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Five Minutes with…Ahmad Tabari, group CEO, IDS

Five Minutes with…Ahmad Tabari, group CEO, IDS

Maintaining a healthy profit margin in the UAE’s pharmaceutical sector is hard due to high operational costs, says Tabari

1. What is your company focusing on this year?

From a sales perspective our focus will be on increasing our yearly revenues and market share, expanding our product portfolio and representing international partners.

From new business perspective our focus will be the launch of Pharmax, IDS’s pharmaceutical manufacturing facility located in Dubiotech.

2. What are the growth areas currently for your industry?

For the Pharmaceutical industry, the main growth areas are in generics and biotech medicines.

3. What new products/services will your company launch this year?

Going forth with the year 2015, IDS will be expanding its presence in the UAE market with the launch of its new skincare division with products like Fillerina – an innovative product in the anti-ageing category, and Medcoll, a premium Collagen product.

4. Will you be expanding into new territory/locations this year?

At present, IDS operates in the UAE only. We are currently exploring other potential neighbouring markets to expand our presence.

5. What are the biggest challenges for UAE businesses in your sector?

In the pharmaceutical sector, the running operational costs are relatively higher as compared to other countries in the region, which makes it challenging for us to maintain a healthy profit margin.

6. The UAE has the highest per-capita medicine expenditure in the Middle East, according to a report by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI). Does that affect your business in any way?

Yes it does affect our business positively, as IDS represents leading well – known international medicines that meet the needs and requirements of the UAE healthcare authorities and their patients.

7. Alternatively, has the government’s efforts to cut down on the drug prices impacted your operations?

Yes it has affected our operations, however, it reflected positively on the consumer as it reduced the cost of medication. IDS was able to compensate its revenue through organic and new business growth across all departments.

8. Will you be hiring this year?

IDS is the company of choice for more than 150 healthcare professionals, because IDS provides all our staff a customised Learning and Development Programme which helps them achieve their key result areas. We are always on the lookout for more talented professionals that will be a part of the company’s expansion and future growth.

9. What’s your leadership style?

I think communication within the organisation is very important. At the top level, the leaders may know what they want, however, it is important to clearly communicate the goals and vision of the company to the rest of the organisation so as to work together in achieving the same goal.

10. What makes the perfect employee?

According to me, it is important to hire people who are ambitious; as they help your company grow in order to have a better career growth. Ambitious employees bring innovative ideas to the table and adapt the vision of the company as their goal. And to add to this, I think it is also important that the employees should be positive in their approach, so that they outproduce workers who think negatively and who easily burn-out when they encounter defeat. Upbeat and optimistic employees create a working environment that is unique, spawns new ideas and is enjoyable for everyone else.

11. Define success in five words…

I follow the 5P’s of success, which are Passion, Pragmatism, Perspective, Personality and Perseverence

12. Three tips for becoming the boss…

Being a leader does not come easy, however, I strongly recommend –

– It is extremely important that as a leader you work on yourself first so that the foundation of the organistaion is strong. Have an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and use them accurately to become the best leader and to build the organisation into a great workplace

– The leader needs to be sensitive to its employees and sees them as a whole person, which means giving liberty to the employees to balance their personal and work life. This will lead to your employees really looking up to you as a person and will help in developing a mutually beneficial relationship

– As a leader, one needs to understand the basic human psyche, which is, it is difficult for the employees to stay motivated. Lead your employees with a clear vision in mind, support them with adequate resources, appreciate good work and develop leadership. All of this will lead the company on an all- time high growth path

13. When I’m not at work I like to…

When not at work, I enjoy the arts, especially theatre, and try to travel as much as possible.

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