Kim Innes, Teva UK, General Manager UK & Ireland

You lead the biggest (by volume) pharma business in the UK – to what do you attribute your success?

There are many things that I think set Teva apart in the UK – our wide portfolio which combines generic, over-the-counter and branded medicines, combining of our strength as a global company with a truly local approach to business, our strong relationship with pharmacy and our patient-centred approach to name but a few. But ultimately when it all comes down to it, it’s our people and our culture. If you get that right, everything else follows.

What has been your proudest professional achievement so far?

I don’t think I can choose one! I’ve had some amazing opportunities in my career at Teva. I’ve worked in a wide range of roles, I’ve worked on huge global projects, I’ve worked in jobs at different times where the focus was on customers, or on people, or on products. In every one I was lucky to be able to learn and then to apply the lessons. The times I’ve felt proudest are the moments when I’ve felt I’ve made a difference to people’s lives for the better, such as introducing the first medicines pack that was really focused on helping the pharmacist avoid dispensing errors. I was very proud to have led a project that made life a bit easier for our customers and may even have protected patients.

What has been your greatest challenge, and how did you overcome it?

In this kind of role, there are always challenges to deal with – it’s what keeps the job interesting! It can be tough combining the pressures of the job, which by its very nature is an ‘always on’ role, with caring responsibilities. I think maybe my biggest challenge has been to get myself to see past the labels, have an open and inquiring mind – in our business it’s too easy to fall into the ‘we’ve always done it this way’ trap. The key is to ask why, and to understand why people take the view they do, and not so much to challenge people but to encourage them to challenge themselves.

How important are equality, inclusion and diversity to the success of UK business today?

Inclusion and diversity are not just nice to have, they’re an absolute must for any organisation and something I’m passionate about. By making space for everyone – people with different backgrounds, life experiences and outlooks – we enrich our business so much and ultimately will perform better for patients and customers.

What is your vision for Teva in the UK?

My vision is pretty simple – to improve the lives of patients. It’s not just my vision, it’s Teva’s global vision, and it’s something that we can and do test all our decisions by. The strategy is then how do we fulfil that vision. So we do it by being a great place to work, keeping patients front and centre of all we do, deepening our relationship with pharmacies and being simple to do business with.