Tariq Farooq, Sanofi: “Top priority is to become even more patient and customer-centric”

Tariq Farooq

The last 12 months have seen companies adapt, collaborate and prove their resilience. “We have been quicker to adapt and more resilient than I thought. If you’d asked me prior to the pandemic if 70,000 people could work remotely, I would have said yes but give us a year or so to make it happen. In reality we made the shift in a number of days. This is a credit to the adaptability of our people and the resilience of our processes and tools,” says Tariq Farooq, SVP Global Supply Chain for Sanofi. The challenge ahead is to live up to the new expectations, re-set the pace and keep people engaged as we continue to adapt.

By Martijn Lofvers, Edwin Tuyn and Helen Armstrong

Tariq Farooq spent 19 years at P&G in various roles and business units and worked for seven years at Danone before joining the French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi in 2017. Like many Pharma companies its supply chain capabilities lagged behind other industries such as FMCG and High Tech which have transformed their supply chains over many years. He says: “We have laid solid foundations and have plans in place to become amongst the best SC teams across any industry.”

Farooq describes himself as naturally curious and driven to learn, collaborate and make a difference.  Farooq is currently responsible for the global supply chain across a diverse $35bn Pharma & Biotech Business.

How has your career evolved?

“I’m an electronic and electrical engineer by training. However, I knew early on, having had the opportunity through a few internships, including one at Scott Paper on the production floor, that design engineering was not for me. Instead, I was attracted to the diversity of people and daily challenges that you find in a production environment.

I was lucky enough to be offered a couple of jobs but chose P&G because of the opportunity it offered to be a line manager from day one. I spent 19 great years with P&G working in manufacturing and supply chain, in several business units and in several countries.

In 2010 I had the opportunity to join Danone who were looking for a head of operations for the dairy division in Central & Eastern Europe. I was attracted by the new business (food & beverage); the chilled supply chain (not ambient); hands-on responsibility in markets I hadn’t yet been in and, most importantly, it was a new role with responsibility for both manufacturing and supply chain.

However, it was just after the financial crisis; the dairy business was entering challenging times as many consumers were shifting to own-label brands. Our focus over that period became right sizing our network and organization in parallel to continued product innovation in order to deliver value to our consumers.

In 2013 I had the opportunity to move to the company’s beverages business, which over time had expanded from pure water into beverages such as juices. I spent 3.5 years in a dual role; looking after end-to-end operations in Central Europe and the Middle East and leading supply chain as a function globally.” … … …

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This article was first published in Supply Chain Movement 40 | Q1 – 2021