I started at Roche as a participant in the HR Perspective programme in the wintry month of January 2019 after completing my MBA. For this, I relocated from Nice in France to Basel in Switzerland. During my first assignment, I worked in the Global People Analytics team. The amount of people data available in Roche is enormous, and it becomes all the more important for Human Resources (HR) to make decisions supported by data, which is why there was a need to build a culture of data-driven decision making in HR. I was trusted with an important step towards this goal, which was building the People Analytics Academy, an evidence-based decision-making tool. I was in charge of the end to end life cycle of this project - from ideation to product design, development and communications. This assignment nudged me towards understanding how data can be used to create a hypothesis, zero in on a cause, and ultimately make an impactful decision. In August 2019, I left Switzerland for my current adventure and relocated to the Pearl of the Orient-The Philippines.
Here, I am in charge of Talent Acquisition for Roche Pharma. I am also working on a global project on employer branding for Pharma. I started hiring for crucial positions from the beginning of the assignment, which allowed me to learn faster on the job. I am incredibly grateful to the leaders who displayed faith in me to take on a completely new and courageous role from the very start. I find myself in a very intellectually curious place right now as I am learning a ton about the pharmaceutical industry, the local health policies that shape them, and the business of Roche in particular in a country that has a huge unmet need. I am much in tune with Roche’s purpose of ‘doing now what patients need next’ because I get deep insights into access to healthcare which we are driving in the Philippines.
Currently, I am preparing to begin the next leg of my journey. My next assignment will be in Roche Diagnostics in the beautiful Rotkreuz (Switzerland), which houses all the central functions of Roche’s Diagnostics business. As an HR Business Partner, I hope to deepen my understanding of the business, sharpen my commercial acumen and provide a strong partnership to our teams.
From a personal perspective my biggest learning so far is:
I have developed my resilience tremendously. I realized how intensely and deeply I learn when I am out of my comfort zone. It can be unsettling at first but it also gets out the best in me. At Roche, I took leaps in networking. I met individuals who filled my mind with ideas and thoughts that helped me navigate the world of Roche and think creatively. I traveled solo across continents, volunteered with local organisations and met some super resilient people.
‘A journey from engineering to HR’
As an engineer who made a transition to HR way back in 2014 in India, I revisited quite a few agile related concepts at Roche. This helped me translate my technical learnings to my work in HR, which I previously never thought of doing. I also received an opportunity to learn more about coaching and creative leadership through a workshop in Kuala Lumpur. I built a strong network of wonderful individuals across Roche, who challenged me time and again to think differently, and became my support in the time of need. The leaders I came across have inspired me through their leadership and I have gained a multitude of knowledge through my interactions with them.
I am exposed to an exceptionally diverse culture at Roche, which encourages me every day to be a better person and a better leader, not only for my personal growth but also to create a better world for patients around the world, which ties to the purpose of Roche as an organization. Last but definitely not the least, when things don't go as anticipated, I also learned to squeeze in a breather.
"‘Complexities excite me because I like simplifying things"
slide 1 of 10 The Perspectives Programme is an excellent way of getting to know Roche and gain insights on how we are evolving personalised healthcare for the benefit of patients. It’s also a great way to focus on your strengths and the opportunities that lie ahead. Severin Schwan, CEO Roche
Complexities arising from projects in a huge organization such as Roche posed an interesting challenge for me. Cultural and time zone differences did not make things easier. Working in a new environment every few months demanded that I learn the nuances of the work in each of these markets quickly, and this can be a task in itself. But each time I worked on a new project with a new business in a new setting, I learned something valuable. I studied the existing system well, learned to navigate through complex processes and make things simpler along the way.
I came across more ideas which culminated into something much bigger than I had expected. This is the beauty of a global accelerated development program such as the HR Perspectives.