Novartis big on talent growth

Novartis Corp (M) Sdn Bhd, a leading a healthcare company with expertise in science and innovation, sees talent development as an integral part in strengthening its brand and being a global player. 

As an organisation with a purpose to improve and extend people’s lives, Novartis country president, Patrik Grande said talent building is very important in the organisation.

"By placing an importance in learning and having the curiosity to discover and create, our associates will learn through experiments and eventually accomplish and build new competencies and progress in their career," he told StarBiz. 

Grande said Novartis complemented this with structured development programs through a series of blended and experiential learning, as well as cross-border assignments to prepare its talents for future roles.

Grande noted that even before the start of the pandemic, Novartis had been keeping up with the world of digital and technological transformation. 

InvestKL, a government investment promotion agency under MITI Malaysia, facilitated Novartis in its expansion to host its Global Shared Services hub for APAC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2015. 

Novartis is a testament of a multinational company’s strong commitment to talent growth, which provides high value job opportunities, knowledge and skills transfers expertise to Malaysia’s dynamic young talent. 

"Since 2018, we have launched many digital learning platform to provide our associates with access to learning such as Digital Awareness Hub in 2018 to demystify digital technology and provide free access to online courses by Coursera, LinkedIn Learning and UP4Growth in 2019."

"The pandemic has put us through a steep learning curve in finding new ways of working and having the agility to build new competencies." 

InvestKL CEO Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli stated: "KL and Malaysia’s ecosystem continues to cater to high impact, high value and high tech MNCs with a pro business administration who is ready to open doors for business and readily serves the needs of potential MNC investors despite the pandemic."

Currently, Novartis has over 700 associates in Malaysia under different divisions - Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Oncology, Sandoz and Novartis Shared Services. Over 500 of its associates work under Novartis Global Service Centre Kuala Lumpur where, they support operations for more than 20 countries.

"Malaysia offers a conducive business environment like advance infrastructure and digital connectivity, quality of living conditions and impressive multilingual and culturally diverse talent pool," said Grande.

"Furthermore, its strategic location provides us with seamless connectivity to our other offices across the emerging South-East Asia region. Another factor is Malaysia identifies healthcare as one of the key areas to generate economic growth and continues to invest in advancing healthcare infrastructure, improve access to innovative medicines and promote healthcare tourism." 

Grande added that Novartis chose Kuala Lumpur as its regional headquarters due to its reputation as a major regional hub with many diversified industries. 

"As we continue to reimagine medicines, we understand the power of data and emerging digital technologies, as well as its importance in reshaping the healthcare landscape in the future. Hence, as we evolve with the digital revolution, having our hub in a city like Kuala Lumpur that is pivoting towards next-generation digital industries was in line with our growth plans. 

"Additionally, having a hub here provided us with attractive and multiple tax incentives that allowed us to reinvest our capital into the people that matters most, namely, our associates."

Going forward, Grande said Novartis will continue its commitment in developing talents, by providing opportunities to local talents to grow in their career by working in the company. 

"With 15 different nationalities working among us, we are proud of our culture of diversity and inclusion. We welcome talents that are inspired to serve better lives for Malaysians." 

Azmi concludes, "We are very pleased of Kuala Lumpur’s long-standing history of attracting high value, high impact MNCs such as Novartis to set up regional services hub here, notwithstanding with InvestKL’s recent achievement of crossing the 100 MNCs milestone. I am confident Kuala Lumpur’s diverse multilingual talent, strategic location, IR4.0 driven economy and solid infrastructure will continue to attract more investors."

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