Ranjeet Banerjee: Transforming Cold Chain Management for the Life Science Industry

The Most Successful Business Leaders in 2021

In response to the United States government’s Operation Warp Speed initiative, Cold Chain Technologies (CCT) developed a range of thermal packaging solutions in record time to support the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccines. CCT’s solutions have proven and continue to be critically important to the success of the massive vaccine distribution campaign worldwide.

Since its formation in 1967, CCT has been a global leader in developing and delivering cost-effective insulated thermal packaging solutions that protect the integrity of temperature-sensitive products. Under the leadership of CEO Ranjeet Banerjee, the company is on a journey to transform cold chain management for the life science industry. He is leveraging his extensive experience and inventive mind to help the company redefine the next generation of cold chain management solutions.

Ranjeet joined CCT in September of 2020 after working for BD, a leading global medical technology company, for 25 years. Before BD, he held several management positions at Unilever, the multinational consumer goods company. Ranjeet joined Unilever as a management trainee soon after receiving his Bachelor of Technology degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. Remembering the start of his career, Ranjeet says that one of the interesting aspects at the time about Unilever was that management trainees were required to spend two months in a village in India to gain a better understanding of the company’s customers. “This is because 70 percent of the population in India lives in the rural areas, and for us to be effective in what we do, we really must understand the culture and life practices,” Ranjeet says. “I was raised in the city, so this was a very beneficial learning experience for me.” As someone who enjoys leadership positions, he is currently enjoying his role as the CEO of CCT.

As CCT’s Chief Executive Officer, Ranjeet’s responsibilities include determining where to strategically take the company in the future. He also works on the day-to-day challenges and inspires members of his leadership team and others throughout the company. “I need to be ambidextrous to think of the future as well as today,” Ranjeet says. “A lot of it has to do with understanding the challenges and opportunities within the organization.” He also recognizes the moments to transform for the needs of the customers and the industry.

Dedicated Focus on Serving Life Science Industry

A leader in thermal assurance packaging solutions, CCT has a dedicated focus on serving the life science industry. Established more than 50 years ago, the company has continued to build an infrastructure based on science and engineering for the development of exceptional products and designs. Ranjeet says that they invariably test their designs to ensure they are robust for their utilized applications. They also make sure that they can be produced efficiently and reliably in high volume, automated manufacturing.

“Our combination of taking a design, repeatedly testing, and ensuring high quality and repeatable manufacturing execution has contributed to CCT being an industry leader,” Ranjeet says.

Ranjeet expects their new digital platform, called CCT Smart Solutions, to further enhance the ability to track products across the end-to-end supply chain. “CCT is purpose-driven to maintain the temperature of drugs, vaccines, and pharmaceuticals as it understands that their secure delivery impacts the lives of people,” Ranjeet says.

He also highlights that his company’s “very talented” and “passionate” employees work hard to identify and solve some key unmet needs of customers. Their designed solutions have the potential to make a difference and transform the cold chain management industry, Ranjeet says.

CCT, headquartered in Franklin, Massachusetts, is currently expanding its global footprint. It is adding more branches and manufacturing locations every year. In March of 2021, the company announced expansion into Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in addition to opening its new regional headquarters in the Netherlands.

Transformation of Cold Chain Management

In the life science industry, the storage and shipping of pharmaceutical products is a high-stakes game. The risks are high and the biopharma industry annually suffers huge losses due to failures in temperature-controlled logistics. Ranjeet points out that the life science industry currently lacks visibility during the transportation of drugs and biologics, which creates a lot of waste. In addition, the lack of visibility often results in product safety and efficacy issues.

“CCT’s approach has been to combine products, services, and digital tracking capabilities to make that transformation [of cold chain management] happen – from ‘visibility’ to providing ‘assurance’,” Ranjeet says. One of the company’s main goals is to provide assurance from the manufacturing plant to the recipient of the drug or biologic; therefore, mitigating risks associated with the storage and shipping of pharmaceutical products.

The company is also focused on redefining the next generation of condition monitoring by driving innovation. Ranjeet is nurturing CCT’s culture by recognizing the right people and the right team to achieve that objective. He points out that the company has a very strong process that constantly seeks innovative ideas from within and outside the organization. “And, we are constantly challenging ourselves to ensure that we launch these innovative ideas into compelling features, functionalities, products, digital offerings, and services.”

Changing Landscape of the Life Science Industry

Ranjeet notes that the current focus of the life science industry is on large molecules or biologics, as they require special temperature or condition monitoring. After the development of new pharmaceuticals, their manufacturers have to ensure that they get transported in line with their design requirements. “CCT is working to improve the visibility and assurance of in-transit life science products through the recently launched digital platform, CCT Smart Solutions,” Ranjeet says.

CCT Smart Solutions makes it easy to track the location of parcels or pallets, as it enables real-time monitoring. It also regularly sends alerts about product conditions. “This improves the reliability of the logistics and the ability to prevent or reduce challenges that a company may encounter while the product is in transit,” Ranjeet says.

As the life science industry is increasingly becoming a flat world, the entire supply chain for pharmaceuticals is also becoming very global. For example, these days, the discovery of a drug happens in one continent, and the drug product gets manufactured in another continent. So, CCT is also rapidly becoming more global to ensure that it can take care of its partners and the industry needs throughout the world.

Enjoys Leadership Positions

Ranjeet has had opportunities to explore the world, experience different cultures, and work with different teams across the globe. His past experiences have shaped his transformational leadership style and he has always enjoyed leadership positions. Ranjeet, however, does not believe that the leadership position is about heading the company as its Chief Executive Officer or becoming the manager of a department. He says that leaders can be found at all levels of the organization. “You can be a leader in anything you do through the impact and the opportunities you are creating for the organization and your team,” he says.

“And, I truly believe you can be a leader at any point in your career,” Ranjeet adds.

Challenges and Success

Ranjeet does not find challenges daunting. He believes that they can often create a clear and shared sense of purpose and mission for an organization. “Challenges can make us stronger if we can figure out a way to work together, accomplish the right things, and overcome them,” he says. “I have found there is a lot we can learn as a team that we can apply in our daily work and personal lives as well.”

Ranjeet finds success in opportunities that can create shared value for both the organization and society. “Shared value is when our work can create positive value and impact on society, while at the same time, we do well as a business,” he says. And his definition of success is an organization that is purpose driven. “It [success] is not just about financial growth and metrics, but it is about really creating societal value through innovation,” Ranjeet says.

Inspiring and Motivating Team

Ranjeet likes to inspire and motivate his team. His regular day at work involves meeting the company’s associates from different parts to discuss long-term strategy. He also speaks with customers and external stakeholders while managing the priorities of the present day. “A lot of it comes through aligning and inspiring members of my team,” he says.

Ranjeet believes that finding shared value and being a purpose-driven company are two key factors that keep him and his employees motivated. “For example, in the last year, we have been instrumental as a company in ensuring the COVID-19 vaccines are getting delivered safely and effectively,” Ranjeet says. “When your work directly provides positive value to society while also being successful for the business, it is a great combination.”

He values his team’s progress and success more than any awards or industry recognition. “The most valuable recognition I can receive is when my teams see me as a facilitator to their success,” Ranjeet says. “When I can enable the progress of my team and help them grow in what they do as well as make a true impact on society, there is no better recognition.”

The Future Belongs to CCT

Over the past year, CCT has made “tremendous progress” by building capabilities and launching additional functionality. Along with that, they have also been supporting COVID-19 vaccine distributions around the world.

“As we progress to the future, I see CCT continuing to lead the life science industry by producing products, features, and services that provide end-to-end assurance with the objective of reducing waste and improving recipient safety,” Ranjeet says.

He is also really excited to see the impact that CCT will have in “truly” delivering the next generation of condition monitoring assurance from manufacturing plant to patient.

Message to Aspiring Business Minds

“Think about the impact that your organization is having and don’t just measure through financial metrics” is Ranjeet’s message for aspiring business minds. He also wants them to provide positive value to society while also being successful for the business. Such a style of leadership offers two advantages. First, it offers “tremendous momentum” and “inspiration” for employees, Ranjeet says. The second advantage is that it attracts talented people who really want to join the team. “At the end of the day, it is all about passionate, talented people in the company aligning and working together to make an impact,” Ranjeet adds.

Personal Goal

As the CEO of CCT, Ranjeet is enabling the growth and expansion of the company by helping it achieve its full potential while ensuring that it leads the transformation of the cold chain industry. Ranjeet’s personal goal for the company is to make sure: “We are inspired as an organization and working together as a team.”