As general manager of the Hungarian affiliate of Swiss firm IBSA, Anna Wienner has proven herself to be a motivated pharma leader with particular expertise in reshaping and building organizations. Joining the company in 2015, Wienner took on her new position with the task of restructuring the stagnating affiliate. This came after a seven-year run with Ipsen where she established the local affiliate from scratch in 2008.
We were able to rejuvenate IBSA through a reorganization of the affiliate. The first success factor was to enhance the professional education of the team in order to change their way of thinking and be more scientifically centralized
Reflecting on the year in 2019, Wienner excitedly shares her satisfaction with the affiliate’s performance. “We will end the above budget and above sales targets. Despite having some difficulties with our Fx rate (CHF exchange rate), we were able to maintain – and even grow – the affiliate’s profitability,” she proclaims. According to Wienner, this growth is particularly important for supporting the group overall considering IBSA’s recent establishment of commercial operations in the US in 2018.
For IBSA, the main driver of this success was the introduction of new products which were then able to achieve reimbursement authorizations. After implementing new education systems for sales team, “we were able to rejuvenate IBSA through a reorganization of the affiliate. The first success factor was to enhance the professional education of the team in order to change their way of thinking and be more scientifically centralized,” Wienner expresses. By selecting choice-products on which to consolidate focus, she implemented a fresh market strategy based on the latest scientific publications.
Changing the ingrained habits of an already existing workforce can prove challenging. Wienner comments, “For me, patience is very important. I am a quick and efficient person but sometimes change needs time. I see myself as the revolution for my new team and I am happy they are in line with me now. To effectively reform old habits requires diligence, consistency and, above all, patience.”
She goes on to highlight the importance of talent development. “My main objective on accepting this position was developing an effective sales force… For me, building something from scratch, as I had done previously, is a completely unique experience because you can select the most fitting people to comprise the team. In this role, I inherited a team, and I have motivated them to achieve and to follow me towards my goals, and in turn, the company’s goals.”
Having led the Hungary affiliate to new heights, Wienner looks forward to conquering more mountains and maintaining the level of dynamism that has marked her pharma career. “I absolutely love challenges – especially those that have proven difficult to overcome in the past! If I can see that there are in fact opportunities, it is exciting to work alongside my team to find the creative solutions that will lead us to success. This is a key motivational driver for me.”