Shairose Ebrahim, integrated medhealth communication (imc), Founder, President and Chief Executive

What inspired you to establish imc?

My father and sister were my inspiration because even when faced with challenges, they never gave up. Both told me to focus on what I love – which has always been to help patients and healthcare professionals – as this would lead to me achieving my life goals and enjoying what I do along the way.

What is your vision for the firm?

My overall vision for the business is to enrich the lives of patients by delivering human-centric medical communication programmes that provoke behavioural change in clinical settings. I’m also keen to continue to push the women (especially BAME women) in STEM agenda; 80% of imc’s global management team is female and 60% is BAME. Equally, it’s imperative that imc continues to grow in order to fulfil the team’s career aspirations. The exciting thing about imc is that we are constantly reviewing new opportunities, whether it be new therapy areas, clients, services or physical locations; nothing is off our agenda!

What are you most proud of having achieved in your career so far?

The creation of imc. It was an idea that my sister and I had 14 years ago, we wanted to do something to drive the patient agenda. We now work with some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies as clients and are responsible for helping to improve patient outcomes every day. I always sit back and just take stock of everything that the imc team has achieved, and it makes me incredibly proud.

How do you continue to drive progress – individually and that of your team?Whilst I always give feedback to my team to help them grow and develop as individuals, I also actively seek feedback on myself. I am always prepared to hear more than one answer but importantly, I learn from it and act on it. I accept that I’m different and have high expectations, but I think that’s ok as this then filters through to my team and the work that we deliver to our clients. I think our sustained growth and exceptional client retention is a testament to the progressive way in which the business is led and run. I encourage everyone to be entrepreneurial – that’s the core principal of imc. I want the team to question everything, discuss ideas and never be afraid of having opinions. There is no hierarchy in the business and every voice has an equal place at the table.

What advice would you give graduates considering a career in healthcare communications?My advice to anyone contemplating a career in healthcare communications is to be sure that you have the conviction that’s required to succeed in it. It isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle – wanting to improve patient outcomes is no easy task but if you have the passion to drive change, the world of medical communications can be your oyster. Find the part of this industry that drives you, be it medical writing, client services, creative or digital and go for it!