Takeda Pharmaceuticals – Reimagining Global Business Services

April 4, 2022
Season 3, Episode 13

The Hackett Group Senior Director Philip King talks with Sanjay Patel, SVP and Global Head of Takeda Business Solutions about how Takeda has embarked on a digital transformation program designed to reimagine its global business services function to make it truly cross-functional, improving efficiency and strategic alignment. Takeda was named a finalist in The Hackett Group’s 2021 Digital Awards for its CFOinUrPocket AI-driven global finance dashboard.


Show Notes

Welcome to the Hackett Group’s Business Excelleration Podcast, where – week after week – we hear from experts on how to avoid obstacles, manage detours, and celebrate milestones on the journey to world-class performance. Today’s episode is hosted by Philip King, Senior Director at the Hackett Group. His guest is Sanjay Patel, Senior Vice President of Takeda Business Solutions. Takeda Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical value-based company with a patient-centric R&D engine.

When Sanjay joined Takeda in 2019, he decided to change the name from “Takeda Business Services” to “Takeda Business Solutions.” During the timeframe in which he joined, Takeda was undergoing a reimagination of the future of the company. Sanjay believes that the term services leads to a servitude mindset, while the term solutions suggests active engagement and proactivity. It was more than just a cosmetic change, but rather a fundamental shift in the company’s philosophy.

Then, Philip asks Sanjay to elaborate on the importance of alignment for Takeda’s overall business strategy. More prevalent today than ever, employees of all organizations must have a very strong sense of purpose and belonging. At Takeda, patients remain at the heart of everything the company does. It was crucial in their reimagination to ensure everyone involved in the pipeline was connected to Takeda’s vision, values, and purpose. They proactively took steps to prove their commitment to the company’s purpose of better help for people in a brighter future for the world. They also recently launched an onboarding initiative called the Patients Connections Program which gives employees the opportunity to connect with patients directly and better understand their medical and life experiences. Through the emphasis placed on patient experience, relationships became critical in everything the company does.

As we are seeing more and more within the industry, organizations are beginning to see the inherent value of shared global business services (GBS). Functions within the business now look towards GBS for guidance exploring innovation, automation, cost pressures and other new ways of working. The pandemic has further demonstrated the resilience of this operating model. One large benefit of GBS is the opportunity it allows to put digitization at the forefront of operations.

The focus of Takeda’s enterprise includes digitization, automation, analytics, and solutions. Takeda made a commitment as an organization to unleash the power of data and digital to transform itself into a more trustworthy data driven, outcomes-based global biopharmaceutical company. Further, they believe that their people, not technology alone, will make all the difference in their data and digital journey. They empowered the organization through a program called Digital Ninja Program, which is all about building capabilities and skills within everyday actions. Colleagues underwent a 5-week immersive program where they learned to identify opportunities for automation and were equipped with the skillset to build their own digital assistance. TBS has built a digital culture in which they enable employees to develop next generation capabilities while creating an agile talent pool.

Takeda has identified four key variables of their corporate philosophy: patients, people, data, and planet. As part of the people element, TBS moved from an organization delivering simple solutions to one in favor of an exceptional people experience. When surveying for improvements, a common theme was the desire for proactive and confident support for clients. Finally, Sanjay reveals how the business was able to stay afloat amidst the number of changes and acquisitions they were undergoing. He then reveals two examples of his pride in Takeda and the team’s achievements. As the episode wraps up, Sanjay shares his expectations and aspirations for the future of Takeda Business Solutions.


  • 0:58 – Welcome to this episode, hosted by Philip King alongside guest Sanjay Patel.
  • 1:32 – The reinvention of Takeda.
  • 4:22 – The significance of alignment on Takeda’s overall business strategy.
  • 8:07 – The future of global business services.
  • 10:46 – The benefits of adopting GBS.
  • 12:39 – Creating an agile team through digitization at Takeda.
  • 15:51 – Takeda’s corporate philosophy.
  • 18:17 – How the business was able to come along despite the changes and acquisitions.
  • 20:32 – Sanjay’s pride in the company’s achievements.
  • 24:55 – The future of Takeda Business Solutions.