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Looking forward to a healthier future

Updated: 2012-12-20 11:43
By Liu Jie (China Daily)

The Mr Flexibility of healthcare sees scope for growth across China

The interview with Alok Kanti was held in his office on the 22nd floor of the Bayer Center on Beijing's East Third Ring Road.

Luggage cases in his office immediately caught the eye. "I am leaving again for another business trip," said the new head of Bayer HealthCare in China. He has traveled all around the country over the past six months after he was appointed managing director of the German company in China. Before coming to China, his career took him from North America, on to Europe and then into the Asia-Pacific region.

From being an intern in Canada in 1994 to taking up the leading position in China, the company's fastest-growing market, the 46-year-old Indian never imagined he would work in 27 countries around the world for Bayer. He has become an expert in adapting to variation - various jobs, various markets. Kanti calls himself Mr Flexibility.

Looking forward to a healthier future

Bayer HealthCare's Guangzhou plant. Bayer HealthCare China has maintained double-digit growth rate in China over the last decade. The country is a driving force behind the growth of the company globally. Provided to China Daily 

Flexibility notion

"I have worked for Bayer for 18 years but I am often quite surprised it has been that long, because I have never felt I have been doing the same thing over the last 18 years," said Kanti, whose jobs in Bayer have covered international management, international strategic marketing and commercial operations in markets as diverse as the United States, New Zealand, Brazil, the Philippines, Singapore and now China.

Concerning leadership, Kanti prefers "participative management", which involves not taking the experience garnered in one country into a new one but asking questions, listening and understanding how the market is evolving and then taking action using the knowledge gained.

People are encouraged to be flexible in Bayer, dealing with various challenges by being given the space and autonomy to do what they want. The method helps develop leadership, integrity and efficiency, essential values of the German conglomerate. The notion has become deeply ingrained in Kanti's mind and has greatly influenced his approach to management.

To date, high turnover, especially in the sales sector, and difficulties attracting talented people, particularly in the research and development unit, are the greatest challenges to multinational pharmaceutical companies in China.

Looking forward to a healthier future

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