What if your only belief is that we are all going through a journey of time – how we want it to be remembered is all that matter. That is what Muru believes in. Born in Kuala Kangsar, Perak in a family of 5 boys, he grew up without the luxuries of life – he had to cycle 20 kilometers to school, suffered a period of joblessness and sometimes not having the basics of life. But he persevered, reminding himself that he will achieve something one day.
His purpose in life is to leave a legacy. He wants to be remembered as the best husband, the best father, and for his professional contributions. Professionally, he wants to work with his team to make a difference, towards an ultimate goal – save a life, change a life and improve life of patients. His one basic approach is to build energy for a purpose.
“If you want to do it, do it big or don’t do it”. Muru believes that in whatever you do, you must be remembered for it and failing and discovering is part of the journey. Muru began his career in Western Digital and later moved on to Baxter and then to Abbott where he served in various roles. In 2005, he was appointed to lead the marketing for Virology franchise ex-US, and then in 2006 assumed the post of Director of Marketing, Renal Care. In 2007, he assumed the role of Commercial Director, Specialty Care Products for Australia, Africa, Asia and Central Eastern Europe Region. In 2009, Muru assumed the role of General Manager of Abbott International Malaysia and subsequently ascended to become the General Manager for Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei in 2012. After the AbbVie-Abbott split in 2013 he assumed the role as Regional General Manager, AbbVie Asia South which covers India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and a collection of other countries like Brunei, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. In August 2016, he assumed his current position as Head Commercial – JAPAC, EEMEA, LA (Japan, Australia, Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Latin America). He also served on the Board of Directors for AbbVie Malaysia Sdn Bhd, AbbVie Thailand Pte Ltd, AbbVie Singapore Pte Ltd and AbbVie India Pte Ltd.
Muru was President of the Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia (PhAMA) until he relocated to North Chicago for his new positon, and has been serving PhAMA as a Director since 2009. He co-chaired the PhAMA Policy Committee. He also served as a Director of the US ASEAN Business Council (USABC) and ASEAN Chairman. He was appointed to the Strategic Issue Forum (SIL) a think-tank group setup by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI). He also represented the industry on the Steering Committee for the Malaysian Government’s Transformation Program for Healthcare.
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world’s most complex and serious diseases. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs more than 28,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries.
Muru and his team in Asia South pursue every day to change the world, setting new path to create remarkable impact on patients’ lives. They count the number of lives they saved, changed and improved everyday- last year it was about 5.2 million! The team created many legacies of their own – sustained growth of number of patient lives changed for 5 years in a row, produced many new leaders and exported some, created local initiatives that became global references- they challenged not only the status quo but also created new reference internally and to competitors. The team has won many accolades internally and externally.
What makes Muru different from other team leaders, is his ability to create energy and inspire others. “Leadership is about creating energy in people, create the excitement in the purpose, connect them emotionally, instead of just a transaction, and make it as our very own.” He always believes that if you create energy, you will unleash hidden skills, and innovation will spring, and entrepreneurship will be nurtured. As an entrepreneur, Muru always pursue to set a new record, a new mark and will never settle for just achieving something but achieving something different – from as simple as an invitation card to shaping healthcare in the nation. This sentiment goes for his team as well where everything his team does should be used a reference. His own recipe he preached and lives by is, PEOPLE + CUSTOMER = BUSINESS. If people have the lasting energy, that energy will translate to creating remarkable impact on customers’ lives and business will happen.
Muru also likes to create catchy statements. These include “hope is for losers”, “let’s be different or we all will die in due time”, “big thinking small ideas” and “bring the atomic energy to work every day or find a new place that you will love”. Muru’s passion is people. He often joked that if he was to be stranded in a deserted island, he would die within a week – he is an extrovert who thrives on people around him. People around him energizes him and keeps him going – like a catalyst team who propels each other – that’s what he pursues to build till today.
Muru’s mission is to leave a legacy by Thinking Big. He developed and built the vision with his team in 2009 and stayed till today. Big thinking encapsulates – thinking big, thinking different for it to be a reference. Muru’s vision is to see people develop and spread energy which put smiles on others and build the organization that they can call their own and not just belong to. The most rewarding part of his leadership is to see people develop their potential which in turn inspires him in his work as he has to keep up with some of them.