Ketaki Patwardhan - from experiments with her dad to excipients and manufacturing at Roquette

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Roquette
© Roquette

Related tags Women in Science Life sciences roquette Manufacturing API

Ketaki Patwardhan, a global technical developer at Roquette, has built a remarkable career in the pharmaceutical industry by leveraging her curiosity and passion for science.

 In this interview, she shares insights into her role, personal journey, challenges faced, and advice for aspiring women in science.

Could you give us an overview of your work?

My role as a global technical developer at Roquette revolves around uncovering new ways to unlock business opportunities through high-quality pharmaceutical excipients. This can look like identifying innovative applications for excipients (new and existing) in pharmaceutical formulations, optimizing the use of such ingredients, and exploring alternative excipient manufacturing processes.

Collaboration with my colleagues within Roquette and external stakeholders from our partners and customers is another key aspect of my role. Understanding the needs of pharmaceutical manufacturers and translating them into cutting-edge excipient solutions is a part of my job I find especially rewarding.

When did you realize you were interested in science - as a young child, teen, or older?

I’ve always been a very curious person, even from a young age. In fact, my earliest memories include preparing homemade lip balms and bandages with whatever supplies I had available to me as a six-year-old. My path into science at a professional level began in earnest after high school, at which point it felt like the most natural direction for me to take given my insatiable love of learning. This pivotal decision led me to a wonderful career in the field of pharmaceutical sciences, where there is always so much to learn and discover. Today, I particularly enjoy harnessing my scientific expertise to understand the role nutrition plays in supporting holistic human health.

Could you describe your personal journey bringing us to where you are now?

Ketaki Patwardhan Area Technical Developer at Roquette_casual

Growing up in India in a typical middle-class family, I’ve always embraced a strong work ethic driven by dedication, honesty, and curiosity. Since I can remember, I have harbored ambitious aspirations and always aimed to develop and improve myself little-by-little, every day. My innate curiosity has been the  pivotal factor propelling my learning and personal growth. I draw endless motivation from delving into diverse subjects, grasping new concepts, and adapting to the various challenges that life presents.

What challenges did you face - as a woman or otherwise - along the way and what is the most valuable lesson you have learned?

Over time, I’ve grown to understand that the challenges I’ve faced have also been my greatest lessons.

I’ve learnt that trusting yourself and believing in your abilities is crucial – it allows you to make decisions confidently and take on challenges with resilience, even when you feel uncertain beneath the surface. 

Acknowledging your strengths and celebrating your achievements is also incredibly important. A vital part of this is accepting that everyone has areas in which they excel and others that need improvement. The key here is to not view these areas as weakness – they’re opportunities to embrace learning and make progress. What’s more, I’ve learnt that not everything is within my control, and you can only focus on what you can influence and learn from any setbacks as they happen.

What ignites your passion in your current role?

Recognizing that my contributions are a critical cog in the greater pharmaceutical industry machine is a big motivation for me to keep doing what I do. Despite sometimes feeling like my role is only a small part of a larger whole, I feel a sense of assurance and validation from knowing that my efforts ultimately contribute to enhancing patients’ lives. I strive to improve and be a better version of myself each day, continually challenging myself in my role – that’s what keeps my passion alive!

Could you share some advice for young women starting to develop an interest in science or wanting to pursue a career like yours?

I have three core pieces of advice for any young woman looking to pursue a career in the scientific or pharmaceutical industry: 1. don’t be afraid to follow your instincts, 2. always face those who appear stronger than you, and 3. remember to take a step back (when needed) to see the bigger picture.

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