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When She Founded with Somer Hamrick, CEO & Founder of Channel Clinical is an insider view on what it really takes to start and scale a company in STEM. Each episode takes a deeper look into one such business venture and the woman who started it. Industry mavens describe their personal path to entrepreneurship through one-on-one conversations with a host who has been figuring it out herself. Somer Hamrick launched her own company in early 2019. With 20 years’ experience in business development and half that specifically in global health and clinical research, Somer found herself having to reach outside the life science community for support and mentorship. She created When She Founded as a platform to share what she has learned and is still learning, on her journey. This podcast demystifies some of the steps for female founders in industries where representation is lacking.

Feb 27, 2020

Hitha Palepu is the CEO of Rhoshan Pharmaceuticals, an early-stage life sciences company focused on providing early treatment to the acute leading causes of death. She is the Founder of Hitha On The Go and the author of How To Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip. Hitha is a sought-after speaker on topics related to lifestyle, philanthropy, and healthcare and is an active angel investor and advisor. Currently, Hitha also serves on the Board of Directors at Sundara, a non-profit organization focused on sustainable hygiene and empowering women in India.

Hitha joins me today to share her humble beginnings of watching her father build a pharmaceutical development company and how it inspired her entrepreneurial spirit.  She shares the lessons she learned about business and product development while working as the VP of Business Development of her father’s organization and what it’s like to work with her father as a father-daughter co-founder team. We discuss how her father’s company pivoted from SciDose to Rhoshan Pharmaceuticals and the importance of conducting market research before developing products. Hitha also shares how she balances her time between working as the CEO of Rhoshan Pharmaceuticals while spending time with her husband and young children.

“It’s about having the flexibility to adapt. It’s about having the grit to keep pitching with the same energy and enthusiasm the hundredth time as you did the first time.” - Hitha Palepu


Today on When She Founded:

  • Hitha’s childhood upbringing and career background
  • The difference between the R&D side vs the commercialization side of the pharmaceuticals industry
  • The lessons Hitha has learned while working as the Vice President of Business Development at her father’s company, SciDose
  • What it’s like to be a father-daughter co-founder team
  • Feeling burnt out in her career in pharmaceuticals
  • Challenges associated with working in pharmaceutical development
  • Turning perceived failures into massive successes
  • The inspiration behind her book: How To Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip
  • Shifting the company focus, conducting market research, and ensuring product value
  • Overcoming fears and staying open and transparent with your team
  • The importance of accepting feedback, constructive criticism, and learning to not take ‘no’s’ personally
  • The importance of staying flexible, having grit, and maintaining your enthusiasm
  • How Hitha developed her support system and the advice she would give to women thinking about leaving the corporate world to start their entrepreneurial journey
  • How Hitha juggles her time between work and motherhood and the importance of developing a team of support in your personal and professional life


Resources Mentioned:


Connect with Hitha Palepu:


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