Senior Director & Commercial Team Leader, Oncology, Pfizer
As senior director and team leader in commercial development for Pfizer Oncology, Soma Gupta handles commercial oversight
of Pfizer Oncology's newly emerging hematological malignancy assets and its early development portfolio. As a Pharm.D by training,
Gupta says she thrives on the challenge of working in specialty categories where the unmet medical need is exceptionally high
and the products delivered have a meaningful impact. "Working on the commercial perspective for early and launch assets in
oncology, where the science and treatment paradigm move so quickly, is particularly interesting since identifying the meaningful
improvements early can make a world of difference in the therapy you ultimately deliver," notes Gupta.
To succeed as a leader, Gupta believes that technical proficiency is "absolutely necessary." According to the pharma veteran,
you must know the nuts and bolts of your field to earn the respect of a team and you must also know people. "Knowledge helps
establish credibility, but it's emotional intelligence that will allow you to motivate and drive for results in large, cross-functional
teams," she says.
In order to adapt to tough times, Gupta stresses that leaders need to know what is most essential, and what is not. They need
to embrace a not-one-size-fits-all style of leadership. "In the simplest terms, the goal should remain to understand what
motivates people and to leverage that to drive each individual's aspirations in line with the business need," says Gupta.
"In an era where teams are increasingly virtual, getting the most out of every face-time opportunity remains critical to making
sure leaders keep the "people" component of people management front and center. Not everything motivates the entire team in
the same precise way; now more than ever, we need to spend the time to recognize that."