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Meet Merve Kirci, Demand Planner at Roche

Hi, my name is… 

Merve. I’m a demand planner in the Global Supply Chain at Roche. I’m originally from Turkey, and came to Switzerland to do my master’s at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne. After completing my PhD in Supply Chain Management, I started working in the pharmaceutical sector, and joined Roche in Basel just over a year ago. My ambition is to help save as many lives as possible with our products, while feeding my curiosity and creativity at the same time.

My typical day at work is…

to make sure that we always have our products available for patients at our European affiliates. I do this by ensuring we accurately forecast demand years in advance, and can produce enough of our products in time. Every day, I work with colleagues all around the world to solve new challenges caused by changes in demand.

The location I am working at is…

at the centre of Basel, very close to the Swiss Railway station. We are 400 people spread across four floors. It takes me only five minutes to walk to work, although I usually take my bike instead, which takes me two. 

Although I live really close to the office, I move around a lot.  At lunch, we either eat at our cafeterias or at surrounding restaurants. Sometimes I have meetings at the Roche tower, surrounding buildings or on our site in Kaiseraugst. Additionally, I travel abroad around once a month for work, to meet some of our affiliates around Europe, or to conferences and events in my field of work. 

My work helps Roche to…

make sure patients receive our products all over Europe and continue their treatment. It’s extremely rewarding to know that I’m helping cancer patients, among others, who desperately need our products. One of my friends is currently taking a Roche breast cancer drug for which I’m responsible. Having a personal connection and living our purpose is very motivating in general. I know why I go to work each day.  

Roche as an employer is… 

extremely international, so you can hear a variety of languages, although everyone needs to understand English. People are very open, friendly and respectful. We are moving even further into an empowerment culture, providing the right environment to implement new or better solutions while developing personally. I’m supported by my manager and mentor, who guides me to the right people and gives me the opportunities to excel in my career development plan.  

The professional opportunities aside, we have great sports clubs and facilities. I play badminton at the Roche club in Basel twice a week, where I meet colleagues from all departments and share a great team spirit. In my opinion, working at Roche is a real privilege. 

In my team/department we are looking for people who…

are curious, driven, and analytical, and who proactively take ownership and collaborate. We are looking for master’s students for our "Start Supply Chain" trainee programme.

What distinguishes the Roche culture from the culture at other companies you have worked for?

I’ve experienced working in four different companies, with two being in the pharmaceutical sector and two being in fast-moving consumer goods. In my experience, Roche is by far the best company I’ve worked for due to the amazing people and culture, the openness and the willingness to keep the patient at the forefront. We are one huge family. 

How would you describe working at Roche in three words?

Purposeful, rewarding and fun. 

Interested in the Start Supply Chain Programme? Click here for more information.

Tags: Switzerland, Basel, Manufacturing & Supply, Career Blog