Silicon100 2017

Making a difference in medical research and healthcare: GCE Solutions

thesiliconreview-neha-aggarwal-ceo-gce-solutions-17Clinical research is the foundation for making advancements in medications, diagnostic tests, and new devices. However, the majority of the endeavors in this field are focused on the rational development of new drugs. Because the rise in pharmaceutical and medical device industries has resulted in a heightened demand for productivity, speed, and cost-effectiveness, delivering excellence in research services is more critical than ever. GCE Solutions is leading the charge to meet the demand. 

Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, USA, GCE Solutions, Inc., was founded in 2006 as an IT business solutions provider. The combination of leadership’s desire to contribute to the development of life-changing drugs and the economic downturn of 2008 caused a shift to the flourishing pharmaceutical market with an emphasis in biometrics. Now known as a leading clinical research organization (CRO) with locations in the US, Europe, Mexico, and India, its offerings include biostatistics, statistical programming, medical writing, data management, and data visualization. 

A chat with Founder and CEO Neha Aggarwal: 

What challenges did you face in your initial years?

It was not easy to find hardworking, like-minded, adaptable talent who could identify with the mission, vision, and culture of the company.  Of course, funding and growing a client base are always the factors once a company decides to expand. We had to learn to navigate the rules and regulations in countries of global expansion. GCE has been able to find its way around the roadblocks and challenges by developing a consistent track record of excellence. Our clients have been our best advocates. The mantra for success has been to “be adaptable, persistent, and consistent.” 

If you had to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be? 

  • The diverse backgrounds and expertise of our team
  • The unwavering focus of each team member
  • Our dogged persistence
  • Agility
  • Good old-fashioned hard work 

What have you learned as you have continued to grow the business?

We’ve learned that not spreading ourselves too thin just for the sake of being everywhere enables us to give our full attention to a limited number of clients at one time. Analysis has always been the key. If you analyze accurately, you are in a better position to say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ This strategy has helped us focus on what we want to achieve and has put us on the path to success.  

What kind of mixed responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?

Of course, there have been lessons learned along the way, but we have always responded positively to feedback by doing what is needed to remedy the problem, even if it means reallocating financial or human resources. Our commitment and persistence have produced the quality, consistency, and flexibility that our clients have come to expect and appreciate. GCE boasts a 90% rate of repeat business largely due to our approach of becoming a trusted strategic partner, not just another vendor. This two-way strategic relationship creates an openness which welcomes feedback, which in turn leads to the development of effective solutions.  

What drives/inspires you to excel in your field of business?

Knowing that our work is contributing to getting the drugs to the hands of the people who need them, and then to the eventual betterment of medical facilities and of overall health is our greatest source of inspiration. The positive client testimonials always provide an additional boost. 

A Snapshot of CEO Neha Aggarwal

As CEO of one of the fastest-growing clinical research organizations (CROs) in the world, Aggarwal was only 24 years old and new to the business world when she launched the company in 2006. Her background is in IT, but she has since complemented that with an MBA, and the last eleven years have provided seemingly a lifetime of experience. 

When asked about the recent growth of GCE Solutions, Aggarwal says the company has always taken the path of organic expansion and that once they build expertise in an area, they naturally add peripheral services, followed by a global roll-out of the expertise and services. She adds that unlike many of their counterparts, they offer clinical IT services and an arm that delivers biometrics innovations and solutions. The company’s Innovations Group will soon introduce two new products centering on met a data-based development and data anonymization and de-identification. The goal, she states, is to be an end-to-end strategic solutions provider for their pharmaceutical clients.

“GCE wants to be known as a company which contributes to better medicines and shortens the time of drug development, thereby making a real difference in the lives of people.”