Leadership Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

Podcast, Videos


In the latest episode of Impetus Digital‘s Fireside Chat, I was joined by a very special guest: Alok Kanti, President & CEO at Bayer Canada. We discussed a variety of topics, including Alok’s experience with leading an entire organization through the COVID-19 pandemic and where he sees digital health technologies play the biggest roles in the new normal.

Here is a sneak peek of our conversation:

Q: There is a tug of war between globalization and nationalization. What are your thoughts on how Pharma is going to stick, handle, manage, and thrive in this environment?

A: That’s a good question. Let’s take a couple of steps back, and I’ll talk about my company, but it also alludes to Pharma. My company is 156 years old. We’ve gone through the First World War, we’ve gone through the Second World War, we’ve gone through upheavals in countries, up and down, but what have we focused on?

We focused on innovating products and bringing innovations that improve people’s lives. Our vision is “Health for all, hunger for none” because we are in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and self-care. As long as you focus on that, focus on what you do, and do it in a way that is equitable; that brings value to the consumer, maybe the farmer, the patient, or the physician; and creates value for the shareholder, you are in a good position. Both sides of the equation are important because if we don’t create value for the shareholder, then it’s a charitable event but we will run out of money to do it, so it’s not sustainable. You need to do it in a way that is sustainable.

You also need to constantly look for new ways of creating innovation or creating value for your consumers, patients, and growers or farmers. So long as we do that and focus on that, we will be in a good place. Despite all the stuff on top, of course, the institutions of the world, the science in the world, the ability and desire to cooperate in the world is very, very high. You don’t get a project that is just run out of one country anymore, it has to be in multiple countries. I’m not that worried about what I would call “short-term.” It is an important trend, there are other people trying to address it, there are people trying to maximize it, but you, as a company, try to focus on what you can do. If I were to take another company in the pharmaceutical, inventing insulin or developing antibiotics that saved millions of lives during the Second World War. That is the root of where a lot of pharmaceutical companies come from and, therefore, if we focus on what we do, which is bringing innovation to patients, farmers, and consumers that improve their daily lives, we’ll always be in a good place.


For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Alok Kanti, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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About Impetus Digital

Impetus Digital is the spark behind sustained healthcare stakeholder communication, collaboration, education, and insight synthesis. Our best-in-class technology and professional services ensure that life science organizations around the world can easily and cost-effectively grow and prosper—from brand or idea discovery to development, commercialization, execution, and beyond—in collaboration with colleagues, customers, healthcare providers, payers, and patients.