When PGPX X batch decided to kick off its speaker series, it wanted to do so with someone who had their roots at IIMA. On 29th of April, we started off our journey with Mr. Alok Mishra, Vice President Asia Pacific – Strategic Business Systems at Johnson & Johnson Medical Asia Pacific, an IIMA alumnus of 1983 batch.
“We make what the world wants” and “We care for more than a billion people every day” are the lines Mr. Alok Mishra started off his speech with. The lines not only speak about the vision of J&J but also have a powerful underlying message for the future leaders – the lifeline of any business is the customer and any organisation should keep them at the front for their decision making. Mr. Alok Mishra gave us the glimpse of the history of J&J from where it started at 1885 making surgical dressings to today where it touches every stage of human life, from birth till death. But among many things that have changed for the better at J&J there are things that have remained constant – their attachment to the community (they haven’t shifted their headquarters from New Brunswick), their return to shareholders (52 consecutive years of dividend increases) and their decision making process which starts with the customer. And Mr. Alok Mishra brought this passion of J&J to the class of PGPX X when he said that, “In the past 18 years, every day it feels I’ve made a difference”.
Considering the fact that not many from PGPX X are from the healthcare industry, Mr Mishra took a special interest in explaining the 4A-5P model of pharmaceutical business. There was a lot of interaction from PGPX X batch with Mr Mishra about issues ranging from quality management to managing counterfeits to the essence of doing such a critical business such as healthcare. He explained each of the issues in great detail and at the end it left the students hungry for more. Answering to queries about the mammoth size of J&J, Mr Alok Mishra spoke in half jest that “J&J is not the Titanic but the armada of many boats”. He further reiterated that J&J wants to have a small company environment but a big company impact. He gave special stress to promoting innovation by stating that, J&J gives a platform for innovators to commercialise their idea. Questioned about the brand loyalty that J&J enjoys, Mr Mishra explained the PGPX X batch how brand loyalty can be differentiated into the heart, head and hand and where we as managers need to focus.
Lastly Mr Alok Mishra, just as he had started, ended with an impact speaking about the customer focus at J&J. The J&J Credo, which was written in 1943 and is still followed in letter and spirit, keeps the customer first, followed by the employees and then the community and in the end it says that if the first three are satisfied shareholders will be taken care of.
It was a wonderful evening spent with Mr Alok Mishra, and the PGPX X batch wants to thank him wholeheartedly for pushing the learning curve to a new level. Moreover, we hope this interaction is the first of many more to come.
[Contributed By Saptadeep Basu]