Championing high-energy culture


Melvin D'souza, CVP and General Manager at Novo Nordisk Saudi Arabia
Melvin D'souza, CVP and General Manager at Novo Nordisk Saudi Arabia

Novo Nordisk's people management is guided by a patient-centric business approach, empowering its employees to learn and grow professionally and personally

By Nisthula Nagarajan

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Published: Thu 24 Jun 2021, 9:06 PM

Novo Nordisk (NN), a global healthcare company, headquartered just outside Copenhagen, Denmark, has been transforming the unmet medical needs of those with certain chronic diseases into groundbreaking medications and delivery systems for nearly a century. NN's products treat Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, obesity, haemophilia and growth disorders. NN envisions a future where these diseases no longer exist or at the very least do not acutely affect a large part of the global population as it does now. 

NN produces 50 per cent of the world's insulin supply, with more than one billion insulin pens produced to date. More than 32 million people use its diabetes care products.

From its labs to factory floors, NN works every day to make these accessible in every corner of the world. In vulnerable communities, the cost and access of these treatments can result in a critical hit to families' finances. The company endeavours to provide access to quality affordable medicines to vulnerable patients in every country, especially children. Its goal is to prevent more than 100 million people from getting Type 2 diabetes by 2045. 

NN employs more than 45,000 people in 80 offices around the world who work towards this vision perenially, marketing products in 169 countries.

Melvin D'souza, CVP and General Manager at Novo Nordisk Saudi Arabia speaks on how the company maintains high spirits in the workplace. 

How would you describe your company to someone outside of your industry?

Novo Nordisk is one of the world's leading biotechnology organisations built on passion and a patient-centric commitment over the last 100 years. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases, such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease.

How would you describe your corporate culture?

Our culture is guided by the 'Novo Nordisk Way' and our 10 key essentials, which drive our actions. These essentials are oriented towards a patient-centric business approach and embody the ethical behaviours of our people. In this journey, we empower our people to develop and grow while creating sustainable value for all our stakeholders.

The company actively provides opportunities to individuals to drive our purpose by challenging the status quo in an agile and engaging manner. 

What activities do you offer for employees?

We have a very engaging environment where people work hard and have fun at the same time. On the work front, the opportunity to grow in a role also means embracing a larger outlook beyond one's own comfort zone and making a change. This means exploring diversity and building trust with our stakeholders.

Beyond work, it also means having the possibility to have a fine balance outside of work. NN provides recreational options in the office to play and have fun. Outside of the office we regularly arrange team building activities, for example, hiking trips, football tournaments and art competitions for family members of the employees.

Does the company give back to the community? In what ways?

At NN we use the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) principle to guide our decisions. We are committed to doing business in a way that is financially, socially and environmentally responsible. We always go for what is best for the patient, and we always consider how our actions may impact people, communities and the environment. And strive to make a positive impact. We choose to do so because we believe this approach will ensure that NN will be a sustainable business - that we can stay successful for the long term.

Some of our key social commitments are rolled out under the 'Changing Diabetes' banner. These initiatives reach out not only to the most unprivileged part of the world but also helps in building a sustainable outlook and solutions to some of the most challenging issues concerning our communities.

Additionally, the company is committed to offering a healthy and engaging working environment and to providing assurance that responsible business practices are in place, with the aim of contributing to the communities in which the company operates.

Our support to have a clean environment is driven by the agenda of 'Circular for Zero'. The ambition of our environmental strategy 2030 is bold and simple: to have zero environmental impact. To get there we are embracing a circular mindset - designing and producing our products so that they can be recovered and re-used, and reshaping our business practices to minimise consumption and eliminate waste by turning it into new resources.

What continuing learning opportunities do you have for your employees?

NN has a comprehensive view of people development and managing talents. We nurture a culture of feedback among all employees where we reflect and ensure continuous improvement of everything we do. We have a balanced approach between classroom training, on job learnings and educational programmes. All employees have a constructed development plan based on their needs and in consultation with their managers.

We also have an advanced learning management system and a digital platform that provides a wide range of development options offered for all employees. All of these resources are available to each employee when they join the company because we strongly believe that in order for a person to grow professionally, they must also grow personally. And here at NN, we like to believe that all our employees are equipped with the right tools and resources to be the best at what they do and achieve our objective, which is helping our patients.

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