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Manisha Raja, Dermatology Account Manager at LEO Pharma and winner of the Secondary Care Specialist Pf Award, on what motivates her to succeed.

Congratulations on your Pf Award win Manisha, how did it feel when your name was announced?

Thank you! My jaw dropped when my name was announced, it was such an honour to be nominated amongst some of the industry’s best, but to win the award and receive recognition for my work is something I’ll cherish throughout my career.

How did LEO Pharma support you in the application process?

The culture at LEO Pharma is very collaborative and there is a real feeling that those around you want you to achieve and develop your capabilities. The support from my Regional Sales Manager and the Head of Sales was brilliant; they gave me time to prepare for the Pf Awards. The coaching and advice given from my Regional Manager Marc Timmins was invaluable. As well as this there were three tables of LEO colleagues at the award ceremony who helped me celebrate my win on the night.

What does winning this Pf Award mean to you?

I was so proud to win the Award and to receive recognition for my hard work and commitment to the industry. When I went to the Assessment Day it was a very challenging day as it was so different to my normal day, but I just did my best. Looking back on the day it was a wonderful experience meeting industry colleagues and peers who all share my passion for wanting to make a difference to patients.

How did your path to pharma begin and what have been your most significant career milestones?

My path to joining the pharmaceutical industry began as soon as I left university. Applying for my first job in industry was a difficult process but once I secured my first job as GP and Hospital Representative, it was rewarding knowing I would be doing something meaningful to help patients. After just a few days in my role I knew I was going to have a long and satisfying journey within this field.

I have been fortunate to take on various different roles in the field, including Hospital Representative, Regional Trainer, Account Manager, Regional NHS Engagement Lead, and to be highly successful in these positions. In my current role, I have achieved 153% Sales v Target 2017, Ranked #1 and 482% Sales ‘v’ Target 2016 for product launch. I continuously seek to learn about the needs of my customers, team and LEO Pharma and use these learnings to inform my day-to-day work.

I put patients at the forefront when seeing the healthcare professional and influential stakeholders. This has given me opportunities within my role to take on projects that utilise and build different skill sets, and allows me to take on more responsibilities. This has helped me build strong stakeholder relations, which has been hugely beneficial to forging a successful career.

Why did you choose to forge a career with LEO?

LEO Pharma has a clear mission – ‘to help people achieve healthy skin’ – and it was inspiring to be offered the opportunity to help the company achieve this mission. At LEO Pharma, ‘HELPING SARAH’, our patient-focused ethos and strategy, informs everything we do. I am proud to work for a company that centres itself on serving the needs of people affected by skin conditions, particularly as they can carry stigma and their significant physical and emotional impact is often poorly understood. It is compelling and energising to work with talented and committed colleagues who all share the same goal. This focus has helped me make my career as fulfilling and rewarding as possible.

What motivates you every day?

I have a deep-seated compassion for patient wellbeing. We all have the experience of being a patient and would like to think products and services within the specialist area are at their best when working in partnership with the NHS. Knowing I can make a change in my role to help patients is what motivates me every day. I am also motivated by meeting set targets within deadlines, as it gives me a real sense of accomplishment.

What innovative dermatological developments does LEO currently have in the pipeline?

With over 50 years’ experience in dermatology, LEO Pharma is one of a few fully specialised medical dermatology companies. We set out to meet the unmet needs of patients living with a skin condition by developing innovative new treatments and resources. Towards 2025 LEO Pharma aims to broaden its portfolio of dermatologic treatment offerings covering oral, topical and biologic treatments, and extending into rare skin diseases.

What most excites you about your professional future?

Sales is fascinating because of the competition it sparks and a desire to always achieve above and beyond expectations. I love being part of an evolving industry where I’m continuously developing my knowledge, which allows me to grow and support people to achieve healthy skin.

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