'How I Made It' featuring Omar Ehsan, MD at Pulse Consulting
Welcome back to our inspiring stories series, ‘How I Made It’. We're interviewing the cream of the crop across all facets of communications and marketing. This is where you'll learn about how the best in the industry got to where they are today and hopefully pick up some tips along the way to help your own career progress.
For our latest interview, we sat down with Omar Ehsan, Managing Director at Pulse Consulting Ltd., to find out how he made it in the industry. With over 15 years of experience working in the global healthcare business service sector, for many years at IMS Health and then Ipsos Healthcare, Omar specialises in identifying and maximising new commercial opportunities and business partnerships, and has developed a track record of establishing new operational units in emerging markets, launching key products, and driving sales. Most recently, Omar has focused on patient mobile technologies with a keen interest in blockchain and advanced analytics.
Read on to find out all about Omar’s career – from how he got his break to what he does to stay sane on the crazy days.
How did you get into communications?
I got my big break back in 1996. After a rigorous five-round interview process, I was hired by IMS Health.
At the time, I had quite a different background to what they usually look for. But I knew about dealing with customers and my line manager was impressed by my calm nature and confidence. There was a lot of different criteria they were recruiting for, but we got to know each other pretty well over those five rounds and I think I got lucky.
What drew you to IMS?
I didn’t know IMS at all, but they took the unusual step of advertising in the Times. Having said that, everyone in pharma knew the brand!
What keeps you sane on those crazy days?
Looking after my health and fitness keeps me sane. When the pressure goes up, I go for long walks. I find that solitude and a calm environment help me cope. I cut the noise out, take time to think clearly and frame my thoughts in a coherent manner.
In addition to walking, I also enjoy working out, cycling and golf. And I use the latter as an opportunity to bounce a few ideas off people who are not in the same industry.
Do you have a mentor or inspiration?
I don’t any more. I used to have a mentor at IMS early on in my career but now I find colleagues come to me for advice, so I spend a lot more time mentoring than I do being mentored.
What are three words that describe you?
Integrity, resilient and calm
What career advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Pay attention to the detail. As your career hits an upward trajectory and you take on a more strategic role, often you are not immersed in the detail so much but you should always look into it – whether it’s a business case, product launch or a client proposal. With every opportunity, I always start from the highest perspective and then drill down into the detail.
What are the top three things businesses should do to promote diversity?
The three things are simple: do it, do it, and stop thinking about it and do it. Diversity is not a statement on a piece of paper; I judge people by the actions they take and the decisions they make. I’m a great advocate of talking less about diversity and just going ahead and doing it.
Name one technology you can’t live without
WhatsApp. People actually pick up the message and respond, unlike many other forms of communication.