LJUBLJANA MBA, WOMEN FOR WOMEN: NERMINA ČOLIĆ

You have a medical background and work in pharma industry? Where do you see the biggest trends and changes that will happen in the industry in 10 years?

Proving the value of new medications and securing it on all level is key in improving the lives of patients and their families. For me as a medical doctor with long lasting experience in the biopharmaceutical industry this is at the center of what I believe and do.

The pharmaceutical industry is facing many challenges today like Drug prices pressures, Reimbursements Hurdles, Operational Effectiveness, Transparency, Digital and Multichannel communications and Advanced analytics. The main challenge is to create more value for patients, providers and payers and thus for shareholders. In the future there will be some common trends like need to provide real-world data on the outcomes medicines deliver and prioritization on how much and where to invest in the growth markets as well as what strategies to pursue in the countries it targets. The biggest markets might not be the most profitable ones, for example. Due to personalized and digitalized medicine every company will have to be more selective about the diseases and services addressed, investment in genetics and genomics, and revise its Research and Development processes.  New Digital technologies, eHealth records systems, mHealth, Big data and Telemedicine will for sure impact the present business models and services. More collaboration with academia, governmental and non-governmental organisations, the regulators and patient groups will become mandatory as well as Startups environment to foster innovations. Ethical and compliance behaviour and transparency will become real competitive advantage not risk prevention. In next decade probably many companies will start to develop medicines that cure some of the most serious diseases from which patients now suffer.

What are the most important decisions/challenges that you face daily as a leader in your organization?

Clear focus accompanied by clarity of roles and responsibilities, as well as of operational governance as whole in 17 different markets in CEE. In order to streamline operational effectiveness of Sanofi Genzyme CEE zone I am covering broad spectrum of tasks related to Business Excellence. My own and Company Prioritization in endavouring excellence targets in delivering projects and systems designed to improve operational activities responsible for delivering CEE perspective is critical.  All this should translate to beneficial results for the company and for patients waiting to get access to effective treatments Sanofi Genzyme can provide.

As an individual and professional how do you operate today (after the MBA)?  What’s different from before, during the MBA time?

The knowledge, integrity and personal development are very important values for me. During MBA I developed a Global business worldview with a focus on markets development, practices and technologies. Just before finishing my MBA I was promoted to newly created position of Business Operations Head in CEE which require strong capacity for analysis, assessment, judgment and action within different functional and business areas which are crucial for transversal crossfunctional work in CEE.  MBA program offered and helped me strongly to improve and develop all those competencies and capacities which are vital in my daily job.

MBA journey was an excellent experience for me, great people in class, professors, programs managers. I do really appreciate all this new people I met, as every person who cross your path has some lesson for you.

What’s an accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Sharing informations, knowledge, best practices and engage cross-country stakeholders in fight for patients right to have life expectancy in Central Eastern Europe at the level of the rest of Europe is my big motivation. I strongly believe that patients centricity should reflect our daily communication and work and I am proud of any alignment, practice sharing and solutions which allow us to step up on the excellence ladder and help the patients. There are many like early access and high risk screening programs, educational platforms, good analytical tools. I am involved with strategy development and transformation of our corporate culture to foster innovation and address the needs of patients and payers. Actually this project was done in collaboration with the FELU Centre of Business Excellence and prof. Adriana Rejc Buhovac due to strategic consulting. Very appreciated and good collaboration between business and academia.

When you’re really busy, how do you manage to find balance in your life?

There is no magic formula how to keep the optimal balance as our professional and private life are interconnected and we need to optimize them both not to be under stress and this is probably life learning process. My own and company prioritization are crucial. I have some ups&downs, but my optimism help me to find in almost all situations something positive. Smiling is my best tool and always help. After some busy period I simply switch off and enjoy  with my family. We all like to travel and  those nice memories usually keep as all balanced for new things and challenges. Using some mental and concentration  exercise or simply walk with my Dog in near forrest. All this help, but the purpose and selfmotivation in everything we do is the most important. MBA was also good learning experience how is possible to do more in the same timeframe.

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