Born in London to French speaking parents from Mauritius, Sunil came to Sweden in 2003 to work in Global Marketing at AstraZeneca. Sunil is the kind of guy who prefers a night at home on the sofa watching a good game of football, eating pizza and drinking cider rather than spending an extravagant night out. Sunil joined W Communication Agency in 2011 with the goal of growing the Life Science Business Unit. And he’s been doing just that ever since! From January 2019 he is our new CEO.
Keep reading to get to know Sunil!
Do you have any nicknames?
No, and if I did, I wouldn’t tell you!
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Actually, I currently coach a ladies football team who, in my first year as their coach, got promoted from Southern Sweden (Skåne) Division 4 to 3. Before that I coached a men’s team and based on our success, I was actually included the regional ‘all-star’ team as the coach.
And what clients wouldn’t know is that we live in an old Swedish farmhouse and own horses—and the reason for that is that my daughter does three-day eventing and is now being asked to train horses other than her own.
And my two sons have a traditional English ice cream van, chimes and all, that they drive around to local events selling traditional soft ice cream with a chocolate flake chocolate – also know as a ‘99’ ice cream. Look it up!
What are your top three must-haves to pack in your carry-on for a business trip?
A spare shirt. You never know if you’re going to spill something so that’s really important!
And I’m a very practical person who likes to be prepared so I always make sure to have a power cord for my laptop and check and re-check all travel plans ahead of time.
I always check the hotel to see if my room includes a hairdryer. It’s not very common for a guy to use a blow-dryer, but I do! Also…I’m blind as a bat and I always carry with me a spare set of contact lenses, just in case. You never know!
What motivates you when working at W?
The biggest motivation for me is to take my 30+ years of experience from multiple commercial roles in sales, sales training, contract negotiations, marketing and market access either at an affiliate or global level—and putting all that in a pot and saying to the clients, “You know what! I can help you because I’ve been through that before.” I can take something that I did in the past and use that knowledge to help my clients today. I can relate to the client challenges and opportunities and seeing how my knowledge can help them sell more products and achieve their goals, is a real motivator for me to come to the office every day.
What is your best tip for staying organized when managing several ongoing projects?
Have a to-do list and just ticking things off when you do them.
Also, I will often send my clients a list of active projects with separate tasks for me and for them. Part of my job as an Account Director is to help organize the client. The projects where we collaborate may be high priority to us, but I also understand it maybe one of 10, 15, 20 other things they need to do that day, so we also have to put ourselves in the client’s shoes. That’s where having client-side experience is really beneficial.
What is your favourite book?
You may not believe this, but I don’t read many books. But being a strategist at heart, when I took up football coaching the first I did was read a book about the history of football strategy and tactics –‘Inverting the Pyramid’. I do like to read articles about the life science industry and marketing trends to keep up to date with the latest developments in the field of MarComms. Then I can use this information to ensure I am a knowledge partner to my clients. I’ve even had several articles published on different topics in the area of Pharmaceutical Marketing and recently gave a lecture at Lund University, Sweden on ‘Early commercial considerations in drug development’,
If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what advice would you give them?
Never give up. Win, draw or lose, as long as you do your best and go for it, that’s all I can ask for from my team. As Yoda once said ‘Do or die, there is no try’
Curious to know more? Contact Sunil Ramkali