Meet Rita, Head of Finance

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Hi, my name is…

…Rita. I was born in India, but moved to Australia in my early 20s for my postgrad studies. I joined Roche Sydney in 2000 after stints in banking and the public sector. My team supported nine countries in the Asia-Pacific region with their SAP implementations. In 2004, I moved to Roche Nutley USA to join the Group Audit and Risk Advisory team. In 2008, I moved to Roche Diagnostics India as head of finance to lead the Finance, Supply Chain, IT and Compliance functions. In 2011, I left Roche to work on my own start-up, MoneyChat India, which helped female Indian entrepreneurs with investment, marketing, tax and technology advice. I returned to Roche in 2014 to head the Finance department for South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. In September 2016, I moved to Basel to lead Finance for Global Product Strategy and Global Medical Affairs. Roche has supported me in my quest to keep on learning and finding new challenges by giving me every opportunity to work in different roles, countries, teams and cultures.

My typical day at work is…

…composed of several discussions with key business partners. We support them with decision-making and help them prioritise key projects, so that company resources are allocated to strategic initiatives with the most impact. Since our business partners are spread across the Basel and San Francisco sites, my team is also based at both locations. We have a weekly Finance team meeting, where we update each other on key business topics, invite speakers, share ideas, and work on team projects. I also have regular one-on-ones with my team members, where we discuss open issues, individual goals and team priorities. As with all other Finance functions, during our annual forecasting events, that is all we think about!

The location I am working at is…

…Basel. I moved to Switzerland from South Africa about seven months ago. The building I work in has tons of natural light and plenty of space to mingle with colleagues. And thanks to Basel’s fantastic public transport system, it’s very easy to get about. What I really enjoy is the fact that walking and cycling everywhere is part of the city lifestyle and not just confined to the gym. The only downside is that the cafeteria on the fourth floor has a delicious chocolate and hazelnut croissant which I have become addicted to!

My work helps Roche to…

…bring medicines to patients. Global Product Strategy provides functions and affiliates with strategic business direction from research through to development, commercialization and medical excellence. Global Medical Affairs develops and drives pioneering medical strategy and is one of the most internally and externally connected functions at Roche. As Finance business partners, we’re economic advisors to our stakeholders. We offer strategic support to enable them to transform great science into better lives for patients everywhere.

Roche as an employer…

…rightfully prides itself on embracing diversity and inclusion as a key ingredient for its success. Employees are encouraged to be genuine and authentic and unafraid to challenge the status-quo. My own team is a living example – almost every one of my team of 14 people was born in a different country. Each member brings a unique perspective to the table, enriching the team with diverse skills and experience. It’s a fun team to be part of! Roche encourages strong collaboration within and among teams. This emphasis on teamwork fosters strong interpersonal bonds between colleagues. Teams work really hard together but also pause along the way to celebrate successes. I’ve forged several close friendships with colleagues I’ve worked with through the years. Even though we’ve all moved on to various roles in the company, we often call on each other for advice. I have also personally benefited from the company’s commitment towards helping its employees develop, grow and achieve their full potential. I’ve been given the opportunity to work in many different countries, divisions and roles. I have been with the company for over 13 years but there has always been something new and exciting to work on.

If you are interested in learning more about the different opportunities at Roche, then take a look at the careers website.

Tags: Career Blog, Switzerland, Basel, Finance