BANGALORE--Former Weber Shandwick India head Melissa Arulappan has taken charge of communications at pharma services company Quintiles Transnational’s Indian operation.

Arulappan becomes corporate communications director, reporting to Charlotte Taylor, Quintiles’ UK-based senior PR director.

She takes on the position after spending the past two years heading her own firm. Prior to that, Arulappan worked at Weber Shandwick for more than 18 years, rising to the position of VP and director of development.

Her role at Quintiles is a newly-created one, and will involve building the company’s Indian comms operation, and devising its public relations strategy.

“The biopharma industry in India has been under a lot of scrutiny of late and there is a need to engage with various stakeholders in communicating Quintiles’ industry-leading initiatives,” Arulappan told the Holmes Report. “So much of the Quintiles India story is yet untold and I am looking forward to cascading those messages to a diversity of audiences.”

Headquartered in the US, Quintiles manages clinical trials on behalf of pharmaceutical customers. Its network consists of more than 20,000 employees in 60 countries.