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Protecting the company’s reputation and trust

Takeda’s internal auditors assess, report and provide recommendations for improvements on the Takeda Group governance, risk management and internal control processes of all the company’s domestic and international entities. This is a crucial part of improving business operations and keeping the organization healthy.

The values that guide us in auditing

As a company with a presence in approximately 80 countries and regions, we must serve the needs of patients worldwide while also ensuring that everything we do adheres to the company’s values. Of course, on top of this, we must also follow local pharmaceutical laws and regulations. As internal auditors, it’s our job to evaluate this from the auditor's perspective and ensure that this is properly carried out. So you could say that the company’s reputation and trust depends on us.

My area of responsibility covers the audits of all Takeda offices in the Asia–Pacific region. I travel to each country, evaluating effectiveness of controls and helping local entities to improve controls over research, training, social programs they will carry out, and events they will sponsor.

Unfortunately, auditing is not something that those being audited look forward to, so it’s critical that I put in the time and effort to prepare thoroughly and have a good understanding of each local entity’s environment and operations before starting. This way, I can earn their trust and cooperation which will then help make the process as smooth as possible.

To reach the point where those being audited feel happy to speak openly about the core of their business activities, I always keep in mind the four values that comprise our company philosophy of Takeda-ism: integrity, fairness, honesty and perseverance. I think that these are exactly the qualities needed in this role: we must base our actions on integrity and be fair when engaging with others. Honesty is the most crucial element in communicating the audit results to management, and our perseverance enables us to effectively achieve our goals no matter what challenges we face.

Finding the common values in every office

When I joined Takeda having moved from a different company, I was surprised to find these values were embodied not only in the activities of the audit group, but in every department in every office. Since then, I’ve worked in three locations — the U.S., Osaka and Tokyo. I’m currently based at the Global Headquarters in Tokyo, but I constantly travel to our offices in various areas such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, Hong Kong and China. Even though I spend very little time at my desk, meeting people who share these common values everywhere I go reminds me that I am a part of the Takeda family.

When I started researching Takeda with the idea of working here, I was interested to find that its history spanned over two centuries. After joining the company, I realized that the values of Takeda-ism were not just a corporate marketing message, but actually stemmed from the company’s history, and were part of its DNA.

In addition to its history and values, I also appreciate Takeda’s global CSR efforts. These activities address a wide range of social challenges, from programs to improve healthcare on a global scale, including measures to combat measles in Laos and other developing countries, to community-based activities, such as a charity marathon in Russia, my home country.

Solid core values providing the stability needed for change

It’s been seven years now since I relocated to Japan, and the company has seen some significant changes during that time. For one, the way we work is now very flexible. My position as an auditor involves a lot of traveling and calls at odd hours, but I enjoy the flexibility of arranging my own work schedule, and this helps compensate for the sacrifices I sometimes have to make due to the nature of my work. It’s been fascinating to see a company of this size with such a rich history and heritage transform itself so quickly.

The corporate culture has also changed. Employees are encouraged to think on their feet and outside the box to find new, unique solutions to challenges faced. We also now have a very diverse, global workforce with colleagues from across the globe.

This transformation happened very quickly, and I believe it was only possible thanks to the company’s solid core values supported by its history, heritage and principles.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, either way you are right.”
This famous quote by Henry Ford is about trusting yourself.

Alexey Savichev

Born in Russia, Alexey joined Takeda’s U.S. office in 2004 after working for an international company there. He became interested in working in Japan through his interactions with his Japanese colleagues. His wife is Japanese, and this helped him make the decision to transfer to Japan as an internal auditor.