All country managers of multinational pharma companies need to strike the balance between having a global outlook and adapting to local culture. For BoonHuey Ee, general manager of Merck Biopharma Taiwan, “at first glance, each country might appear to be vastly different with its own incomparable features. However, rather than focusing on the differences, if you peel back the initial layers, the nucleus of an affiliate is the same – the people.”
The Novo Nordisk Taiwan affiliate is rather like a high performing soccer team. I will help in giving clear direction, communication and tactics and then results will come
Despite, for example, differences in culture and language, a functioning team should be working towards common goals set by global headquarters, executed at the ground level. “At the end of the day we all have the same motivations and desires to be respected and acknowledged for what we do. I strive to lead the team with a clear vision, capture Taiwan’s differentiation and opportunity, and embrace diversity and inclusion,” continues Ee.
Although affiliates are often based thousands of miles away from headquarters, bringing home country culture to bear can be advantageous. “I admire the questioning Danish mindset, which always looks for an explanation rather than simply accepting circumstances. As a global company which is Scandinavian at heart, Novo Nordisk has a culture that allows everyone to start a discussion and share their ideas, without a hierarchy,” confirms general manager of Novo Nordisk Taiwan, Steve Profit. “We have an open and honest approach across all areas of operation to ensure we can continuously learn and innovate,” adds Profit.
As in any industry, not only is recruiting and retaining top talent important, but being able to develop employees for future internal growth is a critical factor for long-term success. “One of the aspects of my job I enjoy the most is being able to develop both new and growing talents, coach my team, and help drive them forward in their careers. I am very fortunate to have a very stable, experienced and skilled organization here in Taiwan who I will support in reaching the next level of excellence,” Profit affirms.
Talent development is also an indication of an affiliate’s performance as BoonHuey explains. Her affiliate has “promoted a lot of talent outside of Taiwan. Just this year, we have already had three team members promoted out of the country, including to regional and global positions. Taiwan is a very strong talent incubator and as a general manager I am very proud of this.”
While the local market dynamics have a strong influence on an affiliate, there is a mutual agreement that a solid organization foundation will lead to ultimate success. “The Novo Nordisk Taiwan affiliate is rather like a high performing soccer team. I will help in giving clear direction, communication and tactics and then results will come,” concludes Profit.