Employee Spotlight: Ninad Pendse
Associate Director, Product Management
Reliable | Trustworthy | Analytical
Tell us a little about yourself: (where you grew up, previous role/training, what you like to do for fun, etc.)
I was born and brought up in Mumbai, India and lived there until I was 22. I then moved to the US for my graduate studies and have been here ever since. In the US, I have lived in many different parts of the country- Midwest (Twin Cities), West Coast (San Diego) and South (Austin, Nashville). My transition to US was extreme from weather perspective, from hot and humid Mumbai to the extreme winters of Minnesota. I consider Minnesota as my US home because that is where I first landed in US. Go Vikings and Twins!
My educational background is in chemical engineering, but I have always worked in Life Science/Molecular Diagnostic field. I started off as a scientist and then moved over to the commercial side of things.
Outside of work, most of my time is taken playing with my 4 year old daughter and watching various shows online.
How did you first learn about Asuragen?
I had been in molecular diagnostic field before I went back to school for my MBA. So coming back to full time work after completing my degree, I was looking to stay in the Life Science industry in general and Molecular Diagnostics in particular if possible. From my previous job, I was aware of other companies in the field including Asuragen. In my job search, I would specifically visit companies that I was interested in working for and see if they had any open positions available. Asuragen had one and it was a perfect fit.
If you could switch your job with anyone else within the company, whose job would you want?
Mine. I think it’s important to be in a job that you enjoy. I love my current job and I don’t see any other job that I will enjoy more. So I don’t see myself switching with any other job.
What is your role at Asuragen?
I am in Product Management. So I am in charge of all aspects of a product’s life cycle for on market products as well as identifying new product ideas and defining the user needs for products in development. I get to work both internally with cross functional teams, as well as externally with customers and other partners. If you have any complaints about any features of our products, you know who to blame. 🙂
What do you like most about working here?
Asuragen is a small company and we are a very close knit group. The atmosphere is flexible, laid back but at the same time dynamic and accountable. The company is very open and honest with its employees and everyone and I mean everyone is very accessible.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I would love to learn to play a musical instrument. Probably an Indian instrument (Tabla)
What’s the most exciting thing you have going on in 2020? (Career and/or personal)
It is tough to say anything exciting is going on in 2020 given the circumstances. But I am very excited about the product that we launched this year (SMN1/2 Plus) and the one we are working on this year to launch next year (CFTR). Both of these products are very important and can benefit a large number of people. The approach that we are taking to these products is going to benefit every ethnicity in the diverse US population. From Asuragen perspective, I am also happy to see the attention that testing (and specifically molecular testing) has gotten in 2020 in the national media due to Covid-19.
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Internet. Need I say more?
What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why?
India is still my favorite place to visit. It is always good to be back home to see my parents, eat all the roadside food, and meet old friends. Outside of that, I love to visit Europe in general. In particular, Scandinavia in the Summer because you have around 20 hours in a day to do things. The feeling that you have Sunlight both when you go to sleep and when you wake up is amazing.
Q&A with Ninad:
- If you can instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?
Stock picking because it would be both intellectually and financially rewarding to be an expert in this. This is just wishful thinking, I am nowhere close to being an expert in this field.
- One super power, which would you choose and why?
Being able to go back in time and change things. A lot of times it is a single moment where you did or didn’t do something that causes things to go wrong or not as you wanted. And you are left wondering if only I would have done X or done Y differently I wouldn’t be here. So rather than just keep wondering if I could have done something differently, it would be great to actually go back and change it.
- Favorite Austin restaurant or bar recommendations
My wife is a great cook so I get to eat a lot of good food at home. However, we still enjoy to go out to eat. Some of my favorites are: North Italia for Italian, El Alma for Mexican, and Pinthouse Pizza for Pizza and great beer