Global Business School for Health


Spotlight interview: Raghul Sentilnathan, Dragons' Den competition winner and scholarship awardee

3 August 2023

Join student ambassador Rida in a spotlight interview with Raghul Sentilnathan, winner of the Dragons' Den competition & scholarship awardee. Discover his journey, successes, and insights at UCL GBSH.

Spot-light interview

1. Introduction

a. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your academic background? 

Hello! My name is Raghul Senthilnathan, and I am a passionate scientist and entrepreneur with a deep interest in blending technology and science for broader applications. My academic foundation is rooted in Biotechnology; my curiosity has always been drawn towards the potential of science to transform our approach to health and disease. This curiosity was more than just academic; it drove me to find Axis Protean, a start-up where we dared to challenge the status quo. We developed a pioneering microscope model that ingeniously combined three different types into one, thereby broadening its applicability and usefulness.

b. What motivated you to pursue a Master'sdegree in Biotech and Pharmaceutical Management?

Working at the heart of a start-up, I experienced first-hand the vital role of strategic management in translating innovative ideas into reality. I realized the importance of blending scientific knowledge with practical management strategies. IIt'snot enough to have a ground-breaking scientific mind; one must also possess the skills to bring this idea to life and navigate the complexities associated with the business side of technology. This understanding inspired me to pursue an MSc in Biotech and Pharmaceutical Management at UUCL'sSchool of Management.

2. Research and Academic Achievements

a. Could you share some highlights from your journey during your MSc programme?

My journey during the MSc programme has been both challenging and incredibly rewarding. Among the numerous highlights, the one that stands out the most was winning the prestigious UCL GBSH DrDragon'sen competition. This competition, aimed at fostering innovative thinking and entrepreneurship among students, was a perfect platform for me to showcase my ideas and passion. Winning this competition with my concept for CogniVerseTM: VR for Medical Training and Patient Engagement was immensely gratifying.

b. What courses or areas of study did you find particularly challenging, and how did you overcome those challenges?

Initially, one of the challenges I faced was understanding economics, a subject quite different from my core strength in Biotechnology. By participating actively in classroom discussions and leveraging case studies and seminar sessions, I was able to bridge this gap in understanding.

c. What will this programme add to your career moving forward?

The MSc program has added immense value to my career moving forward. It has equipped me with a unique blend of scientific knowledge and management strategies, which are directly relevant and beneficial to the healthcare technology sector. The programme's comprehensive curriculum has given me a deep understanding of the complexities within the industry and the intricacies of cutting-edge technologies.
Additionally, the strong network I have built during my studies provides me with valuable connections in the field, allowing for potential collaborations, learning opportunities, and professional growth.

3. Dragons Den Competition Experience

a. Congratulations on winning the Dragons Den competition! Can you briefly explain the competition and what motivated you to participate?

Thank you! The DragDragon competition is a unique event that encourages and rewards innovative thinking and entrepreneurship among students. For someone like me, who thrives on innovation and the thrill of problem-solving, participating in this competition was a profoundly fulfilling and exhilarating experience. It allowed me to challenge myself and see how my ideas would withstand rigorous scrutiny.

b. What was the business idea or project you presented in the Dragons Den? Please provide an overview.

The idea that won us the competition was CogniVerseTM, a VR platform designed to transform medical training and patient engagement. By leveraging the immersive capabilities of VR technology, CogniVerseTM aims to provide more effective, engaging, and scalable solutions in medical training and patient care.

c. How did you and your team prepare for the Dragons Den pitch? Did you face any obstacles during the preparation phase?

The preparation phase for DragDragon's pitch was a journey in itself. My team and I dedicated countless hours to brainstorming, conducting comprehensive research, refining our business model, and rehearsing our presentation.

The biggest challenge was ensuring that our concept was innovative but also feasible and practical. Through teamwork, persistence, and constructive feedback, we successfully overcame this obstacle.

d. What were the key takeaways from the Dragons Den experience regarding the feedback you received and the overall competition process?

The Dragon's Den experience was a treasure trove of learning. The interest shown by the dragons and audience was incredibly motivating, instilling in us the confidence to push our idea forward. Their feedback was instrumental in refining our business model and approach. The competition process taught us a lot about the importance of clear communication, solid teamwork, and the ability to think on our feet.

e. How did this experience impact your professional growth and future career aspirations?

Winning Dragon'sn's Den competition has profoundly impacted my professional trajectory. The victory validated our idea and opened the door to a year-long mentorship program with esteemed leaders in the field. This experience has also reinforced my aspiration to be an entrepreneur in the healthcare technology sector.

4. Advice for Others

a. What advice would you give to future MSc students who might have the opportunity to participate in similar entrepreneurial competitions like Dragons Den?

Embrace every opportunity that comes your way. These competitions are not just about winning; they provide a platform to test and refine your ideas, challenge your problem-solving skills, and interact with industry professionals; n'tn't hesitate to share your innovative ideas, no matter how unconventional they may seem. Remembeit'st's the strange ideas that often lead to breakthroughs. Collaboration is also crucial, so work closely with your teammates, as different perspectives can enhance your project and lead to unexpected solutions.

And finally, enjoy the process. 

5. Closing

a. What advice would you give to incoming students?  

UCL is more than just an academy. It's a voyage of personal growth, forging lifelong connections, discovering passions, and challenging limits. Make the most of your time at UCL, utilize every resource, embrace every challenge, and remember you truly grow through these challenges.

b. Summarise your experience at GBSH in 3 words 

“3Ts - Transformative, Tenacious, and Tra"blazing”