Marketing graduate Preethi: GSK Future Leaders Programme

Marketing graduate Preethi: GSK Future Leaders Programme

 January 27, 2020

Preethi is a graduate who joined GSK on the company's Future Leaders programme in India. Before this, she did an MBA in Marketing and an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology. Now, she works in Commercial Management with the company,

"It's nice working at GSK because they're rooted so much in science and it feels like there's a clear association with what I studied at undergraduate level," she explains.

Responsible for long term strategy and innovation

Preethi is on global rotation, working with the Denture Care category team in the UK. She works in oral healthcare as a Global Marketing Associate on Denture Care. Her team are responsible for the long-term strategy and innovation pipeline for the brand, but also for creating new brand activations across the for category levers. Then there are area teams, such as Northern Europe, that work with them to adapt those activations for their regions.

"I get to meet a varied group of stakeholders across different business areas. I'm working with R&D and regulatory, multiple agencies and the market teams. On an average day, I touch base with at least four or five different functions," Preethi says.

"There’s a lot to learn from them and at the same time there's also a lot of openness to the ideas that I bring and the way that I want to run things, so it's very encouraging."

At the moment, Preethi is handling two product launches, across two different sub-brands, one of which is a pioneering brand launch for the category.

"It's really great to get this exposure, because it shows me a lot of different aspects of what a marketer does, and also helps me work out where my strengths are and what I can then gravitate towards going forward," she adds.

A high level of trust and responsibility

Preethi's first role at GSK was as a Rural Sales Manager. She led a team of about 40 sales representatives, and was responsible for the rural business of GSK’s portfolio in the biggest state in India.

One of the key activations she was involved in was on a brand called Boost, which is in the company's nutrition category. It's a health drink that’s targeted towards children as it helps to build stamina and energy. The goal was to grow the business by going to local villages and setting up a infrastructure to get the product out there and talk to the consumer directly. 

Preethi GSK

Preethi's team realised early on that there was a huge need for education in the category, so they partnered with local schools on a programme called Boost Race. They got the children together for a one-and-a-half-mile race - it was the easiest way to convey the message of the need for stamina.

Every school that they went to sampled the product which helped build a brand resonance, but the more important thing for Preethi is that they drove home the message of the brand and how that ties into children’s lives. Through this programme Preethi and her team were able to show how something as simple as having a health drink in your diet can help you to do more and feel better.

"What's been very exciting here is the level of trust and responsibility that the business has placed in me," she adds.

Feeling valued and respected at GSK

According to Preethi, Future Leaders are valued at GSK, and they feel able to interact with people across the business.

"People are very open to giving you time, having discussions with you and providing their input and guidance on development," she explains.

"Although this is new to me, there's still a lot of responsibility placed on me to lead projects. I'm given the space and the trust to really explore and learn along the way. I also think this is an organisation that doesn't just talk about values; it actually embodies them," she adds.

"When we say that we have respect for people, you actually see that every day when you come to work. You're given respect for what you bring to the table irrespective of your background or your level of experience, and that's true everywhere I've been in the organisation. For me, that’s a great enabler, to be able to work in an environment where people are united by the same belief system and the same values."

A breath of experience suited Preethi's goals

After her last assignment within the Future Leaders Programme, Preethi offboards into a permanent role. She knows that she wants to continue within the marketing function and she is keen to learn as much as possible and gain experience.

For her, the team has been very supportive in aligning her projects in that direction and giving her a wide breadth of experience within the Category Marketing function.

Join women like Preethi at GSK

GSK is always looking for hardworking, dedicated and motivated women to join its global workforce and make a positive difference to the world of healthcare.

If you want a job with a prime employer, kick-start your career with GSK today.


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