Lorenzo Beccerica is currently a professor at EADA Business school, teaching Corporate Financial Management for Pharma & Biotech Management masters’ participants. He holds an MBA from EADA Business School, graduated in Economics and Finance (Italy) and has a Certificate in Investment Financial Services (Ireland). Lorenzo is Responsible for the Planning & Control Department of the Diagnostic Division in Grifols for Europe, Middle East and Africa region with over fifteen years’ international experience in financial environments leading teams in several sectors such as pharmaceuticals, services, consultancy, banking and logistics for multinational companies as well as local businesses.
We interviewed him to share with us his experience as an EADA professor, especially from his experience being an EADA participant and how this background is enriching the exchange with the students and the class dynamics.
First of all, May I ask how you define yourself personally and professionally with some words?
I consider myself an ambitious and driven person who tries to continuously set personal and professional goals and works hard to accomplish them. I tend to step outside of my comfort zone because I understand it is the only way to grow, learn new things and keep my motivation high.
People usually describe me as a committed person, easy-going, someone they can rely on and have a good time with.
Can you tell us more about your experience? What is the thing that impacted you the most?
I have been living abroad for many years, places where I have studied and gained international experience in Finance across different companies and industries.
Two weeks after my graduation from university, I decided to leave my hometown and family business in Italy, surprising everyone and even disappointing some of them. I went to Dublin to learn English and hopefully find a job aligned with my economics and finance background.
After a few months, I was selected for an entry level position in an Investment Bank where most of my colleagues were Irish, I could hardly understand their strong accent, for instance, I struggled during the team meetings and suffered while talking over the phone with customers and colleagues across the globe.
Nevertheless, focus and commitment helped me to grow within the company, I was promoted and had the opportunity to lead teams. That experience taught me to believe in myself and never give up because big challenges, once achieved, are the most rewarding in life.
You have been an EADA participant before. How do you feel now teaching in the school where you’ve graduated from your MBA?
On the one hand, I feel sad because it reminds me of the amazing MBA experience and above all that I am getting old… but on the other hand, it is a rewarding achievement, I am pleased and enthusiastic about teaching at EADA, but at the same time, I consider it a big responsibility as well, because our students deserve the maximum effort from us.
I asked them not to call me “professor”, I made it clear that sometimes I might not be able to answer some academic questions, but for sure, I will share with them real and relevant work experiences, prepare them for the potential difficulties and challenges they could find on their way and how to deal with those in different working and professional environments. I hope it will be a win-win situation. From my point of view, so far, it has been an extraordinary learning process.
How is the experience of teaching people from different backgrounds, for most of them in science, pharma and biomedicine ?
That was my initial concern before accepting this role. I remember when I was an MBA student, Finance was one of the most complex courses for the professor to keep everyone engaged and actively participating throughout their learning journey. I believe it was beneficial for me to know in advance their backgrounds, experiences, how they feel about numbers and Finance: their positive feedback and motivation made my life easier and allowed me to frame the course accordingly.
My goal is to keep all of them interested and above all make sure they follow the story and learn key financial concepts even if sometimes they might get lost or struggle with the details.
How would you define finance and what position do you think it has in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries?
In recent years, finance has moved from a purely transactional and performance management function to one of being a key Business Partner. I see now Finance as an integral part of management, one that supports value creation by interpreting data, translating and communicating information to facilitate decision-making processes and shaping strategies.
Thanks to my experience in the Pharma industry, I discovered that even if performance and maximization of the shareholders’ wealth remain priorities and crucial objectives for companies, also Finance tends to look at that in a slightly different perspective when patients’ health and care of people are part of the companies’ missions.
What do you think the next challenges or opportunities for pharma and biotech companies are, from an economic and financial point of view?
Presently, the Pharma and Biotech industry is experiencing several challenges and budget constraints, in addition to this, companies are constantly requested to improve the quality of their products and services at a lower price.
Innovation and digital transformation are key drivers to cope with those expectations, a solution to deliver value in a very competitive business environment. Furthermore, I believe companies should also move towards a more customer-centric business model with commitment and strategy to enrich customers’ experience and assure their success. That should be more a company culture, a mindset focused to positively impact the overall healthcare community.
Finally, may I ask what do you think is the main added value from your point of view of the master in Pharma & Biotech Management?
I believe with this master EADA is making a big step forward, offering students the perfect match to advance their management skills and at the same time to pursue their interests and aspirations in this industry.
In my opinion, it represents an excellent opportunity to learn from faculty and professors with relevant work experience in the Pharma and Biotech industry, network and team with other international participants that share the same passion, but, above all, as a path to get connected with leading companies of the sector already collaborating with EADA.