Dr. Tugrul Kararli is the President and Founder of PHARMACIRCLE, an innovative data, analysis, and information provider on the pharmaceutical, biotech, drug delivery technology and device industries, in the healthcare industry. As the Founder of the Company, Dr. Kararli has created unique opportunities leveraging the Company’s scale to build, expand, operate and globalize the business. An entrepreneur dedicated to creating value for his clients; goals for his teams, Dr. Kararli is a pioneer who combines his strong knowledge and background in the pharmaceutical sector with finance and business development to create PHARMACIRCLE, the pioneer in its sector, providing insight, data, and analysis since 2003. He has patented a system in PHARMACIRCLE to build a global sales, technical, and finance team with a platform committed to providing high-quality products with superior service. With over two decades of experience in the IT industry, he is a Visionary Entrepreneur, Scientist, and a highly motivated, result-oriented, ambitious, and passionate executive. Today, Dr. Kararli’s comprehensive platform is utilized by the top 50 pharmaceutical and biologics companies in the world.
Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
I grew up in Nevsehir, Turkey, a tourism mecca in central Anatolia. During the summers I worked as a tourist guide in Cappadocia which allowed me to advance my English skills. At the age of 14, my family moved to Ankara where I finished my high school and college education. After completing my BS degree in pharmacy as the first of my graduating class in 1979, I was awarded a scholarship to pursue my Ph.D. education in the United States.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
Growing up, I always had an entrepreneurial spirit, interested in doing useful things with my free time during summer breaks. That could be giving a hand to a local shop owner or selling candy/gum, soda, etc. in local soccer games. I still remember vividly carrying two large luggage as a porter for about a mile, as a skinny teenager, from one hotel to another for only a pocket change. Fast forward, I started my carrier as a young scientist at G.D. Searle in Skokie, IL in 1985 following the completion of my Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Florida. During those 18 years of my tenure there, I acquired expertise in drug product formulation and delivery technologies; gained valuable insights into the whole drug product research and development process. One of my responsibilities in the Company involved matching the drug delivery (DD) needs of our products and pipeline with the external technologies available from several hundred companies around the globe. This DD technology selection process which required in-depth analysis of the patents, interviews with the companies, and running feasibility testing with a few selected ones was pretty much the same across the pharma industry. Around 2000, I realized that there was a need for an external information service business that would perform the same vigorous analysis of the technologies required by these internal experts. This subscription-based service would then save them time and resources. Building the first version of PharmaCircle took insane effort, almost three years, by using all my free time available after work. PharmaCircle officially started its business in late 2003 soon after my separation from Pharmacia proceeding with the Pfizer acquisition. Within a few years, we had the majority of the large pharma signed up for our service, confirming the validity and success of our business idea. Soon after starting the business, it became apparent that to succeed in this business, in the long run, would require covering much broader aspects of the pharmaceutical industry, not just the drug formulation and delivery of technology-related information. By constantly expanding our staff and content over the next 18 years we matured PharmaCircle as a premier knowledge management service company offering one of the most comprehensive sets of information and analysis available in the industry. Overall, PharmaCircle which combines the vigor of the academic level of data analysis and business creativity has been a perfect match for my skills, passion, and expertise in life. From the day of its formation to this day I have been working tirelessly and passionately to create relevant and meaningful content for our clients. A couple of my latest pet projects involve the creation of global diagnostics and contract services databases and a Smart Search Engine.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
I am not sure if just one business lesson would be enough to answer this question but for me constant dreaming/imagination, hard and persistent work, passion for what you do, and ethical and honest work and behavior have been essential elements for my success in life.