Interview to Elena Vatutina
About Elena Vatutina
Mrs Vatutina is the editor-in-chief of the Katren Style media project. Every month she and her team are faced with the challenge of producing new and interesting editions of the two leading pharmacy and medical magazines in Russia. Through her work, Mrs. Vatutina gains some of the best insights into the Russian pharmacy market. Today Mrs. Vatutina lives in Novosibirsk with her family.
CPC Team: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
ELENA VATUTINA: When I was a child, I sometimes dreamed of becoming a dentist. Sometimes I pretended I was the tooth fairy, and that all of my dolls were my patients.
CPC Team: Which books or films inspire you?
VATUTINA: I most recently read Karen Blumenthal’s Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different. This book influenced some of my views on how to compete in a differentiated market and how to face some new opportunities in my project’s development. It also showed me how important chance and change are in business.
In terms of films, well, I really liked Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp in the main role. Honestly, I like watching how different he can be in every new film and every new role. We all play different roles in our everyday lives. Take me, for example: I’m a mother, a wife, an editor-in-chief, etc. I believe that we all have to learn how to play each of our roles in the best way possible — and Johnny Depp is a great example of that!
CPC Team: What is a source of motivation for you?
VATUTINA: A challenge. If there are no challenges, there is nothing to achieve, is there?
CPC Team: What can make you angry?
VATUTINA: Unsolved problems. It is a great motivation to solve them.
CPC Team: Is there something you can’t say “no” to?
VATUTINA: I can never say “no” when my four year old daughter comes to me saying, “Mummy, let’s agree: I will clean my room, and you will buy me a new iPad game.” I always say, “Okay!” Unfortunately, it happens rarely.
CPC Team: What do you like to do in your spare time?
VATUTINA: I lack spare time! If there is any, I prefer figure skating or playing the piano; hobbies can really help me relax.
CPC Team: Could you share the secret of your favourite food with us?
VATUTINA: Sure. My favourite dish is fried potatoes.
CPC Team: What country/city do you like most, or have you always wanted to visit?
VATUTINA: There are three such places for me. First, Dubai. I really love this city. The first time I was there was after I’d graduated from the MBA programme. Since then, it‘s been a good place to relax for me.
Second, Hong Kong. This is the city that expresses my lifestyle: it never stops.
Lastly, Moscow. This city is a really effective place for me to work. It has our production and logistical centre, most of our partners are located there, etc. As for me, it’s a place where new ideas are born and new interests are discovered.
CPC Team: What has been the most successful decision you’ve made in your life?
VATUTINA: Well, I’d better tell you about the two decisions that have influenced my professional life the most.
The first happened in 2004, when I was invited to work for the Katren Group as a PR manager and I agreed. That’s how I started my career in the pharmaceutical industry.
The second decision was in 2006, when I agreed to become the editor of Katren Style. At that time, Katren Style was a small corporate newspaper and I was the only one responsible for the edition. This was a really difficult decision for me, because it was a huge amount of work and the goals were extremely ambitious. I wasn’t sure whether I could get through it. But I agreed, and it was a great challenge.
The main aim was to make our edition the best among other pharmaceutical media. That’s why the Katren Style newspaper was redeveloped into a “lifestyle” professional magazine for pharmacists. We achieved our aim and became number one in May 2010. (Pharma-Q, Synovate Comcon research)
Later, in 2012, we started several new projects – an edition for GPs, a new website and more. Right now, I have a great professional command of editors, designers, photographers, journalists and managers. We’ve already been ranked number one in readership and audience coverage – and number one in terms of importance of information – six times in a row!** And while thinking about all of these achievements, I sometimes ask myself, “What would I do now, if I had made different decisions in 2004, if I hadn’t faced these challenges?” Honestly, I’m glad that all of this has happened to me.
CPC Team: Who is the person you admire most, and why?
VATUTINA: There are two people I admire most. The first one taught me how to face challenges and to not be afraid of changes. The second one showed me huge wisdom and always inspires me to be a good leader. These two people are my mother and my husband.