Real Chemistry, a leading provider of data-driven, tech-enabled communication and marketing solutions for the health care sector, today announced Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jim Weiss will become chairman and Shankar Narayanan will become chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors effective January 3, 2022. In addition to his role as chairman and founder of Real Chemistry, Weiss will join New Mountain Capital (NMC), Real Chemistry’s investment partner, as an executive advisor.
Weiss and Narayanan have been partnering closely to ensure a seamless transition, which will expand the business potential of the company amid a fast-shifting health care landscape. As chairman, Weiss will continue to serve actively as a mentor and strategic advisor to the company’s people and clients, while also opening new pathways for growth through M&A, partnership and the expansion of capabilities. In his new role at NMC, Weiss will focus on identifying and integrating opportunities at the intersection of technology and life sciences and converting them into actionable investments.
Narayanan brings a unique breadth and depth of experience to Real Chemistry, with a background including senior executive roles at Equian, Cognizant and McKinsey & Company, that provides a 360-degree understanding of the health ecosystem. He has experience operating and growing large organizations at the center of services and technology within health care, enabling Real Chemistry to capitalize on its strategy of bringing together multiple integrated capabilities to deliver data-driven, tech-enabled solutions that address the highest strategic priorities for its clients.
“This is an exciting moment for the company, our people and our clients, and will help us fully realize the value of what we started,” said Weiss. “Bringing new people, technology and ideas together to create value, drive impact and ignite positive change for our clients is what Real Chemistry is all about and why our mission has never wavered over two decades. Shankar brings the exact right expertise and leadership track record at the right time to continue building a company based on helping clients transform in the post-pandemic age of digital health.”
Weiss founded Real Chemistry (previously W2O) 20 years ago and has grown the company from a one-person consultancy into an 1,800-person company with expected 2021 revenue of approximately $475 million. Since investment by NMC in mid-2019, Real Chemistry has more than doubled revenue and nearly doubled EBITDA. The company has been able to achieve this growth while maintaining an intense focus on client-centricity as well as a commitment to innovation, data analytics and strategic relevance that have been hallmarks of the business from its origins.
“Jim and the team at Real Chemistry have built an outstanding business that I’m thrilled to be able to steward into its next phase,” said Narayanan. “Joining Real Chemistry is a rare opportunity to continue the legacy of innovation, agility and entrepreneurialism that the company is known for – and to take it even further and build in new directions. It brings me back to my roots and relationships in life sciences, where I’ve built businesses and worked with clients to achieve their goals. I’m excited to join and work alongside this talented team to carry on the journey that’s been underway for two decades.”
“We are proud of Real Chemistry’s progress to date against our shared vision, and we are confident in Shankar’s ability to lead the company to even greater heights as its CEO,” said Matt Holt, managing director and president of private equity, NMC. “We look forward to working with Shankar and Jim in this next phase of Real Chemistry’s evolution.”
Narayanan was previously chief operating officer of Equian, a leading payor analytics company and a prior portfolio company of NMC. At Equian, he drove an exceptional track record of growth, technology innovation and platform integration that ultimately resulted in a highly successful sale to Optum. Prior to Equian, Narayanan led the Life Sciences Business at Cognizant, which he grew from $800 million to $1.3 billion in revenue. At Cognizant he partnered with life science companies as a C-suite counselor, designing and implementing products and solutions that transformed clinical, commercial and manufacturing operations. Narayanan also spent 15 years with McKinsey & Company, where, as a partner in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Products practice, he led several transformation initiatives for some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.
About Real Chemistry
Real Chemistry is making the world a healthier place by empowering patients to access the right treatment at the right time. We leverage the best data-driven, tech-enabled and digital solutions to deliver communications, engagement, activation and value across a full range of diverse health care stakeholders—patients, payors, providers, caregivers and regulators.
Our patient-centric approach pairs owned and partnered real-world data sources and proprietary technologies with analytical insights and modern marketing and communications services to solve today’s biggest engagement and commercialization challenges, including speeding clinical trial awareness and enrollment, expanding product lifecycles and shortening the revenue curve. From finding patients with complicated or rare diseases to participate in clinical trials to targeting omnichannel marketing efforts to exactly the right audience, Real Chemistry is advancing transformation at the intersection of consumerization, personalization and digitization impacting health care today.