Jonathan, Marketing and communications, UK
Jonathan, Global Category Lead Respiratory in Consumer Healthcare, shares his experience at GSK and why keeping an open mind is key to building a great career.
Hi Jonathan, tell us a bit about what you do at GSK.
My current role at GSK is to lead the Respiratory Category in Consumer Healthcare. Essentially, we devise the strategy, innovation and communication behind the Respiratory Category and brands, to ensure to create the future of healthcare in that space.
What made you want to work for GSK?
So, what attracted me to GSK in the first place – well it was a long time ago, and actually GSK didn’t even exist when I joined, but I joined one of those legacy companies – and I think the answer is in that point that GSK has been able to move with the times, to transform itself but never really lose sight of what we’re here to do, and our mission and our values.
What keeps you at GSK?
So, what keeps me at GSK, I think probably two things: one is the ability to really have an impact, to do good in the world. I think, I have an incredible privilege to be able to do something in the space of healthcare and improve people’s lives. And secondly, it is the people I work with. I work with incredibly talented people, clever people, curious people from all sorts of different fields and I think that keeps me really stimulated.
What project are you most excited about?
Over the next year, what I’m most excited about is probably some of the innovation that we’re doing. One such would be Theraflu PowerPods, which is a launch in the US right now. That’s an amazing piece of business because it enables the consumer to have pure convenience and deliver a perfect dose of medicine every time. That’s a small coffee pods size of Theraflu that you put in your coffee machine and you are able to dose perfectly the medicine you need to make you feel better.
Outside of GSK, is there another brand that inspires you?
I think there are many inspirational brands in the world at the moment that we are consistently looking at. I think in brands that really connect with a higher purpose and take on some big challenges in society are really interesting at the moment. One such would be Always in feminine hygiene which is really taking on the challenges of young female self-confidence. There are many other brands taking on big challenges on things like diversity at the moment. I think that we can bring that learning into GSK and take a stance on some of the things that really matter in people’s lives.
What is your favourite GSK consumer product?
It is only fair to choose a product outside of my own category, so I think one brand that I have really loved working with over the years was Grandpa, which if you don’t know, is a pain reliever. It is marketed in South Africa and it’s really available and great value to so many people who haven’t necessarily the ability to afford too much. It has been around for 100 years and is really in the hearts and trust of everyone that uses it. I think that’s a beautiful brand and long may it continue.
What advice would you give to your younger self or a new starter at GSK?
So, if I was to give advice to my younger self starting out in my career, I think the first thing I would say is don’t be too quick to conform. I think curiosity drives you and drives your learning. I think it is really important that anyone coming into a big company brings that curiosity and doesn’t just try to fit in straight away. And I think, the second piece of advice I would give, is, just get as much breadth as possible as early as possible. It kind of gets harder later in your career to be able to uproot, move to different places and different jobs. The earlier you do it, the quicker you can build that brilliant foundation for having a really fulfilling career.