“Everyone has a can-do attitude. It’s what makes working here easy.”
The road that brought Shibir Desai to his current role at Roche began in college, where he was majoring in biomedical engineering. But it wasn’t a class rooted in hard sciences that sparked a future career interest. It was a course on regulations – the rules and guidelines companies need to follow to bring groundbreaking products to market.
After graduation, Shibir ended up taking roles within biotech and medical device companies. But a few years in, he returned to school to get his law degree and refocus his career on the regulatory aspects of the industry. That’s when he started to learn more about Roche and their burgeoning digital health arm.
“I always knew it was a strong company,” Shibir says. “It has a really good reputation in biotech.”
“My job is about compliances,” he explains.
“Now, he’s been a Senior Regulatory Affairs Manager with Roche for three years and says he appreciates being able to have a positive impact. It’s a sense of fulfillment that Shibir says he hadn’t really found until he started working here. His role, especially, plays a unique part in the process of improving patients’ lives.
Growing a career
Shibir supports Roche’s Diagnostics Information Solutions (DIS). Because of the novelty of the DIS software, Shibir often finds himself needing to line up with emerging regulations. He describes it like this: If software simply displays information, it’s not considered a medical device. But once it handles something more complex – like, say, monitoring a patient’s progression – that’s when a host of new guidelines come into play.
It’s new territory and Shibir says he appreciates that added layer of challenge that comes with it. He sees it as a chance to give his skill set a major boost, gaining new learning opportunities every day. And, it allows him to interact with different teams inside Roche, as well.
“At Roche and in this role, I have visibility and access all across the company,” he says.
Together as a team
When asked why he’s stayed with Roche for over three years, Shibir mentions the people he works with. He says it’s a friendly culture, even with its large size.
“Everyone has a can-do attitude; everyone is willing to help,” he said. “It makes it so much easier to get work done well.”
Shibir explains that the size of the company can be a major benefit, as well. Communicating with Roche’s project management and product teams has given him exposure to people with all different backgrounds and allowed him to build his own network within his company. It broadens his perspective and understanding of a given project, allowing him to take in multiple angles throughout the process. And if he were ever tempted to make a career transition to one of those teams, he finds that Roche is very supportive when people want to make internal career changes.
But these teams don’t just work together. They form a bond with each other that goes beyond their daily duties. Launches are celebrated with a happy hour. There might be some launch days that start stressful, but everyone works together to get to the finish line. By the afternoon, they’re able to celebrate both the end of a project and the knowledge that they’ve created something that will help patients.
Recently, a Regulatory Manager role opened up at Roche. Shibir had a friend in mind who he knew would be perfect. So he told her why he thought Roche was such a great place to work.
Of course, there’s the chance to interact with the latest guidelines. When you’ve built a career understanding the intricacies of regulations, that’s too good to pass up.
But he also pointed to the support he gets all across the company. Early on, Shibir was surprised to learn just how accessible his senior leaders are. Many are open to one-on-ones to discuss the company and career development.
“It shows me they want us to succeed,” Shibir says. “It’s a differentiating factor compared to other companies I’ve worked at.”
When Shibir was first starting, his department manager left the company not long after. The department leaders who interacted with Shibir took note of this and made a point of checking in with him as he was still adjusting to the new company. Almost three years later, that still sticks with him.
Shibir also says that Roche is committed to promoting a stronger balance between life inside the office and outside of it. There’s an understanding from the company that allows for remote work. Plus, he says there’s a level of flexibility that means he can adjust his schedule within reason to make room for personal obligations.
So, what did his friend say to all of that? Shibir was happy to share that she’ll be starting at Roche soon.
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