Interview to Uwe Stöhr
About Uwe Stöhr
Mr Stöhr is one of the most experienced Pharma Managers in the business, with a clear, strategic eye on the CIS region. He has identified and pushed news trends in Russia when others did not even have them on the radar. Mr Stöhr has been one of the leaders in supporting the development of companies like Berlin Chemie, Knoll AG, Ratiopharm International, Wörwag Pharma and others in the Emerging Markets. Today, he is the Regional Manager at Klosterfrau for the CIS Region. He lives between Cologne, Berlin and Kiev with his family.
CPC Team: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
UWE STÖHR: I wanted to become a chemist. I was fascinated with the idea of entering the world of molecules and chemical compounds. With my job in the pharmaceutical industry, I’m very close to my dream.
CPC Team: Which books or films have inspired you?
STÖHR: Rolf Dobelli’s Die Kunst des Klaren Denkens (The Art of Thinking Clearly). I was astonished at how deep the bias of human perception is. The conclusion is that everybody lives in an individual world created by their personal experiences and knowledge – sometimes far from reality. The human mind has serious limitations. As for a film: Vermessung der Welt (Measuring the World). People fight for their dreams and pay for it.
CPC Team: What is a source of motivation for you?
STÖHR: Working with people from different nations, of different mentalities and cultures.
CPC Team: What can make you angry?
STÖHR: People without initiative or engagement, who find more excuses than ways to do something.
CPC Team: Is there anything you can’t say “no” to?
STÖHR: A new, exciting challenge. Solving a problem, or troubleshooting a so-called “hopeless situation”.
CPC Team: What do you like to do in your spare time?
STÖHR: I love to read good books. I love to travel to places where I’ve dreamt of going. And I love to spend time with my grandchild and my daughters.
CPC Team: What programme makes you want to turn off the TV?
STÖHR: Endless TV talk shows with political propaganda, where they don’t discuss the subject. Below-the-belt ‘reality’ TV shows. Where do they find these people who would sell their honour and dignity for a bit of money?
CPC Team: Could you share the secret of your favourite food with us?
STÖHR: I like what my grandmother used to cook for me! Fried mashed potatoes, lentil soup and fried mushrooms – collected from the forest. But nobody could ever do it her way, or recapture that unforgettable taste.
CPC Team: What country/city do you like most, or have you always wanted to visit?
STÖHR: Tbilisi. It has an amazing mix of tradition, heritage, culture, nature and distinguished cuisine – also excellent wines. Then, there’s Kiev. It’s in an ancient Slavonic state and reminds me of my wife. And Berlin. This is the city that expresses my lifestyle, because it never stops.
CPC Team: What has been the most successful decision you’ve made in your life?
STÖHR: My decision to study in Russia. And to marry my second wife.
CPC Team: Who is the person you admire most, and why?
STÖHR: Winston Churchill – a man with clear objectives and opinions, a strong will and a sharp and punchy mind. Also, Karl Marx—he gave a brilliant analysis of the current economic system.
CPC Team: What kind of management advice do you have for European Pharma Managers looking to expand into Russia?
I have three recommendations for Russia:
1. Try to understand the Russian mentality.
2. Be patient, patient, patient…
3. Prioritise personal contacts.