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#ImBlackInPharma | Tinashe Zigomo

Tinashe Zigomo - Franchise Lead Southern African Countries - Oncology & Immunology

What do you do?

I lead the Oncology and Immunology Franchise for a large multinational pharmaceutical company's Sub Saharan Africa business, and I am responsible for the Southern African countries that are in scope.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy co-creating win-win solutions with stakeholders that are internal or external to the organization and driving for their effective implementation. Ultimately, I enjoy playing a critical role in achieving better access to life saving or life extending treatments for patients in need.

How did you get into Pharma?

I am a Pharmacist by training and started out as a community pharmacist in my home country Zimbabwe. I then immigrated to South Africa to further my studies. Through my newly established network in the new country, I got an opportunity to work part time in the area of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs consulting while simultaneously completing my studies. After one of my consulting jobs for a large pharmaceutical company I was offered a job in their Regulatory affairs team and I didn’t hesitate to seize it. Overtime I have evolved in pharma from that role in regulatory affairs into a commercial leader.

Why Pharma?

I have always been passionate about healthcare and from my early stages of deciding what I wanted to do at university I already knew that whatever career path I chose needed to be linked to serving people and saving and improving lives. With my background and training in pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, and business, pharma became a natural choice and I found a purposeful and impactful niche in pharma where I contribute to better healthcare and better outcomes for patients in Africa while simultaneously adding value to a business in a sustainable way.

What has your experience been being #BlackInPharma?

I have certainly learned a lot about myself and about the corporate world through my years in pharma. An organization's approach to diversity and inclusion is a fundamental aspect that determines whether or not I will stay in that organization. I find that being #BlackInPharma has helped to hone my self- awareness and to be more conscious and vigilant about my work, my contribution, and my work environment. I recognize that I have a role to inspire and to build a career that others who may be looking up to me can emulate and feel motivated to do even greater things. Representation and visibility matters and is very important to me. There needs to be a clear commitment from the organization to D&I that is visible through representation in its leadership structures, embedded in the organization's culture, and followed through with an enabling environment.

Top tips to getting into your role / Pharma?

My top tips to getting into Pharma are to network with people who are already in pharma and to apply for opportunities when they arise even if it’s a role to get your foot in and then navigate to other roles once you’re on the inside. My top tips to getting into my current role are to be curious about how the pharma business operates, display some commercial acumen, be familiar with the challenges and opportunities in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, and network with individuals who are or have been in commercial roles in pharma.

Fun fact

I love to learn. I started learning French from scratch about 5 years ago and am now an intermediate speaker.


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