Novartis: LEADing in Emerging Markets - Pharmaceutical Executive


Novartis: LEADing in Emerging Markets

Pharmaceutical Executive

Where LEAD Leads Next

LEAD has already been judged a success, and the plan is to expand participation to young managers from 12 other emerging markets: Algeria, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela. Ultimately, what Novartis intends is to build a reserve of young managers who combine local business expertise with a global policy perspective, whose skills can be applied throughout the company, between businesses and across geographies. Eventually, these managers will be in a position to return home and lead their country business from a perspective that is not parochial but expansive.

What Novartis hopes to achieve is to focus on developing an at-home innovator and not have someone from the multinational leadership team being recycled as a manager or administrator. Good benchmarks already exist, in that for three of the four BRICs, the head of the business is a local.

World in 2015: Measuring Success

The Novartis profile in the emerging markets is front forward, with many good people executing around a diverse portfolio that can be bundled to meet the apparently endless variations in customer need. Maintaining that global perspective has been challenged, however, by the difficulties the company has encountered in integrating the manufacturing function across the different divisions, such as Sandoz and Consumer Health. But there are still some rich tools in the arsenal: "Alcon has a strong competitive position in tapping the global potential in cataract surgery, while the upward growth cycles for Gilenya and Tasigna, combined with the launch of the meningitis B vaccine Bexsero and Afinitor for breast cancer, means that Novartis will have good things to sell that match the long-term demand implicit in emerging markets, Fernandez of Leerink Swan told Pharm Exec.

For Novartis management, the metric for success is more than financial. Says Jimenez, "What's most rewarding is heaering from patients whose lives we've touched. This past year, we reached more than 1.1 billion patients around the world, and we're constantly striving to address new disease areas where we can have an impact."

No intermediaries or "handlers" were present to interfere with the provocative question Jimenez posed to each country participant: "If you were in charge, what would you do differently?"

Familiarity and depth are important to chasing profits in the often bewildering complexity of the local environment, which can consist of literally dozens of sub-markets.


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