The war against lethal diseases comprises many battles. In this article Raman Singh, CEO of Mundipharma – winner of Best CEO / Pharmaceutical industry Asia – gives Business Worldwide’s Nancy Callegari an insight into his success and future aspirations.
In October 2011, Raman Singh, visionary entrepreneur, and Vice President of Commercial Operations within a multi-national enterprise, decided his career progression would dramatically change direction. Six years later, the phenomenal success of healthcare firm Mundipharma bears testament to his drive to increase access to essential medicines, develop new healthcare solutions, advance innovative technologies into the healthcare sector, and generally enhance the quality of life for millions of people.
Under Raman’s leadership Mundipharma has become the fastest growing pharmaceutical company in emerging markets, achieving 40 per cent year on year growth. It has expanded its operations from six countries to a current total of 128 and increased its headcount from 350 to a 2017 figure close to 5,000. Raman has established a corporate culture built around pioneering techniques and entrepreneurial capability. He has also featured as a thought leader for reputable international media outlets, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Bloomberg and The Economist amongst others.
We delve behind the scenes of Mundipharma to learn more about this unique pharmaceutical enterprise and its inspirational and passionate leader, Raman Singh, who without doubt has been the predominant force behind this incredible success story.
Raman Singh – Mechanical engineer to pharmaceutical leader
Growing up in the US Raman’s initial ambition was to follow in the footsteps of his entrepreneurial father and to this end he embarked upon studying mechanical engineering at Arizona State University. Upon graduating in 1992 however, his aspirations centred towards a desire to enter the healthcare profession.
A diverse career ensued, leading Raman to travel overseas, encounter a range of industries and learn from the challenges and opportunities he faced. Always strongly focused and determined to succeed, he positively reminisces upon the obstacles presented during his formative business years.
Raman recognised his need for a more substantial business education, undertaking an MBA programme, followed later by an EMBA which incorporated a four month internship with healthcare giant Bayer to manage a start-up in Cambodia.
This important step was to become instrumental in paving the way to Raman’s eventual innovative role at Mundipharma. His accomplishments at Bayer in the form of sales, marketing and strategy positions across Germany, Singapore and North Carolina, acted as a springboard into further international career moves and increasing involvement in the pharmaceutical sector. His notable achievements included spearheading the Korean business arm of Abbott whilst carrying out the role of Global Director for HIV medication followed by the appointment of Vice President of Commercial Operations within GlaxoSmithKline.
And so to Mundipharma
With Raman at the helm of Mundipharma, his proven ability to convert entrepreneurism and innovation into business success has reaped unrivalled dividends. In the past year alone Raman’s work has been recognised in a number of ways. Mundipharma has been named Emerging Company of the Year at the Scrip Awards and Raman was individually honoured as being listed as one of the industry’s top ten ‘Most Influential People’ in the world by UK based ‘Medicine Maker.’ Recently his role and responsibilities have been extended to incorporate the Consumer Healthcare business of all the organisation’s global affiliates, including those in Europe and North America.
Despite being awarded prestigious recognition both individually and corporately, Raman’s passion and commitment lies in his mission to improve the lives of those most in need of medicines and he acknowledges the vast challenges ahead.
Widespread travel and increased global interconnectivity in today’s world has inevitably had repercussions in the medical field. Outbreaks of little known infectious diseases such as Ebola have paved the way for extra vigilance in containing such diseases and brought about collaboration between public health authorities and the private sector to adopt prevention and control measures.
Challenges like these are both an uphill and ongoing battle. There is a real need for healthcare companies and authorities to jointly participate in educational initiatives to increase public awareness of the impact of contagious diseases. To this end, Mundipharma worked with the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia in an integrated campaign to tackle potential outbreaks of respiratory infections such as MERS. As the fight against these diseases becomes more rigorous, the saying ‘Unity is Strength’ becomes even more apt. Raman believes that by each of us doing our part, we are capable of winning the war against infectious diseases.
Hope for tomorrow
Mundipharma’s contribution towards tomorrow’s pharmaceutical sector is firmly based on its focus on innovation in three prominent areas – people, medicines and digital innovation. The organisation views its people as its most important resource, encouraging a strong workforce and creating an environment to spur innovative thinking. Ongoing research and innovation in the development of new treatments and effective medicines is vital. Mundipharma’s role in adapting BETADINE, its antiseptic range of products, for use in a wider protective context, demonstrates its commitment towards combating the spread of contagious diseases and preventative medicine. Digital innovation in the form of technological advances is delivering enhanced treatments and improved patient experiences. For example, Mundipharma has harnessed the power of augmented reality in a free app that demonstrates how asthma affects patients, provides them with correct inhaler techniques, sends them notification reminders on when to take medicine and suggests effective and efficient treatment methods among other innovative features.
Raman’s secrets to industry success
In a constantly evolving sector where the race against time competes with budgetary and funding constraints, Raman lists these important factors for success within the healthcare sector.
- Be realistic and find your place: Whilst global companies expand through acquisitions, they may then may struggle to manage the size of their business. It’s important to stay focused and recognise and find your unique identity and position. The pace of expansion must be manageable.
- Meet needs: In today’s world there should be increasing importance placed on refining research and development and addressing unmet patient need.
- Respect regulation: In this industry, compliance, ethics and pharmacovigilance are critical.
- Adapt to markets: reforms are taking place all the time and it’s important to continually adapt to evolving markets to meet the needs of patients.
Raman states that Mundipharma will never lose sight of its heritage and history. He is extremely proud of the company’s 60 years of visionary approach to improving the quality of healthcare and remains firm in his dedication to introduce novel treatments and healthcare solutions for patients everywhere.
Further information on Mundipharma, its role in pioneering healthcare, case studies and in depth industry news can be found on the company website: http://www.mundipharma.com.sg