5 Questions with Wrik Ghosh
Our monthly check-in with staff from around the world. Learn more about the people who work at CHAI.
Please tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to CHAI.
I grew up in the UK and studied economics at university—I was always interested in the application of the subject to the real world, which is why I specialized in health economics. I worked as a health economist in the UK and Singapore for Costello Medical, a medical consulting company. In my role supporting pharmaceutical companies, I particularly enjoyed building models to show the cost-effectiveness of new treatments and whether governments should pay for them, as well as understanding differences in systems across countries. I was eager to apply these skills and health economics in a different setting and have an impact in low- and middle-income countries—which brought me to the Vaccines Markets team at CHAI in June 2020.
1. What does a typical day at CHAI look like for you?
My main area of focus is enhancing access to Gavi-supported vaccines, particularly through working with Indian manufacturers. A regular day involves checking on emails from the global team, working on projects that support vaccine manufacturers, then having team calls, supplier calls, or partner calls as needed. Typical projects involve providing intel on key markets, demand forecasts, and calculating expected uptake to support manufacturer strategy. Supply, demand, and vaccines are the three key aspects of my usual day.
2. What has been one of your proudest moments working at CHAI?
Developing a model to look at which countries might want to switch what rotavirus vaccine they use. When a supply issue in the market meant some countries had to switch vaccines to ensure there was enough supply, our partners at Gavi used the model to validate which countries to target. I got to build a model, learned about some countries, and played a part in preventing further disruptions in a global setting—highly satisfying indeed.
3. Who is someone you admire, and why?
Georges Perec—a twentieth-century French writer. He would set himself rules and puzzles with which to write. For example, he once wrote a novel without using the letter ‘E’. He clearly had an insatiable curiosity and a boundless imagination—a genius.
4. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Not a conventional adventure but taking my two grandmothers on a holiday to Amritsar—a city in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab—has to be up there. I briefly lost one of them at the Wagah border and panicked! Apart from that, exploring a place with two 75-plus-year-olds was such a different way for me to travel and I loved it.
5. What is your favorite holiday memory?
Spending Christmas and New Year in Australia in 2017/2018—I got to go to the Boxing Day and New Year test matches at the Melbourne and Sydney Cricket Grounds which I’d always wanted to do and saw family and friends I hadn’t seen in years.