Ramkumar “Ram” Rayapureddy is Viatris’ Chief Information Officer, responsible for overseeing the technology teams, systems and processes of an organisation that employs approximately 45,000 people and spans more than 165 countries and territories worldwide. As Viatris’ Global CIO, Ram leads a global team of technology leaders focused on providing the IT strategy and operations to support the company in accomplishing its mission to be a source of stability in a world of ever-evolving healthcare needs. This includes ensuring consistency in Viatris’ daily manufacturing operations, technological prowess in its’ commercial and digital spaces and providing a safe and secure global network for an organisation that, like so many others, shifted to working remotely overnight.
Viatris is a new kind of healthcare company committed to providing access to medicines, advancing sustainable operations, developing innovative solutions and leveraging its collective expertise to improve patient outcomes. It was formed in November 2020 through the combination of pharmaceutical companies Upjohn and Mylan, where Ram served as Chief Information Officer since 2016.
Ram joined Mylan in 2014 as Head of Global IT Operations, bringing with him more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including various leadership positions in business, compliance, automation, and information technology. Then charged with leading a technology strategy that supported Mylan’s global manufacturing and operations systems for over 175 sites worldwide, Ram and his teams have successfully integrated large strategic acquisitions, transformed IT into a high performing multicultural global IT team, improved IT operations, modernised and simplified the IT landscape. Ram is also leading Viatris’ Digital transformation, with a focus on Plant Floor Automation, Cloud, Digital and Analytics strategies.
Ram earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad, India, in 1989, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Clemson University in 1992. Married with two children, he remains committed to building the Viatris culture with an emphasis on work-life balance and smart execution. He promotes diversity and inclusion within IT, and his personal motivations align with the core Viatris pillars of Access – providing high-quality medicines to people regardless of geography or circumstance; Leadership – advancing sustainable operations and innovative solutions to improve health; Partnership – leveraging collective expertise to connect people to products and services. To help encourage these traits within his team, Ram makes himself highly accessible, holding informal meetings with team members 2-3 times weekly, spends time each week reading and researching the latest technology innovations and developments in leadership, and learning from partners about new solutions and how they might work for Viatris, then working with his business partners to determine which technological innovations might best support the business needs.
Ram’s extensive experience in managing complex global initiatives across Asia, Europe and North America set him up for success when the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the world overnight. His proficiency in managing cross-functional teams in high-pressure situations prepared him to set priorities for his IT department that ensured business continuity and a successful Viatris Day 1. Building on these successes, Ram has direct accountability over the next 18 months to maintain business continuity, exit the transitional services agreement from the transaction, strengthen IT security and compliance, and develop an innovative technology roadmap to stabilise current business needs as well as accelerate future business drivers.
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The fundamental question is always how much control am I willing to lose versus how much risk I want to reduce when moving to the cloud, and then making a choice based on the business value