Meet Harshita, Product Manager at Roche in Canada

Hi, my name is…

…Harshita, a dental surgeon by training, a global healthcare leader in the making, a humanitarian by heart and a work in progress! Born and raised in India, I come from a family which holds the idea of public service near and dear. Thus, I have a deep-rooted passion to make an impact on people’s lives. To live my passion, I pursued healthcare.
I have six years of experience in healthcare spanning four countries as a dental surgeon, lecturer, and marketeer in the healthcare provider and bio-pharmaceutical sector. My life’s goal is to become a healthcare leader, improving the lives of patients worldwide through sustainable and innovative business practices. Outside work, I am passionate about using my public speaking skills to promote women’s empowerment and child welfare in my home country.
I hold two graduate degrees: one in dental surgery from Manipal University, India and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. In my free time, I love to dance, write, and explore new cultures and cuisines!

My typical day at work is…

…anything but typical! That’s what makes my work intellectually stimulating, interesting and meaningful. I love every minute of it!
Roche’s Global Business Perspective Program – a two-year accelerated leadership development programme – gives me the opportunity to further my career. For my first rotation, I worked at Roche’s Pharmaceuticals Headquarters, Basel, specialising in the global product strategy for the global marketing of a comprehensive genomic profiling service through multi-channel marketing strategies and tactics. For my second rotation, I am a product manager in Canada for Roche’s Lung Cancer Franchise, comprising three targeted and immunotherapy cancer drugs. My goal on this rotation is to implement global strategies for the Canadian market so that every patient has easy access to these cancer drugs. My next rotation will be a customer-oriented, field-based role as a precision medicine partner for Singapore and Malaysia.

The location I am working at is…

…stunning! I work at Roche Pharmaceuticals, Mississauga, Canada. It has a beautiful office, beside a lake with geese and ducks. One of my most favourite things to do with my team is to have lunch on our office patio by the water when the sun is shining. Roche Canada employs over 1,000 people across the country. Roche Canada was founded in 1931 in Montreal, Quebec and relocated its pharmaceuticals head office to Mississauga in 1990. Its diagnostics head office is situated in Laval, Quebec.

My work helps Roche to…

…make a difference to cancer patients’ lives. Cancer is a deadly disease that kills millions of people worldwide. My personal focus on my rotations as part of the Business Perspectives Program is to understand Roche’s role in the oncology treatment landscape, specifically pertaining to precision medicine. My work helps Roche to co-create strategies with our customers and field representatives to offer patients quick and easy access to cancer drugs so that every cancer patient benefits from Roche’s breakthrough therapies.

Roche as an employer is…

…highly ethical, innovative and full of integrity! I am inspired and motivated to come to work every day because at Roche every employee feels valued, which motivates everyone, including me, to give their best to make a difference to the lives of patients. I believe the secret ingredient behind Roche’s success to date is the people it hires and the growth opportunities it offers across functions and geographical boundaries.
Another major reason why I value Roche as an employer are the philanthropic activities it is involved in for the underprivileged sections of society worldwide.

The Business Perspective Program is looking for people who…

…are curious, agile and open to unstructured business challenges. Business Perspective candidates have an entrepreneurial mind set with a strong ethical and customer-centric way of thinking. They are go-getters and quickly adapt to unknown and unstructured situations. These candidates are open to a global career and are excited about carving out their own professional path!

What's the best advice you have ever received in your career and from whom did you get it?

I have been fortunate to have had excellent mentors throughout my life. The best advice, though, came during my childhood. It was from my grandmother: always give back to the community, to the people you work and live with. I have always followed this advice. It has helped me make a lasting impact on the organisations and teams that I have been part of. I am privileged to be working at Roche, which also embodies the same principal of giving back to the community, be it through science, medicines, diagnostics or philanthropic activities.

How would you describe working at Roche in three words?

Enriching. Empowering. Energising.

What do you do to help balance life and work?

In all honesty, I have always been a workaholic. However, since I joined Roche I have had excellent managers who advocate a good work/life balance. They have helped me prioritise my tasks and encouraged me to say no when I’ve got too much on my plate. I now switch off completely most weekends, which has actually helped me to become more effective, energised and innovative at work. Also, to-do lists are my best friends!
I also have a very active social life and love to meet new people, travel and explore different places. Lastly, I am very close to my family, who make my personal life very comfortable and easy, helping me to reconcile my personal life and my career.

If you are interested in learning more about the Business Perspectives Programme, click here.

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