KJT Group, Inc.
October 7, 2013 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
An Evidenced-Based Research and Consulting Firm, KJT Group, Inc. is Focused on Guiding Life Sciences Clients with a Personalized Approach to Uncover Unparalleled Insights that Enhance their Strategies and Execution
KJT Group is an
evidence-based research and consulting firm focused on guiding life sciences
clients to uncover insights that enhance their strategies and execution. KJT
Group consultants: provide unparalleled insights to inform and guide
strategy; are passionate about well designed research and analysis; create
personalized approaches to solving business questions.
has an extensive academic and business background, much of which has focused
on the healthcare industry and outcomes research. His areas of expertise
include decision analytic modeling, forecasting, and business analysis. Ken
founded KJT Group in 2007. KJT Group is consulting firm with approximately
45 full-time employees. At KJT Group, Dr. Tomaszewski is a “hands-on” CEO
and one of the principal consultants, responsible for many design and
analytic considerations. He plays a key role in developing training and
consultative engagements. Since 2004, he has served as Lecturer and Adjunct
Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester’s Medical School and
School of Arts and Science, for courses including Health Economics, Health
Policy, Cost-Benefit Analysis, and Survey Research. Ken earned his M.S. in
Public Policy Analysis in 1996, and after initially joining Harris
Interactive, Ken returned to pursue his Ph.D. in Health Services Research
and Policy in 1999, rejoining Harris Interactive in 2003. Since 2001, he has
published articles in Neurology, Health Services Research, American Journal
of Public Health, Epilepsy and Behavior, American Journal of Surgery, and
Journal of Asthma.
KJT Group, Inc.
6 East Street
Honeoye Falls, NY 14472
Year Founded: 2007
Number Employees: 45
Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – October 7, 2013
CEOCFO: Dr. Tomaszewski, what was the vision when you started KJT Group and where is the company today?
Dr. Tomaszewski: The vision when we started the company was to create a team structure and delivery model that would be most client oriented and set up for the individuals on the teams as the best career and company culture that we could. As we have grown, we have been able to maintain the original vision of a dedicated team that allowed for a lot of innovation and a company culture that we think is optimal given the type of job that we have. It is a tough job, but I think we are at the point where people are happy where they are at and that is why we have grown. You have to have that kind of work environment in this type of field.
CEOCFO: What is KJT Group?
Dr. Tomaszewski: We help our clients get better insights and put them into place. When we talk about insights, that gets into a lot of research and consulting, which in our case focuses almost entirely on the healthcare industry from a global perspective. We think about three ways we try to do that. One is on the health outcomes side of things. There, we are helping clients demonstrate value to payers and value to various constituents through both secondary and primary research techniques and the subsequent consulting that comes with it. Secondly, what we have done historically and still today is with the market research side. Parallel to the health economics is in support of those marketing teams, particularly from new product development strategies, pricing and things that are going to help them optimize that positioning when their product is launched. We work with pharmaceuticals, medical device and we even work with payers. It transcends an entire system on a global basis with clients that are across the globe. That is part of the challenge because there are alot of differences in how global products launch and what is important to people. We try to use outcomes philosophy even on the marketing support because that is where things are going. The third part of our business is consulting around the insight infrastructure of companies. That is all of the things that I just described and how you put those in place internally. With changing environments and more pressure on cost, the insight infrastructure is increasingly important to get right because the pressure is on to demonstrate value. Clients are all over the place in terms of what their infrastructure looks like and how they are set up for the process of doing all of those things. That is a long explanation but it does cover what we do.
CEOCFO: You have had a market research background for many years. What do you understand about the process that maybe others do not?
Dr. Tomaszewski: I think that the process has short and long-term components. The insight I have learned over time may not be a completely transferrable insight to everyone’s business, but for me the longer-term insight of our business is that to have good success, people have to have very well rounded skill sets as their career progresses. As a practice leader, it should be someone who is leading all of the decisions and working with clients. We have a lot of different skill sets needed. The insight is the things that are going to keep people engaged and successful in their career in this business require having that well-rounded perspective. We think a lot about different disciplines, from economics to political science, psychology or whatever it may be. Increasingly now, there is the insight with regard to the industry expertise. I think the piece there is that you have to have good training, mentoring and keeping people engaged in that career for the long haul because it takes a while to develop that skill set. It is not a completely unique insight, but the way you deliver that, for us, has been to retain the junior level people. You have to have the assistants and associates engaged early in their careers rather than just sticking them in a factory setting and not letting them hear what is happening from the client perspective. It is a very team-oriented approach versus delegating things down with the junior people who have no knowledge. They have to build that skill set up or they do not move along. That is a key piece of our success. If you cannot keep people engaged, they are not going to pick up those skill sets.
CEOCFO: Is there one area that you do more in than others or that you prefer on a personal or company level?
Dr. Tomaszewski: We have always been more on the market research side as a percentage of our business. I like working with clients in general, designing things and putting projects together. I like designing any project that is research or consulting based, but I think that the challenges in the health outcomes market access space are very intriguing and they are new problems that are coming. Challenges of launching products exist from Corn Flakes through cancer drugs. There are alot of similarities and there are differences, but once you understand these, they are fixed and you work with those parameters. In general, the outcomes, market access and health policy side is changing at a much more rapid pace than the “general market” side of things. They are all interrelated, but I think that I am very much interested in the other piece and I know that we are going to focus on the growth.
CEOCFO: You recently hired a Director of Health Outcomes and a Director of European practice. Are these new areas? What do they add to KJT?
Dr. Tomaszewski: We made a decision to get a global office footprint and having someone on the ground in Europe about two years ago. We opened that office last August so it is not exactly new but it is definitely a very recent event. It takes a while to find the person to lead a practice, be a rainmaker, and be a good researcher and a good mentor. There are many skill sets needed and we are very happy to have Nicola join us. It is not a new piece and we have been doing global work for a while without having the advantage of having people on the ground. Nicola and Stuart have been there now for over a year and I lived there for about six months. On the Health Outcomes and Market Access side, Arun Changolkar has joined us now about two months ago. We really needed more depth because it is an area of growth for us. We needed to have more people who can be a P.I. and have a deeper understanding of the outcomes, techniques and methods as well as the experiences that take years to accumulate. We are very happy to have them onboard. It is not brand new, as we have been doing outcomes studies almost from the first year, but just not as many as we intend to do in the future as a proportion of our work.
CEOCFO: How do you keep up to date with the changing regulatory environment and situations where everything is hanging somewhat precariously these days?
Dr. Tomaszewski: You read the news through common sources, alternative sources and you get email updates. You cannot even stand the amount of them, but sometimes there is one headline that you catch form all of the different sources. I think that in the products we do, you hear about an issue, read about something, and you go off on a tangent and find more information about it. We are lucky that across hundreds of projects, these things come up. I was also fortunate that I have been an adjunct professor on and off now for the past ten or more years. The most recent class I taught was an undergraduate level health economics course, so it was Juniors and Seniors and it was right at the time when healthcare reform laws in the US had just passed. You get involved and do stuff in many ways.
CEOCFO: Would you walk us through one of your more unusual projects? What are able to do for a client that might surprise people?
Dr. Tomaszewski: Particularly of late, we formalized the insight process and in a way, we work with our clients to be much more design focused. People may be surprised that we want to take an extra couple of hours to sit with them at the beginning of a project to fully understand the holistic approach to what is happening. There are studies that are still basic. and you do not have to overdo that when you are just changing a light bulb. However, if you are actually going to rewire it, you should find out why something is going “here” or “there.” That is going to end up actually giving us better insight, making it more actionable and making sure their internal constituents are involved. Everyone talks about doing these things and I think it is sometimes surprising when you actually do it and it works well. Often, I think that people are rushing to get things out the door at five o’clock on a Friday and you really do not want to do it that way. You want to have the time and make the plan appropriately.
CEOCFO: How do you reach potential clients?
Dr. Tomaszewski: A lot of word of mouth, because people move around. We have some inside sales where we go out and actually make phone calls and try to set up meetings. We go to some conferences and try to keep active in the publication circuit, some of the outcomes work and things that are for public release. We have our own public opinion poll that we run on a quarterly basis and some ad hoc rounds as well. We have some good stuff we can talk about and keep relevant, and a lot of that gets into aging topics;-aging in America, and across the world, where we look at informal care giving and what is happening with unpaid caregivers as well as the squeal of events that occur. It keeps us busy and it keeps us out there.
CEOCFO: How do you continue on the same growth pattern you have shown to be included on the Inc list?
Dr. Tomaszewski: For us there are two things. We focus on expanding our global footprint that is generating from a regional expansion and trying to expand more into Europe, Asia and South America. The primary focus for the next year will be more on the Europe side, but over time, we will have more presence with feet on the ground. That is a tried and true method in this industry and it is done in many ways but we have to get more of a regional piece to be relevant because our clients are global. We will also continue to grow the outcomes proportion of our business and it is essential to address that because that is where the insights are most needed and where they are most relevant when we are trying to control cost from a policy perspective. It has to be done somehow, so I think that will be where you will see a lot of focus. I think those two items are the growth opportunities. We will additionally focus on gaining more share of wallet within our existing accounts. We will try to build stronger relationships and we will try to increase the value that we can provide with existing clients. People tend to be pretty loyal in this industry because it is challenging. We just want to make sure we are focused in our client relationships and that is done through people’s experience and finding the right people mix who understand the design-based approach. We think that will optimize the client relationship.
CEOCFO: Why should people in the business and investment community pay attention to KJT Group?
Dr. Tomaszewski: I think the philosophy of the design-based approach coupled with our particular industry of focus, which is healthcare, is really a model for how our company as well as our constituent clients in the private and public sector will meld together. What we do is to build these insights around how to get this market to operate efficiently when it is heavily regulated. This is one of the most complex markets and it is probably the most complex market next to the military. All of those market issues, and how the private sector comes in to help clients work on it, is what we are doing. Investors and people are interested in this because it is a model. It is service-based design and it needs to be throughout government sectors, public sectors and private sectors. Using this approach will do more with less resources, will be more efficient and is a more sustainable model for how these markets have to operate.
CEOCFO: Final thoughts?
excited to be a part of this transition that is happening in the health care
system. I think we have a great work culture and having these interesting
things to work on in a good sound approach gets people motivated. I think we
are just fortunate to have these opportunities and we want to make sure our
employees and clients all recognize the same thing.
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