Hi Alastair, how long have you been part of the Zeller journey?
Nearly 13 years.
What is your current role at Zeller?
Senior Alliance Manager – responsible for all contracts, plus internal regulatory coordination
What drew you to Zeller originally? And how has Zeller changed since?
I was looking for a Swiss pharmaceutical company with products with a natural basis – a brief that Zeller fulfilled perfectly.
As the field continues to bring forward new, safe and efficacious plant-based medicines, from your perspective, what does the future of phytomedicine looks like?
There is at present something of a trend away from synthetic, chemical drugs – possibly, because people have a nagging fear of their possible side effects. With this in mind, I think we will see more and more high quality, well-documented phytomedicines becoming first line of treatment products.
What has been your greatest achievement or highlight at Zeller?
After 13 years? Still being alive and happy to work at Zeller.
How do you balance your career at Zeller with your personal life?
People have a personal life? I wouldn’t know with the hours required for Zeller.
Whether during your daily work experiences, with partners, during travels etc. what has been the most hilarious moment for you at Zeller?
Some years ago, I was flying into a South American airport for a meeting the next day with a potential new partner company. It was late evening, but I had however been assured that someone would meet me at the airport to take me to my hotel. I looked in vain, but could not see anyone. Eventually as the crowds dispersed, I saw a man holding a sign saying “Mrs. Cakemot” (which really isn’t quite the name). Never mind, I had found my driver. Alas, it was not to be. The driver refused to take me after observing – correctly – that I was not a woman and he was there to collect a woman. I tried to convince him that I really was the person he was there to meet, but he was not to be persuaded. It was late at night and I only had office numbers for the company concerned, so finally, I gave up and simply took a taxi.
The next morning not wishing to start the meeting by complaining, I decided not to say anything, but the news had already reached them. The driver had rung and complained that the woman he was supposed to collect had not turned up. Ah well.