Internship Diaries of 2020 is a series about the various categories of roles offered by companies for summer internships. We bring to you the experiences of interns from Consulting, Finance, Marketing, General Management, Product Management, Operations and E-commerce roles to understand a bit more about their work life. The articles are meant to give the reader a glimpse into the life of an intern and help the reader understand their fit in that particular role.
Contributed by: Abhinav Kumar Jha
Picture Credits: Rishi Rathi
Edited by: Debleena Mondal
This summer, I interned with Avendus Capital in the Investment Banking Division. As part of the project, I had to research about Healthcare business, primarily focusing on the Global Pharma industry in the infectious disease therapy area. The topic of my project work was “Global study of anti-infectives market (antibiotics and antivirals) and application to the Indian context”. For our internships, we were mostly assigned research projects for future M&A deal opportunity with occasional assignments on live deals. However, the experience would have been a little different if we were at the office as we would have had a lot more exposure to live deals.
Pharma is not a very easy space if you don’t have any prior experience or background in it. At the beginning of my internship, I had to spend a lot of time in studying the pathophysiology of different diseases. After I built a fair bit of background, I found out companies involved in the R&D of new drugs in the Anti-infective therapy area. I mapped the new drugs under-development as per the stage of their clinical development. I studied different business models employed by pharma companies for new drug development and also carried out the valuation for late-stage molecules using Risk-based NPV method. Further, I studied the new drug development in the Indian Pharma space and shortlisted a set of companies as opportunities for M&A and licensing for the Indian Pharma companies.
WFH made the internship more challenging as we did not have access to databases and Bloomberg. I had to rely on the IIM B library resources and publicly available information such as WHO, FDA, Lancet, company websites, analyst coverage etc. which consumed a lot of time and effort.
It was a pretty challenging project and a great learning experience. Since the Pharma sector is a tough nut to crack, there lies the opportunity to be an I-banker. Around the world, what I observed is that most of the pharma I-bankers have a degree in Medicine (even a PhD) along with some financial background. Indian Pharma space is primarily a generic market, i.e. they copy the innovator drug when the patent or exclusivity expires and thus, we can analyze these companies reasonably well. However, in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical development will only help to differentiate drugs and value them subsequently. Other areas in the Healthcare sector include Healthcare Delivery, Diagnostics, Healthtech, Contract Manufacturing Organizations(CMO), Contract Research and Development Organisations (CRDO), etc.
As most of the interns in Investment Banking profile would agree, that it takes a lot of time to learn on the job and refine our work to make it presentable, but I received constant support from the project buddy and mentor. On average, I spent around 15-18 hrs a day to get the work done in time with sufficient quality. I would suggest all the summer aspirants keep an open mind and be ready to be shaken out of your comfort zone.
Abhinav, Rishi and Debleena are students of the PGP 2019-21 batch at IIM Bangalore.