Mouloud Boukhachab, Pierre Fabre’s managing director for Africa, the Middle East and Turkey, took on the new responsibilities of his current position in March 2020 at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. In a recent interview with PharmaBoardroom, Boukhachab outlined the career trajectory that has led him to his current position and the complexities of managing a diverse region during a worldwide lockdown.
This is a region that will require really dedicated, agile and very motivated teams.
Boukhachab counts vast international management experience in his 25-year career, starting out as a sales representative in Morocco and gradually taking on greater responsibility in London, France and later returning to Morocco as country manager. He then headed Pierre Fabre’s oncology, ethical and OTC portfolio in the Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg (BeNeLux) affiliate. Managing this regional cluster provided a launching pad for him to then take on the management of Africa, Middle East and Turkey where he is currently responsible for the dermocosmetics, personal care and medical care portfolios in these regions.
On taking on new responsibilities for a large region at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Boukhachab told PharmaBoardroom that “it has been a very active, but also very awkward situation, with a lot of teleconferences with colleagues throughout the region. Obviously the first few weeks have been around introducing myself to the teams and trying to get to know them better.”
Speaking on the complexity of managing this diverse region, which is compounded by coronavirus concerns, he elaborated, “The reality is that this is a very complex region where currency volatility, social unrest and even wars have been the reality of these past few years. Added to this is the diversity of localization or partnering rules and regulations throughout the region. This is a region that will require really dedicated, agile and very motivated teams.”
When asked about the potential long-term impacts of confinement on Pierre Fabre’s business growth, Boukhachab replied with optimism that “The most obvious is that it will reinforce the utilization of digital tools in the workplace. It has been an accelerator of the adoption of digital solutions to communicate with the HCPs. Many companies will come to the realization that some of these solutions really work, and it will most probably change the way we do business in the long run. At the same time – although it sounds somewhat contradictory – I think that while reinforcing digital communication, it also highlights the value of face-to-face communication and the need for strongly connecting with our customers overall. I am also very happy to see that this crisis has shown the capacity of our company and of our industry to be extremely flexible and agile to adopt change in a very efficient way.”