Marc Andre Christinat – Head of Finance - Integrated Health Solutions

We saw Switzerland's GDP fall flat in the second half of 2016, what do you think are the major challenges that lie ahead for Switzerland’s growth?

The Swiss Economy was indeed flat in second half of 2016 but GDP grew 1.1% during first quarter of 2017. In my view, it is critical to maintain an ecosystem favourable for innovation, entrepreneurship, continue to invest in education, and keep the regulatory environment liberal in order to ensure Switzerland remains a buoyant market. From a tax perspective Switzerland should maintain a favourable environment for businesses to stay and continue to work in this country.
 

What challenges are awaiting your business and how do you hope to overcome them?

Challenges are similar across the healthcare industry. Companies are striving to find solutions to meet healthcare systems universal needs in terms of improving clinical outcomes, expanding access, and optimizing cost and efficiency. They need to continue to innovate and still be cost effective to ensure that most people can access healthcare. Businesses should not only be the provider of drugs, devices and so on but also part of the solution to make healthcare more efficient, with better outcomes as well as more accessible for all stakeholders. This changing environment requires new approaches and new forms of innovation. Companies are developing and launching completely new services and business models such as outcome-based payment models to overcome those challenges.
 

If you could go back and give your younger (graduate) self some career advice, what would it be?

If I could go back I would advise my younger self that the first assignment is very important. You have to keep all options wide open. For example, external audit to start your career may not be perceived as the most exciting area. But in fact, External audit is a great start as you get to see different companies as well as gaining a real “Birdseye” view of business. Then making a step in a more business finance focused role. Here you further acquire new skill sets such as analytical skills and business acumen. It allows you to familiarise yourself with the corporate world but still allowing you to bridge yourself outside of finance by working closely with business partners. The message and advice is to take a job option that will be wide open enough to learn as much as possible. Always keep your eyes open to new opportunities to learn.
 

If you could change one thing in your career what would it be?

If I could change one thing I would complete an international assignment/ relocate outside of Switzerland for a period. I also would have explored more opportunities early on in my career such as moving across functions and companies.
 

What do you love about Switzerland and why?

What I love about Switzerland is that it is very multicultural and international. The Swiss ecosystem and environment is flexible, you can fail and you can succeed which is not the case everywhere. It’s a very liberal market which in turn offers people many opportunities from many different backgrounds.
Additionally, I love Switzerland for its scenic landscape. I love the mountains and I love to ski.
Finally, Switzerland has captured the meaning of work life balance. By the same token working is really important to position yourself socially. Hard work is highly valued.
 

What advice would you give to future aspiring leaders, and why?

For future aspiring leaders, I would say take risks, take roles that are challenging, takes roles that will make you progress and learn but always keep in mind that it is critical to be happy in the environment and in what you are doing.
You must also realise that you can’t have everything. Sometimes a role might not tick all the boxes but you have to give something up and do it anyway if it’s going to help you with where you want to go from a professional standpoint. Life is about continuously learning. When you stop learning in a position that’s when you know it’s time to change. You must be proactive; when you can feel that you’re almost at the peak of the learning curve, you should react fast. When you stop learning you start moving down performance-wise and ultimately become bored or tired of your job. Before the tipping point arises, you must have a plan and position yourself correctly for the next challenge.
Additionally, you should ask yourself “do I want to work in a large or small company?” I think starting in a big company has advantages because you can learn a lot rapidly. You will be able to deal with various leaders, deal with different products, markets and as well as different roles rapidly, as normally in large companies you get rotated.
You also can decide then at some point later in your career if you want to continue with large companies or go to smaller setup. Nevertheless, it becomes then more difficult to make the bridge. 5 years ago, for example I made the transition from the largest division within my company to a start-up. It was a rather risky move because I didn’t know how long it would last. Such experience brings you a lot, you’re in a different environment and I learn what it meant to run a business from scratch.

Who was your most admired person when you were in your childhood and why?

Pink Floyd, they fascinated me. They were one of the first bands producing those massive shows with lights when I was young.

 

Who is your most inspirational person in business and why?

In business, I don’t have one person. I find entrepreneurial people very inspirational. People who make a business out of a concept. People who have an idea and a concept in which they believe in. It’s difficult because you have to overcome lots of barriers, lots of people to convince in your idea, and getting past the scepticism. I admire people who have the ability to make a project moving and successful.
 

Describe yourself in 3 words

I would describe myself as passionate. I have a sense of humour. And thirdly I am family driven and family orientated.
 

Do you have any hidden talents?

Hidden Talents…. I think I am a pretty good skier and ski racer. I am good at Mountaineering and outdoors activities.
Secondly, I am pretty good at cooking, mostly Italian style dishes. I enjoy starting with individual ingredients from scratch and producing something nice.
Finally, I am good at Gardening. I grow anything from cucumber, to tomatoes and potatoes and of course I use them for my cooking as well.

*Views and opinions contained within our Executive Interviews are those of the Interviewee and NOT views shared by EMEA Recruitment.

 
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