Incredible India! Reflections after #PLA2022India

On the way from “glass paper” to digital transformation strategy

On our way back to Europe, we realise how powerful the experience of running our first edition of the Paperless Lab Academy® in India has been. In so many levels.

Not only because it is India and we, as Europeans, are overwhelmed by so many stimuli at the same time: sensationally spiced food, amazing scents, colours, and flowers adorning every corner, music, traffic rhythm, crowded streets, smiling faces…

Certainly, we were overwhelmed by the interest the industry showed in the Paperless Lab Academy®. The audience was literally glued to the speakers, panellists, workshop presentations and exhibitor’s booth, and wanted to get the most out of every session.

Milestones of a digital transformation journey

Right at the beginning of the program, our keynote speaker Sachin Bhandari, Sr. General Manager, Global Head QA-IT & Quality Digitisation Projects at Sun Pharma – generated a provocative discussion about the difference between digitalisation and digital transformation.

Digitalisation was basically described as the transition from paper to glass paper, i.e., the introduction of a digital interface for pure transactional operations. Yet without changing, most of the time, any upstream and downstream process, perhaps adding even more control steps and more printed copies (just in case).

In contrast, digital transformation requires strategy, focus on the big picture and alignment with the business requirements. It requires teamwork from all stakeholders, a willingness to embrace change, an open mind to adapt processes for greater efficiency, the agility and flexibility to adopt new technologies, and the knowledge and wisdom to comply with industry regulations without getting lost in the effort.

“The Paperless Lab Academy is a very exciting opportunity because the lab forms a very critical part of our entire quality gamut. In addition, a lot of organisations have different approaches towards achieving a paperless lab. If we look at my talk, for example, it’s about the milestones in achieving this kind of transition towards digital transformation and the paperless laboratory.

Different organisations will be at different stages. “When you talk about the different milestones it’s not a turnkey approach, it’s a process”, comments Bhandari. “In my talk, I will consider the reasoning behind SunPharma’s decision to adopt digital technology. An organisation must consider the different steps or milestones that they need to achieve. That will help people to understand where they are, and the roadmap ahead.” Commented Mr. Bhandari during an interview with Rob Roe, editor at Europa Science Limited

The PLA2022India program continued with other great speakers: Manish Kumar, Head of Enterprise Architecture, Global Drug Development at Novartis, explained the strategy for building an Enterprise Data Lake and Neeru Bakshi, Founder of Tech Qualitas, demystified cloud-based solutions.

The topics covered during the live edition of PLA2022India have been so many, so insightful and inspiring that we will take them as precious input to write and publish articles on our blog in the coming weeks.

It is also thanks to this experience and to the warm Indian welcome that we could remember why this all started 10 years ago: a small forum somewhere in cold Northern Europe, moving to Barcelona, Spain, and then to Lake Maggiore, Italy, attracting more and more interest from visitors, sponsors and services companies, each time looking for bigger premises.
We founded the Paperless Lab Academy® in the firm belief that the industry was missing a learning platform where it could freely exchange ideas with peers, colleagues, experts and thought leaders. The feedback from the many visitors to #PLA2022India on how much they learned and how much they took home is once again overwhelming.

To stay within the scope of the topics covered in this issue, we can confirm that the Paperless Lab Academy® configuration has also been tested by multiple users and found to be good, operational, and functional, and thus validated.

In 2022 we landed in India with our first live Indian edition, and 2023 promises to be even more exciting: the 10th edition of the European congress, the second edition of the Indian one and the very first edition in the USA are waiting for us, and we cannot wait to welcome you all there!


We look forward to welcoming you to one of the three #PLA2023editions!



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