Lakish Khatalkar, Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Heath in Ukraine, Russia and the CIS, is convinced that at all stages of the company’s activities – from the scientific substantiation of the product, its practical development and implementation methods – an innovative approach should be applied; however, the most important condition for the prosperity of mankind is a rethinking by each person of the attitude to their own moral and physical health and the ecological health of the planet as a whole.
LDaily: Please tell us about Johnson & Johnson company.
L. Hatalkar: At Johnson & Johnson, we believe good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress. That’s why for more than 130 years, we have aimed to keep people well at every age and every stage of life. Today, as the world’s largest and most broadly-based healthcare company, we are committed to using our reach and size for good. We strive to improve access and affordability, create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. We are blending our heart, science and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity.
LDaily: Please tell us about yourself. What inspires you in your work?
L. Hatalkar: Our Credo and Our Purpose — these are the components that inspire me every day in J&J business. Our Credo is our north star that guides us in all we do. It helps us to prioritize consumers and patients, consider our responsibilities to our employees, embed our impact in the communities in which we live and work, and how all of this translates into a good return for our shareholders. Our Purpose — blending heart, science and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity — encourages everyone in our company to play an important role in helping people throughout their lives , making it a tremendous honor and a responsibility in our day-to-day job.
LDaily: What are the opportunities for the consumer business in Ukraine?
L. Hatalkar: Ukraine’s economy has been steadily growing over the years, we have seen retail turnover growth, and the e-commerce market in Ukraine in 2020 grew by 40%. Consumers want safe goods and services and they are paying more attention to hygiene and health care products when shopping online. Millions of consumers in Ukraine turn to our products and beloved brands every day to take care of themselves and those they love. So, I think Ukraine is a challenging but very attractive emerging market for companies that want to consumers’ existing expectations for irreproachable quality, innovations and digital transformation. At J&J Consumer Health we prioritize science and innovations, as well as data and analytics to further explore and meet upcoming consumers’ needs and demands.
LDaily: What are the goals for Johnson & Johnson for the future in Health Care?
L. Hatalkar: Improvement of trajectory of health for humanity. We are committed to continue playing an important role in the global and national healthcare systems and having ongoing constructive dialogue with all the stakeholders involved to improve people’s health.
LDaily: What distinguishes consumers in Ukraine from other countries? What do modern consumers need?
L. Hatalkar: Ukrainians are very demanding consumers. They are now more digitally equipped and informed than ever before. They are always searching for reliable assurance of quality, efficiency, safety, and multiple access to data. Helping consumers make informed choices, is vital to J&J Consumer Health. Therefore, we ensure pharmacists are well-informed about our products so they can provide valuable advice to consumers. For example, since 2018, we have been building and scaling an educational remote integrated platform — PharmExpert — to share our international expertise and build loyalty and awareness of J&J products with over 6,500 pharmacists. We have also, delivered learning via webinars, interactive presentations, and gamification.
E-commerce is gaining momentum. According to public data, Ukraine is among top ten countries with the highest growth of e-commerce. At J&J Consumer Health, we stay very close to what consumers and patients want and the ever-changing market so we can deliver meaningful solutions. We will be investing in data and analytics, and e-commerce in the years to come.
LDaily: What products is the company working on today? When they can be available for consumers?
L. Hatalkar: Nicorette is a great example of a brand that has innovations that impact on human health. As we advance our efforts to eradicate smoking, research has shown that combining Nicotine Replacement Therapy with behavioral support can improve a smoker’s chances of quitting. That is why we partnered with J&J Behavioral Scientists to co-create a personalized support app for Nicorette —QuickMist SmartTrack™ — the first connected OTC product. It allows consumers to set a personalized quit plan in the app and works in the same way as a contactless bank card. By using a product like this, consumers are 2.5 times more likely to give up smoking vs. willpower alone.
Another big focus, we have at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, is our total health approach to helping people live their healthiest lives under our Healthy Lives Mission . This includes delivering products in a way that considers the health of the planet without sacrificing the safety and efficacy of our products. For example, Listerine® is replacing all of its black plastic caps in Europe with clear resin ones to improve recycling quality, and our Johnson’s® brand will remove plastic pumps—due to a metal component, it prevents them from being recycled—from products with less than 500 ml volume in the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
LDaily: Innovations are at the heart of human health change. How Johnson & Johnson is uniquely positioned to drive innovations?
L. Hatalkar: We push the boundaries of innovation, harness the power of data and relentlessly strive to advance our understanding of human insights to help people take better care of themselves and their loved ones. Our commitment to innovation extends beyond our science-backed, professionally endorsed products. Innovation is a company sport. One that everyone is involved in because it is how we stay relevant in today’s fast-paced environment. Our R&D team is using emerging technologies to drive innovations that lead to better outcomes for our consumers. Our customer teams co-create innovation with retailers as they continually reimagine the consumer experience. But what is also important is how we make innovation flourish inside the company. The answer is our focus and robust programs in the area of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. The best innovations can only come if our people reflect the world’s full diversity of individuals, opinions and approaches.