Lead­ing the busi­ness with con­sis­tent growth

LILY ZHU GCO, China Lead, Pfizer

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - Bio Content -

Lily Zhu, is cur­rently the Global Com­mer­cial Op­er­a­tions

Lead for Pfizer China. Prior to this role, Lily was the Di­rec­tor of Com­mer­cial Op­er­a­tions& Ef­fec­tive­ness (COE) where she led the COE team which in­cluded sales train­ing, Field Force (FF) ef­fec­tive­ness and pro­vid­ing support to all busi­ness units and di­vi­sions within Pfizer China. Un­der her lead­er­ship, Pfizer’s busi­ness has seen con­sis­tent growth and main­tained its po­si­tion as a lead­ing phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany in China.

Lily be­gan her ca­reer at

Pfizer China in 1996 as a sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive, and over the past 13 years, has held many sales and sales man­age­ment po­si­tions across the busi­ness, in­clud­ing As­so­ciate Na­tional Sales Di­rec­tor for On­col­ogy, and As­so­ciate Di­rec­tor of Com­mer­cial Ef­fec­tive­ness (CE) for Pfizer China. Speak­ing about her early days with Pfizer, Lily says, “The big­gest dif­fer­ence for me today com­pared to when I started in sales, was that back then my fo­cus was on how to support my di­rect man­ager and my rel­a­tively small, sales team. Now as a leader of op­er­a­tions for an en­tire or­ga­ni­za­tion, my fo­cus is so much broader and I have to view the needs of the busi­ness from mul­ti­ple an­gles and take a very strate­gic ap­proach to my work.”

Lily says that most of the in­dus­tries in China pro­vide equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for men and women. “I think all in­dus­tries in China, in­clud­ing the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try, have ba­si­cally reached gen­der par­ity when it comes to ca­reer de­vel­op­ment. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, I have seen that both male and fe­male em­ploy­ees at

Pfizer are pro­vided with equal and fair ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties. How­ever, I think the chal­lenges comes from a dif­fer­ence in lead­er­ship traits be­tween men and women and also in­di­vid­ual per­son­al­i­ties. For ex­am­ple, I would al­ways look-up to some of my male col­leagues for be­ing nat­u­rally strong, strate­gic thinkers and I would strive to be more like them. In par­al­lel, many of my male col­leagues have com­mented on my cre­ativ­ity and abil­ity to in­no­vate which they may lack. She opines that when it comes to plan­ning ca­reers, men are more as­sertive and will­ing to show­case their abil­i­ties whereas women maybe more in­clined to take a sub­tle ap­proach and may pre­fer be­ing in a team or a func­tion that of­fers be­hind-thescenes support such as Op­er­a­tions.

In her cur­rent role, she leads Sales & Mar­ket­ing Ser­vices (SMS), Busi­ness In­tel­li­gence and In­sight (BAI), Cus­tomer En­gage­ment (CE) and Sales Train­ing. China’s mul­ti­chan­nel mar­ket­ing func­tion also have dot­ted line re­port­ing to her.

Lily is also the Co-Lead of Pfizer

APAC Women Coun­cil. In her ad­vice to fel­low women achievers, Lily says, “We can be as am­bi­tious as male lead­ers. We just need to tran­scend the tra­di­tional gen­der re­straints that we put upon our­selves and set higher as­pi­ra­tions. Also, find­ing the right bal­ance be­tween fam­ily and ca­reer, is crit­i­cal.”

Lily has a Bach­e­lor’s de­gree from China Zhe­jiang Med­i­cal Univer­sity and an EMBA de­gree from Bei­jing Univer­sity.

LILY ZHU GCO, China Lead, Pfizer

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