Raman Singh, CEO, Mundipharma, tells Jerene Ang that to create a winning culture, aspiring leaders should make celebrating their teams’ successes part of their professional DNA.

Q What are the lessons on leadership that you’d love to share with us?

Leadership can be measured by the trust and credibility you build among your industry peers. My journey as CEO of Mundipharma is similarly based on the relationships we’ve developed with people and organisations who share the same vision and purpose. Since joining the company in 2011, our company goal has been to align our products and services with consumer needs in a way that builds their trust. This has been our north star.

Leadership is also about the courage to make bold decisions. At Mundipharma we encourage people to be open to change and to turn challenges into opportunities because when we do we are more likely to achieve impactful results and grow as people and professionals. This has become embedded in the spirit of our company and is one of the reasons we have been recognised as one of the ‘Best Companies To Work For in Asia’ in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and China.

Q What are some leadership best practices that have stood the test of time for you?

Patience takes you a long way, especially in an industry focused on improving people’s health and well-being over time. Healthcare is an industry that is constantly exploring new cures for diseases, but it can be a long process from research and development through to a doctor’s prescription. During my time I have been fortunate to have overseen market launches for new treatments for conditions such as cancer, glaucoma and bacterial vaginosis among others, where an unmet patient need has been resolved. While product due diligence takes time, it is also what makes a product sustainable and effective in the long-term.

Patience takes you a long way, especially in an industry focused on improving people’s health and well-being over time.

Another aspect of leadership is adaptability. Digital technologies have created new opportunities to advance healthcare for all, effecting an infrastructure or supply chain leap and increasing people’s access to treatments. Technology is also proving to be a catalyst for improving patient well-being through improved drug efficacy and delivery to enhance overall patient outcomes. Realising the benefits of technology transformation require an adaptive mindset, and a willingness to bet on the future even when the status quo is delivering results.

Q Given how rampantly leadership is being disrupted, what are we demanding from leaders that we didn’t previously?

Technological disruption demands that leaders prepare for the future, rather than manage from quarter-to-quarter. New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have become game-changers, disrupting ways of doing business and requiring leaders to have an open mind to new opportunities to improve the lives of consumers and patients. My role is to align our business vision and purpose with the power of technology innovation and to be an advocate for transformational change in our organisation. A change-agent and champion of ideas if you like.

Q In this backdrop, what does the mindset of a good leader look like to you?

Leaders set the culture in an organisation, so how we behave and conduct ourselves sets the tone. I visit our teams across the region so I can be there to discuss what’s going on. It’s important to reduce the organisational distance through direct interaction. Being there says that I can be available at any time and that they should have no hesitation in reaching out to me.

Leaders set the culture in an organisation, so how we behave and conduct ourselves sets the tone.

We live in an age of relationships. As leaders, it's important to acknowledge and celebrate our teams’ successes, whether they are professional or personal. This builds trust and loyalty, which are crucial to creating a winning culture. Aspiring leaders should make this part of their professional DNA, remembering that with leadership comes responsibility.

This interview was published in Human Resources Online’s January-February 2020 edition of the Singapore magazine and will soon be published in the Q1 edition of the Malaysia magazine.

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Photo / provided

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