September / October 2023

2023 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo Q&A

Joydeep Ganguly
2023 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo Q&A

The Executive Chair for this year’s Annual Meeting offers advice and shares what attendees can expect at the upcoming conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Joydeep Ganguly
Senior Vice President – Corporate Operations and Chief Sustainability Officer
Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Ganguly is Annual Meeting Executive Chair for the 2023 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo, held 15–18 October. He attended his first ISPE Conference in 2004 in Washington, DC, and has been an ISPE member since 2016. Ganguly has been a Facility of the Year Award (FOYA) judge and served on the Global Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Leadership Forum; he has also been published in Pharmaceutical Engineering® and was awarded the 2006 ISPE Roger F. Sherman Article of the Year Award.

Why Did You Volunteer to Be Executive Chair?

ISPE’s Annual Meeting & Expo is an amazing curation of the industry’s top minds within the operations space. As the world around us is changing and industry imperatives are evolving, I was intrigued by the opportunity to work with ISPE and the planning committee to develop an agenda a that focused on two important items: a futuristic view of where operations, engineering, and technology are heading and to ground the conference in a real-world, practitioner-led agenda that people would find compelling. We have put together a conference that brings us closer to science and patients, includes topics that are promising to be constructive disruptors in our industry, and stays true to what consistently makes this conference special—a real-world focus.

In addition, this gave me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a front seat to the entire gamut of topics that were relevant, and the chance to review submissions that are defining the standards within our industry. So selfishly, this was a tremendous learning opportunity for me to benefit from the best of the industry.

What Are the Top Three Reasons You Would Tell Someone They Should Attend This Conference?

There are many reasons to attend this year’s conference. There’s a broad agenda that caters to every aspect of pharmaceutical operations, delivered by industry leaders that have shaped where we are today. The conference offers the chance to network with a peer circle that represents every part of the value spectrum within our industry. The agenda is cutting edge: It is not a rehash of topics we’ve heard, but truly a unique point of view on topics like modernization and digital and operational excellence, all through the eyes of experts that have a practitioner vantage point.

Any Advice for Someone Who Has Never Been to an ISPE Conference?

Learn and network. Take the time to not only listen to sessions, but also to network. Some of the most critical value I’ve gained from this conference has been in offline discussions with leaders and post-conference connections. Some of the projects that we’ve seen the greatest value from in my company and within my function started after a random conversation with a thought leader within a space I had little domain depth. That is the beauty of this conference: it creates an opportunity to connect with thought leaders and partners in a very organic manner.

What Are You Most Looking Forward to at the Conference?

In addition to attending some amazing sessions and keynotes, I am really interested in interacting with my peers.

Research Panel

I get the privilege of moderating a panel with Flavius Martin, who heads up worldwide research for Gilead Sciences, and I know he will share an interesting perspective on how, as a profession, we can add more value to the overall scientific ambitions within the industry.


I am really looking forward to connecting with colleagues, learning how different sectors within our industry are evolving, and hearing how peer organizations are continuing to redefine value.

The Next Generation of Leaders

I also spend a lot of time working with ISPE on emerging leader development, diversity internship sponsorships, and workforce of the future initiatives, so I am also looking forward to hearing about novel models in the space and learning from other companies and organizations on how they are investing in the next generation of leaders.

Why Do You Think Professional Development Is Important? What Professional Development Opportunities Are Available at the Conference?

Professional development is the foundation to our culture of continuous learning. If one aligns on the tenet that people are the biggest asset within an organization, then investment in people through professional development opportunities is the surest and fastest way to create a culture of excellence. In my view, investment in professional development is how we continue to out-innovate problems, redefine innovation standards, and create value. As an industry that is very lucky to have a patient at the end of our supply chain, that value and innovation carries much meaning. In that sense, I see professional development as a leadership commitment—to ourselves and to our industry.

There are many professional development opportunities at the conference—from formal training sessions to industry-expert discussions to networking. This is also a great opportunity to find mentors in the industry. In fact, one of my first mentors was someone I met at a conference, who went on to inform multiple career decisions I made.

Why Do You Enjoy Being a Member of ISPE?

ISPE has been an invaluable resource for me. In the earlier years of my career, the Society served as an education portal, providing access to thought leaders and a network of colleagues who shaped my way of thinking. Eventually, as I began contributing more to conferences and forums, ISPE afforded me a platform to vet, discuss, and stress-test ideas that needed critical peer review.

As we now enter a new era—technologically and socially—I continue to be impressed by the efforts of ISPE to drive discussions and plans to inspire the next generation. ISPE and its foundation are doing important work to further inclusion and diversity efforts within our profession. It has informed the way I look at hiring, retaining, and developing talent within my own team and has created a greater sense of resolve to ensure our profession continues to find ways to lead in this space.

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