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Interview with Nico Gariboldi

Nico started his career in Pfizer Italy 16 years ago, serving as Brand Manager of peri-LOE products, Commercial Effectiveness Manager, Business Intelligence Advisor, Supply Policy Specialist, and Junior Analyst. He has since held roles of increasing local, regional and global responsibility. Most recently, Nico was Global Capability Lead for the healthcare provider portal experience within the Customer Experience team and prior was Senior Director, Global Lead for Customer Engagement and Content Strategy for Pfizer Essential Health. In that role, he managed the team responsible for creating enterprise customer engagement strategies (digital and face-to-face) that supported commercial, scientific and business goals, based on an omni-channel approach and content marketing strategy. Nico earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from La Sapienza University in Rome.

Hi Nico, and thanks for doing this interview with us. How have you settled into Greece?

I have settled in just fine. Greece and Italy have a lot in common. It’s very easy to adjust, especially in Thessaloniki, where the people are so friendly. Regarding my new job, it is a position full of challenges. I was raised professionally in Pfizer, so my only concern is to lead the Hub’s team as best as I can and to create an ideal professional environment for my colleagues and me to achieve our goals. We have excellent potentials. Greece has a stable political environment and solid economic prospects, as well as a strong focus on digital & technology and we feel vindicated for our decision to base here.

Please tell us a little bit about this big project and investment of Pfizer into this digital hub. What is your vision?

The Digital Hub in Thessaloniki, is part of Pfizer’s global digital organization. It is now fully operational and closely connected to the company’s global digital ecosystem. It aims to connect the digital and technological worlds with the world of health so as to develop transformative digital solutions to drive breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. You can think of the Hub as a platform that will create a network ecosystem for connecting and involving partners and local communities to develop, test and offer innovative opportunities in a sustainable future. It will draw from a multidisciplinary array of fields, from therapeutics to design thinking, analytics and AI.

The emphasis is on connectivity and engaging with partners and the local community to test and scale new opportunities. To work alongside universities, hospitals, research centers, patients’ associations, government institutions, incubators & accelerators and startups to create valuable synergies. Aiming to win the digital race in pharma, we strive for the delivery of digital healthcare solutions to improve patients’ lives globally. This is our vision.

Why is Pfizer investing into this and why now?

Digital technology is now a key element of Pfizer's strategy and is being integrated into all areas of its business. The company focuses on the digitization of the drug R&D sector, enhancing health outcomes and patient experience, improving speed of development and delivery and facilitating day-to-day work. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics are key tools in Pfizer's digital strategy.

 

Digitization is accelerating progress hugely in all sectors, nowhere more so than in health. Our purpose is to deliver breakthroughs that change patients’ lives and to do that we must meet the needs of the evolving healthcare industry – enabled by technology, data and digital capabilities. We have therefore embarked on a digital transformation journey that will enhance every aspect of our business. We are already seeing the results, as we have launched a number of industry-leading, digital products and solutions that are yielding measurable outcomes.


What are your biggest challenges right now?

Clearly, creating an entirely new organisation from scratch is a challenge in itself, but we are getting all the support we need. We need to create the best possible team, by finding and training highly skilled professionals, mainly with a technology and IT background. These will be mainly in the fields of Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Product & Experience Design, UX Designers, Customer Analytics & Insights etc. We are looking for people with the ambition to succeed as an entity but also to work as a part of a team with patience, persistence and determination to meet objectives. We are also looking for people motivated by our purpose to deliver breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. To create this talent pool, we are relying on a network of ex-patriates and ex-alumni as well as reaching out to engage with local universities. But to succeed in our goals, we must also try to incorporate our employee’s different professional cultures to create a common one. The Pfizer’s Hub culture. The other major challenge is to build around the Hub a network ecosystem for connecting and involving partners and local communities to develop, test and offer innovative opportunities in a sustainable future. And, here too, the response we are getting is very encouraging.

What are your biggest learnings so far?

I have learned that you can find exceptional talent where you may not expect it. I have also discovered the invigorating experience of approaching and working with young people eager to work and make a difference for themselves and for their communities. The experience of the pandemic has also shown me that you can overcome obstacles and practical difficulties by working as a team and its has reminded me how technology can help in this.