Keith Choy, EMBA-Shanghai
Shanghai EMBA grad Keith Choy: Guided by values, propelled by crisis at GSK

In a Q&A with McKinsey & Company published last month, Keith Choy describes how his GlaxoSmithKline’s Asia–Pacific Consumer Healthcare group is relying on the reality of the pandemic and the company’s values to speed up its response to customers and demonstrate its agility.

Choy, EMBA-Shanghai ’07, is head of the GSK unit, overseeing 6,000 employees whom, the article says, he has asked “to consider the pandemic a call to action, a chance to double down on existing digitalization initiatives and strengthen end-to-end supply chains to even better respond to emerging consumption trends across the 23 Asia–Pacific markets the company serves.”

Here are a few highlights from the October conversation Choy had with McKinsey on how “GSK is responding to COVID-19, how the company is guided by its values and what global companies can do to succeed in Asia during COVID-19 and beyond.”

On tech and digitalization

“Even before the pandemic, people were getting more digitalized and using technology in ways we couldn’t imagine before. We need to accelerate our use of digital to engage with consumers, customers, and healthcare professionals.”

On company values

“During the pandemic, and even Chinese New Year, our manufacturing site employees still went back to work; our supply chain continued to deliver products to customers. We demonstrated a deep commitment to help patients even as we worked to keep our employees safe and healthy.”

On speeding customer response

“Our decision tree is based on empowerment of our people—the trust of the leadership in the people on the ground. We give them whatever support and resources we can. In that sense, decision making is on the local level.”

On leadership qualities

“The first quality I look for is how they prioritize; I want to see how they consider opportunities and challenges and if they can quickly identify priorities. The second is how they shoulder their leadership responsibilities and accountabilities, and how well they connect with people even under remote conditions.”

Read the full interview on McKinsey & Company’s website.

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