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Monday, 9 November 2015

Ranjana Smetacek, Director General at OPPI (Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India)

Ranjana Smetacek

Ranjana Smetacek

Director General at OPPI (Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
On October 3, 2013, Ms Ranjana Smetacek has taken over as the director general of the Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI).
OPPI, which was established in 1965, represents the research-driven pharmaceutical companies in India and remains committed to supporting the nation's healthcare objectives, collaborating with the Indian Government and other stakeholders to find sustainable solutions; solutions that balance the need for innovation with the necessity for more accessible medicines, within a robust IP environment. OPPI supports the Indian government's quest for more accessible and affordable medicines and welcomes a more comprehensive dialogue between private and government stakeholders.

Ranjana Smetacek (@rsmetacek) | Twitter



Ranjana Smetacek has worked in Communications and Public Relations for over 25 years. She has experience in several industries and on every continent.
After working for 10 years with a hotel, a pharma major and a PR agency, she spent a decade with Monsanto Company, the world's largest agri-business and a leader in crop biotechnology. Initially Ranjana was based out of Mumbai and Delhi, leading Government Affairs, Public Affairs and Industry Affairs for Monsanto in South Asia. India’s first biotech crop was approved during this time, largely due to a meticulously planned and PR-lead strategy. She was then picked for Monsanto's Asia Leadership Program and did several month-long stints in Australia and China.
After six years with Monsanto in India, Ranjana transferred to Monsanto's St. Louis headquarters as Director - Global Biotech Acceptance and also supported projects in Europe, Africa and South America. Later she was designated Director - International Communications and formed the link between Monsanto headquarters and its country Public Affairs teams around the world. She returned to India in 2009 to join Bharti Enterprises as Head - Brand & Corporate Communications. Later, she joined Fortis Healthcare to lead Marketing & Corporate Communications for the hospital network.
She has now returned to Mumbai to lead OPPI (Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India) as Director General. This industry body represents the research-driven pharmaceutical companies in India and is focused on creating an environment conducive to innovation.
- Advocacy programs for outreach to diverse stakeholders
- Communications strategies that advance business objectives
- Experience across the globe that makes for the cultural sensitivity to be effective anywhere
- Training for effective communication, media preparedness, crisis containment

(L-R) Dr Shailesh Ayyangar, President, OPPI and Managing Director, India and Vice President, South Asia, Sanofi, Dr VK Subburaj, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals and Ranjana Smetacek, Director General, OPPI

OPPI concludes 4th Healthcare Access Summit in Mumbai



Director General

OPPI (Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India
June 2013 – Present (2 years 6 months)Mumbai
I am Director General at OPPI (Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India), an industry body that represents the research-driven pharmaceutical companies in India and is focused on creating an environment conducive to innovation.

Director - Marketing & Corporate Communications

Fortis Healthcare
February 2010 – July 2012 (2 years 6 months)New Delhi Area, India
I led Marketing and Corporate Communications for Fortis Healthcare for two and a half years, covering advertising, public relations and web-based communications. I helped address the marketing and communications challenges that face a rapidly growing organization - starting from a single hospital in Northern Indian in 2001 to a pan-Asian, nearly 70 hospital network in a decade.

Head - Group Corporate Communications & Brand

Bharti Enterprises Limited
March 2009 – January 2010 (11 months)New Delhi Area, India
I returned to India, after being selected in a global search by Bharti Enterprises. I reported to Sunil Mittal and was accountable for communications across all the group companies. I was ultimately responsible for the Bharti reputation and for profiling the top management. My focus was setting up world-class systems and processes for communications in this organization. It was my responsibility to take this function to the next level in a fast-growing organization, making it more strategic and building a solid foundation worthy of being benchmarked against the best.

Director - International Communications

2006 - 2009: Monsanto Company
March 2006 – March 2009 (3 years 1 month)Greater St. Louis Area
I transferred to Monsanto Company's headquarters in St. Louis and a position in the Global Biotech Acceptance team. Here I was responsible for building direct communication and a credible third party messenger program to communicate how crop biotechnology is delivering important benefits, especially for small farmers, rural villages, and nations in the developing world. In addition to numerous personal speaking opportunities around the globe I ensured the presence of other credible messengers at strategic global forums.
Director - International Communications: following a reorganization of the Commercial Acceptance function, I joined the Public Affairs team as the headquarters' person responsible for international press and communicating key Monsanto initiatives. Primary among these was Monsanto's Sustainable Yields Initiative and the Water Efficient Maize for Africa project. In this role, I worked with Public Affairs colleagues around the globe to ensure they were aligned with the communications vision in St. Louis and equipped with the materials and resources to implement it. I also saw it is as my task to be the 'global filter' at company headquarters, ensuring that management had a current picture of the PR realities in various geographies and that expectations around communications objectives were realistic.

Director - Government & Public Affairs

Monsanto Holdings Limited
November 1999 – March 2006 (6 years 5 months)Mumbai Area, India
I led the Commercial Acceptance function in South Asia, covering Government Affairs, Public Affairs and Industry Affairs in India and Pakistan. It was my responsibility to help shape perceptions around Ag Biotech and Monsanto, make the South Asia team a cohesive entity with a clear understanding of the issues and allegations we faced as well as the ability to handle them effectively. I supported the Asia Pacific Commercial Acceptance team, using my expertise and experience to add value in key countries like Australia and China, where I was invited to do several short-term assignments. My expertise lay in reacting speedily to sensitive issues, pre-empting negative situations, neutralizing damage through planned communications and proactively putting out positive messages. During the last year in this job, I also supported the Global Biotech Acceptance team in St. Louis and was its point person in Asia, leading a five member Asia Pacific team.
The deliverables were a positive environment for Biotech in the region and an understanding of Monsanto among key publics: primarily Media, Government, Scientific Community, Farmers, NGO's, Consumer Groups, Financial Community, Shareholders and Employees (measured through perception audits, general media tone, regulatory acceptance, and success in gaining endorsement/buy in from leaders among important publics; and gauged through the quality of communication tools).

Senior Manager - Corporate Communications

Ranbaxy Laboratories
October 1996 – November 1999 (3 years 2 months)New Delhi Area, India
I led the PR program and started and managed the company's website. I published periodic updates for Government, Industry and Diplomatic Missions around the world and handled statutory communication including the Annual Report and notices from the Company Secretary. I managed company events like the Annual General Meeting, Annual Day at various locations, scientific symposia and dinners hosted by the CEO. Internally, I managed timely communications in a rapidly growing organization spread across 40 countries – both the exchange of news from these countries and the writing and dissemination of communiqués from headquarters. I put out a bi-monthly newsletter designed for a diverse organization. Sadly, my final task at Ranbaxy was managing press around Dr. Parvinder Singh’s untimely demise and the succession issues arising from this.

Principal Consultant

Mudra Public Relations
August 1993 – November 1996 (3 years 4 months)New Delhi Area, India
I lead a client servicing team with a portfolio of 8-10 clients. Retainer accounts included Air India, Nestle, Samsung, Singapore Tourism Promotion Board, Bausch & Lomb, The Oberoi Hotel, JK Tyres, Sita World Travel, among others. Project clients were DCM Daewoo, Italian Trade Commission, Southern Pacific Hotel Corporation, Hindustan Motors, and Max Upjohn. During my last year with Mudra, I headed the Business Development Cell, pitching for new business in a (by then) very competitive environment.

Assistant Manager Public Relations

Hotel Holiday Inn
October 1988 – January 1992 (3 years 4 months)New Delhi Area, India
My function combined Media Relations, Guest Relations and Employee Relations. Besides interaction with the national and international press, I was required to co-ordinate image advertising with the Ad agency and produce printed collateral in co-ordination with the Graphics team. I also handled the employee orientation program, edited the in-house newsletter, created a monthly guest newsletter and wrote all in-room messages. Routine activity included monthly PR reports to the regional office in Hong Kong and analysis of PR strategy at competition hotels.


University of Kumaon, Nainital

Master of Arts (MA), English
1983 – 1985

All Saints College

ISC, English
1963 – 1973

Michael Hauser, Ranjana Smetacek
Diane Herndon, Johnathan Yordy, Jill Kuehnert, Ranjana Smetacek

with srk - at the Airtel Delhi half marathon