What do you do at Roche?

I have a global strategy role in Roche’s Diagnostics division (Senior Manager in Market and Competitive Intelligence). We analyze markets, competitors and trends worldwide. With our findings and recommendations, we link into the strategy process: What does it mean for our global strategy, what options do we have?

What’s your idea of a perfect day at work?
  • Learning something new
  • Having that “click” feeling of a light bulb turning on when you know you just came up with the solution to a complex problem
  • Walking away from a conversation thinking “Wow, that was really interesting!”
  • Transferring something complex into an actionable and easy-to-understand outcome
  • Giving a presentation and realising how your audience is genuinely eager to hear what you’re going to say next
  • Working together with a group of motivated people from very different backgrounds, coming up with ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of just on your own
What’s the biggest lesson you took away from your time at PwC?

Be authentic. Stay humble. Deliver on your promises.
“Client first” is one of PwC’s key principles: But that doesn’t mean you just run with any request without questioning. What it really means is that you are always available to challenge the status quo, ask critical questions, then listen carefully and bring in your own views. In my experience, this is how you add real value and build trust with people – both clients and colleagues.

What do you most value in your co-workers?

Deliver on your promises!
In other words: be reliable, committed, and approach challenges or obstacles with a positive, can-do attitude. And lastly – on this one, I am very strict, starting with myself – strive for excellence in what you do, no half-baked outcomes …

What do you think is the most underrated and most overrated characteristic?
  • Underrated: I have to go with three here – integrity and modesty as values and active listening skills.
  • Overrated: having the loudest voice “at the table”.
Any advice for the next generation of leaders?

Stay humble. Be authentic. Never stop learning.

What’s the last book you read?

Violencia pública en Colombia, 1958-2010. It’s a non-fiction book on the history of Colombia over the past 50 years, the public violence that went along with it, and the interrelations between politics, rebel groups like FARC and organised crime. It was a great read to help me to understand the culture and psyche of this amazing country (and to keep my Spanish fluent …).

Who would you have dinner with (dead or alive)?

Miyamoto Musashi, a samurai who lived in Japan during the sixteenth/seventeenth century. He was the most renowned sword fighter of his era and beyond. In today’s time, he would probably be a famous leadership coach. It would be fascinating to pick the brain of such a warrior (in terms of mental preparation, focus and awareness).

Last vacation you took?

Tenerife – beautiful island, nice climate and not so far from here.

On the weekends, you can find me

Enjoying time with my family and good friends; practising martial arts (traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, Krav Maga); being out in nature, preferably the mountains.



Be authentic. Stay humble. Deliver on your promises.

Christian Fassbind, PwC Alumnus