Journey of our Exceptional Evodians in their own words.
Interview – Saif ul Hasan
With a remarkable journey spanning over 20 years, Saif ul Hasan is a star Evodian known for showing extraordinary performance in multiple functions and roles throughout his career. Starting his journey from SFE, tackling Distribution to Heading Consumer Division, and now foraying into the exciting world of E-Commerce, he has proved his mettle across all functions. He is much loved and respected by the Evodian family for his extremely empathetic nature and for personifying the core values of PharmEvo.
When did you join PharmEvo?
I joined PharmEvo on 10th March 2003
Do you remember your first interview at PharmEvo? How did you learn about this position?
One of our family friends told me that there is a position for a sales support officer at PharmEvo, and you should apply for it. Before this job, I was teaching at a school as a mathematics teacher. I was the first employee in this department at PharmEvo. CEO Jamshed Ahmed and MD Haroon Qasim took my interview, and I was finally hired at PharmEvo. My interview took place on 1st March 2003 and there was a Pak VS India match that day. As I am a great fan of cricket, it was very difficult for me at that time to skip the match and get ready for an interview. Nevertheless. I showed up and cleared my interview and got hired at PharmEvo.
In your opinion, who was the toughest interviewer at PharmEvo?
Obviously Jamshed Ahmed, CEO of PharmEvo, I think because it was more related to PharmEvo’s culture and values. At that time, I had no professional skill set that I could utilize in my job. I did not have any experience with Excel or PowerPoint. But I think Jamshed sahab hired me because of the values I upheld back then.
Throughout your experience, how have you evolved as a person and a professional?
When I started off, I was shy and had a casual attitude to life. My father was a government officer. I have 7 siblings. We were an underprivileged family. I was very much concerned about my family situation, so I started teaching in coaching centers and gave tuitions to benefit my family.
I was not a religious person at all before joining PharmEvo but after I joined, I became regular in prayers.
I identified many areas for improvement when I joined PharmEvo, like getting to learn how to set the purpose of life and knowing that there is a logic behind everything in this world. By the grace of Allah, I have been able to learn many things in life, and the process is still going. I would like to give credit to the people who helped me a lot during this journey, namely Jamshed Ahmed; I worked under his supervision for 7 years. The other personality that I want to acknowledge is Shakeel Sahab; he helped me a lot in learning and grooming. I learned leadership tactics as well.
It was back in May 2003, Ahmer Sahab was on leave, and I had no idea how to manage all the work. I received a call from my finance department to submit incentives, and the amazing thing was that I was the only person looking after the responsibilities of the SFE department. I needed to submit my work to finance and complete my tasks, I worked on weekends to complete the tasks. At that time, we had 12 to 15 products and around 100 employees in our office, and completing their incentives was not an easy task at all. I did not know how to use formulas in Excel, but after much struggle, I submitted the file to the Finance department.
In 2005, the management of PharmEvo decided to give me the responsibilities of the Distribution department as well. I had no one working under me, so it was not easy to do all the work alone. But I think the confidence and trust PharmEvo had in me helped me grow personally and professionally. In 2006, I started hiring in the SFE and Distribution departments.
In 2010, Jamshed Sahab called me and told me that one of our brands (OMRON) is struggling and we are thinking to assign this brand to you. I started working on that brand, and now, after so much hard work,
I entered the marketing domain in 2012. I looked after SFE and the distribution department until 2016. I was the only person who started digital reporting at PharmEvo. I planned out the structure and its execution. This is because of my team, especially Mr. Tauseef. In 2017, the responsibilities of SFE and Distribution shifted to Nayyar Sahab, who was the director of marketing at that time. I was looking after Omron and EvoCheck.
Now, Alhumdulilah, I am serving the consumer division as the head of the department. One thing that I want to mention here is that after working for so long, I learned marketing and a lot of skills that I did not have at the time when I joined PharmEvo in 2003. The most amazing thing about PharmEvo is that the company provides learning opportunities to its employees.
All this while, how did you keep a work-life balance when all this was happening, if there was any?
My mantra is that when you are with your family, you spend quality time with them. And when you are doing your task at the workplace, you do that with full dedication.
What is the reason that you are still serving PharmEvo? And how did you fight off stagnancy?
Working in different departments kept providing me with a lot of exciting challenges. I would like to appreciate the ethical practices of PharmEvo. In my entire career, no one forced me to engage in unethical practices. Second, I keep myself motivated by accepting challenges and completing all of my tasks with zeal. Like I said before, I was assigned three different departments: Omron, Institution, and SFE, and I worked very hard to develop these departments. Currently, I have a new challenge: expanding the consumer division. So overall, when you have challenges in your life, your charge ahead with focus.
I think the reason for not leaving PharmEvo is its positive brand image within the industry. PharmEvo believes in taking risks and assigns tasks to individuals who are dedicated and willing to work regardless of experience. I give PharmEvo full credit for providing me with opportunities, which demonstrates the company’s great courage.
So, apart from the fact that your values align with the company's and you accepted this position, what else drives you intrinsically?
As I said before, I accomplished the tasks of SFE and Distribution before Institution. However, I believe that the task of expanding marketing has not yet been completed. I have more tasks to work on, like e-commerce. So I’m driven to accomplish all of this.
As an Evodian, what would you say is your USP?
My passion and dedication to my work are my USPs.
I was wondering if you faced challenges as a leader and as a team. So, have the nature of challenges changed over time with fresh hires to the point where new skills are required to deal with them?
Definitely, dealing with the new generation is not an easy task. Prior generations were so humble and respectful. The new generation is more advanced, and they are very clear about their goals and directions. They know very well which organizations they have to choose, and they know about the challenges and the tasks. This is a big difference between the new and old generations.
If I talk about the challenges of dealing with people of the new generation, I must say that I want fresh candidates with an advanced skill set to be a part of my team. Because their association, respect, and praise mean a lot to me, I enjoy training them. And people from the new generation are eager to learn, and I also learn many things the same way.
What do you think - what qualities are important for an Evodian? And what are the things that shouldn’t be possessed by an Evodian?
It’s very clear that the major thing is ITREE. It should be possessed by every Evodian. And they should refrain from politics. You should first check whether your values and the organization’s values are aligned or not.
Leaders you get inspiration from?
Definitely, Jamshed Sahab who taught me immensely, and Haroon Sahab who guided me across different functions. I hold great esteem for both.
What was your happiest moment in PharmEvo?
When I took the responsibility of OMRON, it was a proud moment for me. Although there are many happiest moments I remember when I got my first car I was super proud of myself.
Is there any skill that you want to further develop or get better at?
I overthink about the future, and apart from this I would love to enhance my communication skills futher.
If you had to nominate any Evodian for price negotiation, whose name comes to mind?
For price negotiation, I would say Taha and Nabeel Yousuf.
If you have a fight with someone, who would you pick among Evodians to resolve it?
Shahzad Faisal and Mohsin Sheraz.
Who would you pick among Evodians that can entertain the audience at a wedding?
Any interesting anecdote you want to talk about?
In March 2004, I was traveling for the first time to Dubai for the annual sales conference. There were almost 132 people who had traveled to Dubai for ASC. When we landed at Dubai Airport, my bag got misplaced. I did not know at that time where I should go to inquire. I asked people standing over there, and they told me to report the complaint in person. When I returned from the office, I saw that my team members had left. There I was, alone, and without any money on me right on my very first international trip. How I reached the hotel with great difficulty to see my colleagues sitting casually and wondering about my whereabouts.
Any parting message?
I would like to say that PharmEvo is the best place to work, and I have never seen a company like PharmEvo in my whole career because PharmEvo’s culture and values are the best, and their ethical conduct is most appreciable.