Dr. Udit Batra is a strong champion for graduate student professional development and of experiential programs. He recognized the importance of internship experience for Ph.D.s, but noted that the demands of doctoral training often make it challenging for graduate students to take part in these experiences. In 2020, while serving as CEO of Millipore Sigma, he volunteered to host incoming Princeton graduate students for paid internships at the organization during the summer before they began their doctoral program-- helping the Graduate School launch the Pre-matriculation Internship Program for the Chemical & Biological Engineering department. As the CEO of Waters, he has forged this partnership once again. Pre-matriculation interns participate in paid internships experiences in which they receive industry exposure, build critical professional competencies and technical skills – and gain a mentor within industry with whom they can stay in touch throughout their time at Princeton and beyond. This program is unique in graduate education and one that can be replicated for other academic departments. Dr. Batra spoke about his graduate student experience, his career journey and leadership philosophy, mentorship, and more during his keynote talks at the GradFUTURES Forum in 2020 and 2022. Videos of his talks can be found here.
Dr. Udit Batra earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Princeton. As President and CEO of Waters Corporation, Dr. Batra brings more than two decades of leadership and operational expertise in the healthcare and life sciences industries. He has a proven track record leading multi-billion-dollar global organizations and driving results at the top of the industry. Before joining Waters in September 2020, Dr. Batra served as CEO of the $7.7 billion life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the United States and Canada. In 2015, Dr. Batra led the formation of MilliporeSigma, with the largest merger in the life science tools industry at the time. Dr. Batra led the team that oversaw a strategic and operational transformation of the business that drove record sales growth and margin development. From 2011-2013, as CEO of Merck KGaA’s consumer health business, Dr. Batra led a period which saw doubling of the business’ profitability and achieving organic growth in the top tier of the industry.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Batra served in a range of leadership positions at Novartis, a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company. In addition to leading Corporate Strategy and Global Public Health and Market Access for Vaccines and Diagnostics, he also served as president of the Australia Pharma business. During his tenure, this subsidiary became the fastest-growing business amongst competitors in Australia and in Novartis. Throughout his career, Dr. Batra has championed science education, especially for low-income students, developed and promoted women’s leadership, and has been a strong advocate for increasing diversity across the organizations he has led.
Dr. Batra has received numerous leadership accolades and recognition, including being named 2020 New Englander of the Year by the New England Council, 2019 NECA Business Person of the Year, Pharmavoice Top 100 Most Inspirational People (2017-2019), Boston Business Journal’s 2019 Power 50 and the 2016 CPhl Pharma CEO of the Year.
Currently, Dr. Batra is the Chairman of the Massachusetts High Tech Council and is a member of the Board at both the Boston Chamber of Commerce and MassBio. He serves on the Advisory Council of the chemical engineering departments of Princeton University and University of Delaware, where he also earned both a Ph.D. and a B.S. in chemical engineering, respectively.
"Graduate students considering their future often think they must choose between academia and industry. Don’t think of anything as binary. There are many chances to go left or go right. Regardless of the path, always invest in building self-awareness and your competencies."