CitiusTech taps new CEO as payer-focused company eyes strategic M&A moves

profile photo of Bhaskar Sambasivan
Bhaskar Sambasivan comes to CitiusTech with 25 years of experience in healthcare and will assume the role of CEO on Nov. 1. (CitiusTech)

CitiusTech, a provider of payer-focused healthcare technologies, has named Bhaskar Sambasivan as its new CEO, the company announced Tuesday.

Sambasivan joined CitiusTech in May as its president. Sambasivan will succeed Rizwan Koita, co-founder and CEO, to assume the role Nov. 1.

Prior to joining CitiusTech, Sambasivan served as president of patient services and chief strategy officer of life sciences company Eversana. Before that, he was Cognizant’s global head of life sciences, where the company’s business grew thirtyfold over his 15-year tenure.

“Bhaskar is an immensely accomplished healthcare industry leader with a clear vision for digital innovation and a 25-year track record of scaling technology-enabled healthcare businesses,” said William Winkenwerder, M.D., chairman of CitiusTech, in a statement. “We are excited that his ideas, insights and strategy will further accelerate CitiusTech’s success and growth momentum.”

Co-founder Jagdish Moorjani is also stepping down. Atul Soneja, who joined CitiusTech in July as its president of operations, will assume Moorjani’s role as COO on Nov. 1.

Moorjani and Koita, who founded CitiusTech in 2005, will continue to advise CitiusTech as members of the board and will remain stakeholders in the company.

RELATED: CitiusTech grows its payer services business with SDLC Partners acquisition

CitiusTech is an international company with offerings split across payer, medtech, provider and life sciences markets. Alongside business and technology strategy consulting, its assorted services help healthcare organizations tackle data interoperability, quality analytics, enterprise application design and deployment alongside other tech-based challenges.

Sambasivan has been “working closely” with Koita through a “structured leadership transition process,” the company said in the statement.

“As co-founder of CitiusTech, it has been a privilege to lead the organization and see it scale to over 5,500 healthcare technology professionals serving over 120 healthcare organizations,” said Koita. “Having worked closely with Bhaskar the past six months, I am inspired by his passion to improve healthcare outcomes through technology innovation. CitiusTech’s co-founder and COO, Jagdish Moorjani, and I look forward to supporting him to drive the next phase of growth at CitiusTech.”

In 2019, Baring Private Equity Asia acquired a controlling stake in CitiusTech for over $1 billion. Sambasivan told Fierce Healthcare that a plan emerged for Koita and Moorjani to step down from their executive roles “as part of that investment.”

But when COVID-19 hit the U.S., not only was that plan delayed, but the healthcare industry saw a rapid digital transformation.

“Almost every company is looking for strategic partners who can accelerate this transition more than ever, and we are sitting right in the middle of it,” Sambasivan said.

In its unique position, Sambasivan said CitiusTech is looking to make strategic M&A moves. CitiusTech announced it was acquiring SDLC Partners in June to expand the company’s digital offerings.

Sambasivan said CitiusTech is eyeing companies in the fields of analytics and life sciences for potential future acquisitions.

“There are a lot of innovative companies today in health tech that don’t have the same client access,” he said.

He noted that CitiusTech is also looking towards life sciences acquisitions in the U.K. and Europe, where the company has four prominent clients in life sciences.

Bloomberg reported in March that Baring Private Equity Asia was considering taking CitiusTech public in the U.S. through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. The Hindu Business Line reported in August that the PE firm shelved those plans and may now consider a traditional listing or IPO for the Mumbai-based health tech company.

Sambasivan said previous siloes in healthcare have significantly lagged the industry behind others. But the digital health boom driven by the pandemic is causing a “healthcare convergence,” he said.

He said he’s excited to lead CitiusTech into what he called “the golden decade of healthcare.”

“If done well, it’s going to make a huge difference to patients,” he said.