Rehanul, Commercial management, Bangladesh

Rehanul in his office, smiling at the camera

Commercial management 

When I was making decisions about my career, what I wanted most was to do meaningful work that would help to improve people’s lives. GSK visited my campus to tell us about the Future Leaders Programme, and I could see they would provide this opportunity.

As I learned more about the company, I started to see the impact all around me. For example, in Bangladesh, oral care is a big issue and many people suffer from sensitive teeth. So Sensodyne, one of GSK’s toothpaste products, which is a relatively new product here, has huge potential to help people combat this issue in a very direct way. 

Since joining the Future Leaders Programme (FLP) in Commercial management, these are the kinds of conversations I’ve been able to have with retailers. While we have consumer healthcare brands like Horlicks, which is well-established with 90% market share in its category, we also have challenger brands, like Sensodyne, which are new and face lots of competition locally.

GSK has a very open, nurturing culture where conversations are encouraged and no question is left unanswered.

Part of my job has been to build relationships with these local retailers to find out how they and their customers perceive these brands. We then need to educate them about the benefits of our products and adjust our activities accordingly.

It’s been a fascinating experience on my sales rotation and much more hands-on than I expected. But I wouldn’t change it. After all, this is where our business really happens – where our products are bought and sold. If I don’t understand it in the field, what value can I expect to bring to the organisation?

In my first rotation, I would visit retailers and discuss how to improve the visibility of GSK consumer products. My next role was to ensure our products were visible, available and accessible to consumers. After proving myself, my manager entrusted me with the 6th biggest base territory in Bangladesh. It was a huge responsibility but felt very empowering to have someone believe in my ability to deliver. 

One of the best things about the programme has been the opportunity to travel and interact with such a diverse group of people. I’ve been to places I never thought I’d get to go. I visited Singapore and India for training and met colleagues there who had many interesting experiences to share. These experiences have helped me to shape a new outlook on life and work in the context of a global company.

GSK has a very open, nurturing culture where conversations are encouraged and no question is left unanswered. Whether it’s my line manager or someone I’ve never met before, I know that I can approach anyone and they’ll be happy to help. For curious people like me, I can’t think of a better learning environment to begin a career.

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