Meet the core team

Expertise, experience, and commitment helping Life Science companies to achieve excellence all over the world: meet the people behind Xcellen and the Xpower suite


Nikhil Gupta

Nikhil Gupta

Co-CEO, Head of Global Key Accounts

Nikhil manages global key accounts and ensures that Xpower meets the client needs.

Nikhil brings 15 years of work experience in the pharmaceutical industry with significant expertise in creating sales force and key account management strategies all over the world. His understanding of complex business issues and the ability to turn complicated subjects into easy-to-understand topics played a major role in the development of Xpower.

Nikhil is an entrepreneur coming from the industry side with a huge background in consulting. He worked for several strategy and consulting companies in Asia and Europe such as IQVIA in Singapore and Malaysia.

Siddharth Malhotra

Siddharth Malhotra

Co-CEO, Tech Lead & Future Development

Siddharth develops new products and artificial intelligence features based on the needs of life science companies.

He saw the need for an affordable tool to improve performance in the SFE-field within pharma and life science companies. With over 10+ years of business and technology management experience, he recognized the potential of combining technology and the comprehensive global SFE knowledge from all Xcellen partners.

Sid has extensive experience as a management consultant working on SFE projects in Asia and Europe. Prior to Xcellen, Sid was a Senior consultant at IQVIA based in Singapore and Germany.

Core Team

Akshay Upadhyay

Akshay Upadhyay

Senior Tech Project Manager

Akshay leads the professional developer and tester team. He manages the development of ingenious technology and apps.

He has delivered software and services since Xpower started to help clients improve sales force effectiveness and commercial excellence and, ultimately reap the benefits of Xpower technologies. Therefore, his team uses and combines state of the art technologies.

Prior to joining Xcellen, he worked in the research and data analysis team for a semi-government company based in Delhi.

Aanchal Arora

Aanchal Arora

Senior Consultant

Aanchal supports clients on various projects within the SFE and Commercial Excellence area. In addition, she is the product manager of our self-service, no-code AI/ML solution Xpower Boost.

Her primary focus is providing clients with analytical and strategic assistance for segmentation and targeting exercises, portfolio prioritization, sales force effectiveness evaluations, and sales force structuring. With an extensive background in pharmaceutical consulting spanning 8 years, Aanchal has a robust foundation in SFE.

Aanchal has a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Prior to Xcellen, she worked with WNS and IQVIA.

Vasu Gupta

Vasu Gupta

Senior Consultant

Vasu supports clients on projects in Salesforce Effectiveness, Sales Target Setting, and Incentive Compensation. She has rich experience in S&T, Resource Allocation, and Territory Alignment.

She has a total work experience of 7 years in consulting and analytics. She has an exceptional understanding of data, having worked on different analytics, including data modelling, dashboard reporting, and trend analysis.

She has an MBA in Finance and Marketing and previously worked with WNS for pharmaceutical clients.


John Grano

General Manager, America

John leads the US operations. He is an experienced senior global Biotech and Pharmaceutical executive.

John delivers value by collaboratively leading cross-functional initiatives that gain organization support across Global, Regional and Local leadership.  He specializes in digital / omnichannel field force transformation, customer engagement, customer segmentation, customer intimacy strategy, field excellence (sales, medical), sales operations, CRM, incentive compensation, training and change management.

John has more than three decades building expertise in commercial life sciences.  Most recently, John was VP, Global Sales & Marketing Effectiveness for Sanofi Vaccines.


Pekka Suonio

Head of Consulting, APAC

Pekka is responsible for leading the consulting operations in APAC region and developing Xcellen’s consulting offerings for maximum client impact.

Pekka brings in over 20 years of experience in advising Life Sciences companies in sales and marketing strategy and operations, in both developed and emerging markets. He has in-depth knowledge of methodologies across the areas of commercial excellence, and a strategic outlook to turn analysis into actionable insights.

Previously, Pekka has worked in consultant and leadership roles at Deloitte, IQVIA, and ZS Associates.


Richa Bhatli

Head of Product Management & Customer Success

Richa is responsible for driving innovation in XPower and overseeing customer success, at Xcellen. She is a seasoned professional with over 15 years of experience in sales planning and operations within the life sciences sector. Possessing a wealth of expertise in product management and services, Richa offers an unparalleled skill set to the organization.
Her approach is very customer-centric, ensuring seamless alignment with the goals and needs of life sciences organizations.

Before joining Xcellen, she worked with esteemed pharma analytics companies like Axtria, Cognizant and WNS. This rich experience has equipped her with a good understanding of the industry and domain.