Last year alone, we sold more than 850 million products generating revenues of over $2 billion.
In April 2023, Convatec acquired a highly innovative antimicrobial technology platform from 30 Technology, the world leader in clinical nitric oxide generation technology. Convatec is well placed to commercialise this technology and will explore its application across our business categories.
The acquisition included its Milton Park lab and personnel, of which I was part of.
Going from a company with a couple dozen employees to one with thousands at first seemed like a very big change, but in reality – as we’ve kept our location and equipment – it’s been a smooth process.
By rebranding the site and receiving a visit from CEO Karim Bitar and Chief Technology Officer Dr Divakar Ramakrishnan, we do really feel we’ve been able to bring Convatec to life at Milton Park and look forward to being part of the company’s future plans as one of Convatec’s Technology Centres.
What does your role as Technical Operations Manager involve?
My job covers a wide range of responsibilities, but fundamentally my role is to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Convatec Technology Centre, its team and resources.
When I started here just over three years ago (during the first lockdown), I was presented with an empty white lab space and tasked with getting it fully operational – from purchasing all equipment and consumables to hiring a team and implementing all the processes for lab testing and lab support.
I’m tremendously proud that I was able to get the lab successfully up and running to a standard where a company such as Convatec was so impressed by our work and approach that it consequently decided to acquire us as an asset.
What do you enjoy most about your job and working at Convatec?
Knowing that I’m part of company that has such a huge impact on so many patients globally is incredibly rewarding. We have a promise of ‘forever caring’ which is really powerful and although I’m relatively new to Convatec, I feel the work we do will certainly contribute to our vision of pioneering trusted medical solutions to improve the lives we touch.
What’s an exciting project you’re working on at the moment?
We’re involved in the process of commercialising Convatec’s first product in the advanced wound care space, utilising the highly innovative nitric oxide technology platform acquired. Once it’s passed through regulators and undergone clinical trials, we truly believe this can be transformative to patients.
How does your life and work connect at Milton Park?
The breadth of amenities available close at hand across the Park are really useful, particularly the Post Office, Milton Feast and the Hive Café at Bee House – the latter of which is only across the road from our premises, conveniently located for a coffee break and bite to eat.
For Convatec, being surrounded by so many innovative companies, from flagships to start-ups, is a great advantage and helps to foster collaborations such as our direct work with Milton Park-based Aptuit and Evotec. Additionally, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the recent Beauhurst report findings, outlining the huge investment Milton Park companies have received over the past decade – equating to over 7% of the UK’s total life sciences investment.
What has also become clear in recent months is how well placed we are here at Milton Park to host international colleagues coming in from around the world, as well as those from other parts of the UK.
What do you enjoy the most about working at Milton Park?
I’m always struck by how green Milton Park is – the plants, paths and lagoons are always well maintained and provide a great nature-packed back drop to work in.
I also enjoy being part of the Greener Workplace Forum – where representatives from many of the companies across the Park meet and discuss sustainable initiatives and best practice as well as receiving updates from the Milton Park team on projects such as the autonomous bus, recycling schemes, car sharing platform and school engagement programme.
And last, but by no means least, the ‘Explore Milton Park’ programme has been great to take part in – helping to inspire local students into STEAM careers via a range of activities such as interactive panels, interview practice and talks. I can’t wait to see it grow in the months to come.
Saj talking to local students from the ‘Explore Milton Park’ launch event in February 2023
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