Deborah Kobewka, Evaluate, Chief Executive

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt over your career?

Without a doubt the importance of teamwork. No matter what position you have in an organisation you will always achieve more by leveraging the capabilities of diverse teams. It’s also much more fun to tackle a challenge together than struggling on your own.

What do you consider your greatest professional achievement to date?

When I look back over my 35-year career I’m happy to say there are many achievements. Sometimes it’s seemingly small ones, like promoting a person into a new role knowing that they would succeed, or larger ones like my appointment to President of Asia Pacific for IMS Health (now IQVIA) and relocating to Singapore with my family. The appointment came just as the Global Financial Crisis was hitting the world, and so it was an immediately challenging situation, but I was able to rapidly turnaround that business and build a really high performing leadership team. I’m also incredibly proud of having been a senior civil servant and representing the British government overseas.

How would you describe your leadership style, and how it fuels progress?

It’s important to vary your leadership style to match ever changing daily situations or interactions with different people. I always try to be clear on priorities and my expectations, that way we stay focused on our agenda, and everyone understands and knows the importance of the role they are playing. Communication is vital, never more so than at this time of COVID-19 when we are all working from home and people are finding themselves in very difficult working situations. As Chief Executive Officer I want to ensure everyone still feels part of our company and knows they are cared about.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Make sure you spend time developing your network, internal, and external to your organisation. Not only for the connections, which are of course very useful when you want to make a change, but also to tap into the exciting things other people and companies are doing. So many concepts and ideas are transferable, especially with technology, so it’s vital you’re up to date and in the loop.

What do you hope to achieve at Evaluate?

Evaluate is an ambitious organisation with a strong brand and market position as well as excellent client relationships. When combined with machine learning techniques our unique data assets are proving to be very insightful for pharmaceutical companies, helping them better understand the risk and return associated with individual pharma R&D assets. Having developed a compelling strategy to enhance pharma portfolio optimisation decisions contributing to improving R&D productivity, it’s my job to ensure we deliver and grow, and at the same time create really exciting development opportunities for our employees.