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Career Perspectives: A Conversation with Pratibha Jalui

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Explore FSP Careers

For this edition of the Career Perspectives series, I had the opportunity to interview Pratibha Jalui, Director, Functional Service Provision (FSP) at Cytel. Pratibha, who is based in India and plays a crucial role in Cytel’s FSP business. In this conversation, Pratibha shares insights into her extensive professional background, the work culture at Cytel, and the qualities required to join the highly esteemed FSP group at the company.

Can you give us a background on your career and your professional journey so far?

My professional journey has been both fulfilling and transformative. With a background in programming and statistics, I have climbed the ranks to become a successful leader, driving Functional Service Provision (FSP) programming and statistical services for large engagements. Throughout my career, I have embraced diverse roles, tackled complex challenges, and honed my expertise in managing global teams. Along the way, I have been fortunate to work with excellent mentors, leaders, and individuals who have been instrumental in helping me overcome obstacles and seize opportunities for growth. This journey has not only shaped my skills but also instilled in me a deep passion for empowering others and driving innovation. I am proud of the milestones I have achieved so far, and I look forward to continuing my impactful journey within the dynamic field of FSP programming and statistical services.

What is your role at Cytel and what do you like best about it?

As the Director, FSP Services, I find my role invigorating and deeply meaningful. Leading a substantially large global team of programmers and statisticians, I am empowered to drive transformative change through data-driven insights. Witnessing the tangible impact of our work on Cytel and our clients fuels my passion for excellence and innovation. Guiding and empowering my team to reach their full potential is a constant source of inspiration, as we collectively shape the future, embrace challenges, and make a meaningful difference in the world.

Which departments or teams do you closely collaborate with? Can you describe a situation where collaboration with a particular department or team was crucial in overcoming a challenge or achieving a significant milestone?

Collaboration lies at the core of our organizational culture at Cytel, as we strive to work hand in hand with different departments and teams to accomplish our objectives. We have had many fruitful collaborations with human resources (HR) and finance, particularly. A notable example was when the HR team provided invaluable assistance post a large client engagement, which required resource reallocation. Through our partnership, we effectively addressed the challenges associated with realigning specific roles and responsibilities, resulting in heightened productivity, and fully leveraging employee potential. This joint effort entailed skillfully navigating the complexities of the process and formulating a comprehensive plan tailored precisely to meet our business needs.

Can you provide an overview of Cytel’s FSP business? In your view, what sets this group apart from other companies in terms of its approach, capabilities, and expertise?

Cytel’ s FSP business is truly exceptional. We take pride in our ability to manage a large, talented, global team of programmers and statisticians, dedicated to delivering top-notch services. What sets us apart is our unique approach, capabilities, and expertise. We prioritize a collaborative partnership with our clients, tailoring our solutions to their specific needs. Our deep domain knowledge, coupled with cutting-edge technologies, enables us to provide insightful data analysis, strategic recommendations, and innovative solutions. We strive for excellence, consistently exceeding expectations and adding value at every step. It is this unwavering commitment to quality, client-centricity, and unmatched expertise that differentiates our FSP business from others in the industry.

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What combination of knowledge, skills, and technical competencies are required to excel within Cytel FSP?

I strongly believe that above all you’ve got to be intellectually curious about everything that you do. You’ve got to be flexible and willing to step out of your comfort zone. Try to look at things holistically. To truly excel within Cytel FSP, a potent blend of comprehensive industry knowledge, versatile skills, and cutting-edge technical competencies is paramount. This powerful combination enables one to deliver exceptional solutions, foster strong client relationships, and propel our organization to the forefront of the industry.

What growth opportunities are available for employees within FSP? Can you provide examples of career paths or progression that individuals have experienced?

Within FSP, we have always nurtured an environment that supports professional growth and advancement. Our employees have access to a myriad of opportunities to expand their skill sets and broaden their horizons. From specialized training programs and certifications to cross-functional collaborations and leadership development initiatives, we empower individuals to chart their own career paths. Many have witnessed a remarkable journey of professional growth, transitioning from humble entry-level roles to commanding senior positions, leading teams, and driving strategic initiatives. We celebrate these success stories as a testament to our commitment to fostering a culture of continuous learning, enabling our employees to unlock their full potential and achieve remarkable career growth within Cytel.

As a leader, how do you prioritize work-life balance and employee well-being?

As a leader, I hold work-life balance and employee well-being as paramount. I prioritize this by fostering a culture that values personal time and mental wellness. Our team encourages open communication, flexible schedules, and provides resources for self-care. I strive to create an environment of trust where my team thrives both professionally and personally. By prioritizing their well-being, we nurture seamless collaboration that fuels productivity, creativity, and long-term success.

How does Cytel foster an inclusive and supportive environment for women leaders?

At Cytel, fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for women leaders has always been a top priority. We actively promote gender diversity and ensure equal opportunities for growth and advancement. We provide mentorship support, networking forums, and tailored development initiatives specifically designed to empower women in leadership roles. By cultivating a culture of respect, amplifying diverse voices, and championing inclusivity, we create a nurturing space where women can thrive, excel, and shatter the glass ceiling.

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What advice would you give to younger women just starting out in biostatics and programming?

To young women who aspire to enter the fields of biostatistics and programming, I would advise you to embrace your passion, unleash your potential, and defy any limitations society may impose on you. Believe in your capabilities, seek mentorship, and continuously expand your knowledge. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and never hesitate to voice your ideas.

Together, we can redefine the landscape, creating an inclusive and diverse environment where every voice is valued and celebrated.

Can you share any recent accomplishments or success stories?

Certainly! Some recent accomplishments that fill me with pride involve successfully leading my global team of programmers and statisticians to deliver groundbreaking solutions for my client. By leveraging our collective expertise and adopting innovative approaches, we developed a robust data analysis framework that revolutionized the client’s decision-making process. Our solution not only provided accurate and actionable insights but also significantly improved operational efficiency, saving valuable time and resources. These accomplishments garnered accolades from the client and strengthened our reputation as a trusted partner in delivering exceptional FSP programming and statistical services. It serves as a testament to our team’s dedication, expertise, and commitment to driving impactful results for our clients. As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and the recent announcement of our client engagement being extended for five years stands as undeniable evidence of this fact!!

What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of working in this field and at Cytel?

It’s been more than eighteen awesome years of working in this field and over eight amazing years at Cytel. The most rewarding aspect is witnessing the transformative impact we have on people’s lives. Whether it’s developing life-saving treatments, advancing scientific knowledge, or making a positive difference in our communities, the opportunity to contribute to meaningful work is truly fulfilling. Moreover, being part of an organization that fosters innovation, embraces diversity, and empowers its employees amplifies this sense of reward, making every day a source of inspiration and pride.

What activities or hobbies do you enjoy pursuing in your personal time?

Traveling fuels my creativity, writing reveals the depths of my soul, and painting becomes a conduit for boundless inspiration. Together, they form a vibrant tapestry, weaving a journey of self-discovery. 😊


A career at Cytel FSP provides opportunities to be involved in unrivaled biostatistics and operations research projects to improve drug development success rates. To learn more about a career at Cytel, or to explore our openings, click below:


Explore FSP Careers

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