Be Proud & Change The World
Sometimes we get too busy in our day to day tasks that we forget as individuals or organisations, what is crucial for us, and that is to couple what we do with the bigger goal and the core mission of our existence. This was my message to my colleagues at Amref Health Africa during their monthly staff meeting, where they welcomed us as new joiners and gave Karoline and I the chance to share our initial thoughts. This was the first thing that came to my mind because from an outsider’s perspective, I felt the extent of challenges Amref is currently facing, and I realized how significant is their contribution to the health care system in the disadvantaged territories in Kenya and other African countries. They should be proud of themselves and I am proud of each day I spend helping them there.
I couldn’t stop myself reflecting that in GSK, despite that we stretch ourselves while perusing our challenging objectives, closing deadlines, running into meetings, managing tight budgets, beating fierce competition and growing the business year after year, yet at no time we should get distracted from our core mission: Our patients.
Looking at our latest example: Mosquirix, the world’s first Malaria Vaccine. It’s a cultivation of 30 years of R&D hard work, and will be offered –if approved- at non profit price so that as many children as possible can have access to it. The small return from Mosquirix -which will not exceed 5% -will be reinvested in research and development of a second generation Malaria vaccine. This is a true demonstration of our values as a company which puts the patients’ needs first.
Another example is the Pulse project. The positive changes, NGOs like Amref are bringing to the unprivileged communities couldn’t be realized without the collaborative engagement of GSK in place to work hand by hand on many projects strengthening the healthcare system and maintaining the infrastructure especially in the rural counties.
Another important event happened last week; our visit as a pulse team to GSK East Africa offices and GMS site in Nairobi. It is really amazing how people do inspire you even without realizing it. We met Allan Pamba, the GM of East Africa region, who shared with us his story from the time he grew up in a small village in Kisumu (West Kenya) -when it was normal to suffer seeing some of his friends at school die of Malaria and other diseases- to the start of his career in London where he spent ten years before he came back to pursue his goals in his home country. It was a booster dose of focus on aspiration and development goals whatever the circumstances are.
Finally, we all have the reasons and stories to be proud of ourselves and of our organisation. Not only because we are leading the industry, but because we are changing the world into a better place.