ELITE 2019 Transformational Leader Aneil Batra of Novo Nordisk

Aneil Batra

Senior Director, Obesity Marketing

Novo Nordisk

Reshaping the Obesity Market

Six months into the launch of Saxenda®, a medicine to treat obesity, Aneil joined Novo Nordisk Inc. and was tasked with driving brand growth in the largest medical epidemic facing Americans today. But this required more than just launching the company’s first product in the category—the disease itself had to be established as a healthcare priority with affordable pharmaceutical coverage. Obesity affects 95 million adults and more than 12 million children and adolescents in the U.S., but the American Medical Association (AMA) did not recognize obesity as a disease until 2013. This meant Aneil had to lead his team to overcome a complex environment of stigma, bias, and lack of disease awareness.

Not many would be willing to take on this seemingly insurmountable challenge, but Aneil’s empathetic and results-driven approach is helping to advance care for people with obesity while driving brand growth. With a proven record of identifying creative solutions to complex commercial challenges, Aneil is a holistic and integrative problem solver with the savvy needed to take on any challenge he faces.

Prior to joining Novo Nordisk, Aneil was a Director of Global Commercial Development at AbbVie, working to develop the global pre-launch asset strategy for Orilissa, a women’s health treatment. He also spent six years at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where he crafted the commercial strategy to optimize the portfolio value for 15 R&D pipeline assets for the Americas, Europe, and Asia—including Entyvio, for inflammatory bowel disease. Through his perseverance and grit, Aneil was able to refocus global R&D and business development priorities—earning him the Takeda Global Award. He developed a 10-year diabetes and obesity franchise strategy, eventually leading to partnerships with Amylin and Orexigen.

“Be the Change” is Aneil’s personal mantra. His charismatic leadership style inspires change and excellence in each team he manages. He has already guided Saxenda® to double-digit annual growth in the obesity market, but he refuses to stop there. His skill set and compassion are driving the team’s global mission to change how the world prevents, sees, and treats obesity—creating a new future for people living with this misunderstood disease.


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