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Versatile and talented Tapani returned to Orion after many years equipped with lessons learnt from the banking world

Tapani Koskenkari, Business Development Director, returned to Orion from the banking world, not to the old and familiar, but to something new and exciting. He values the versatile opportunities for personal development and for developing his expertise that are offered by the company.

Tapani Koskenkari returned to Orion in August 2019 from the banking world, where he worked for 12 years. 
“I really enjoyed my time at Orion the first time, so it was easy to come back. I was also particularly motivated by the fact that I would be able to launch a completely new function in the company. I’m inspired by challenges; by the fact that there are no ready paths, and that you have to find them yourself,” Koskenkari says. 
As Business Development Director, Koskenkari looks for products and even companies that Orion could buy to develop its business. 
“We do not want to grow for the sake of growing, but look for targets that suit Orion’s strategy and further strengthen our offering and expertise,” Koskenkari explains.

Returning with a wealth of expertise from the business world

Koskenkari originally arrived at Orion-owned Oriola as a summer employee in 1995, as a young student of pharmacy and economics. After that, his path led him, for example, to a summer job as a pharmacist in Orion’s product development, to hourly-paid work during his studies and a permanent job after graduation. He also wrote both of his Master’s theses for Orion. 
“In 2004, I did my Doctoral thesis in pharmacy on technology transfers between different production plants. At the same time, I moved to a partner sales management position to promote the success of Orion’s products in Asia and elsewhere,” Koskenkari says. 
In 2007, Koskenkari set off again for new adventures: this time the banking world and as a portfolio manager of a health fund. Later, he also took on two other funds, which included large European companies from different sectors.  
“In the world of banking, I learnt about hundreds, if not thousands, of different companies and their strategies, which is obviously very useful in my current role. On the other hand, my work at Orion is now far more concrete in terms of advancing matters, which feels nice,” Koskenkari continues. 
A diverse educational background combined with strong expertise in both pharmacy and the commercial field naturally provide an excellent foundation for his current job.  

Orion offers endless possibilities

Koskenkari has been working at Orion for years, albeit on two different occasions. He points out that the employees generally have very long careers at the company, and returnees are not uncommon. 
“The other employees also seem to enjoy working at the company. One of Orion’s real advantages is that there are so many different jobs and broad job descriptions,” says Koskenkari. 
He points out that Orion offers jobs throughout the entire spectrum of the pharmaceutical industry, from drug development to manufacturing, sales and marketing. There is no other similar company in Finland. 
“Orion offers its employees a huge range of opportunities,” Koskenkari says. 

The three best aspects of my job – Tapani Koskenkari: 

  • Good working community and great colleagues.
  • I am launching a function that is new in the company. I enjoy challenges like this.
  • I analyse different companies and their products and try to keep up with the international trends and fast-moving developments. It is really interesting.” 

You don’t always know what you want to be when you grow up 

Koskenkari frequently mentions that he is inspired by learning new things and being outside of his comfort zone. He also points out that it is not always necessarily possible to know in advance what you will like – or what you will love to do most of all. 
“I think this is also reflected in my own story. At the age of 18 I was studying flute at the Sibelius Academy, a year later I was studying chemistry and mathematics at the University of Helsinki, and then a couple of years later I was already studying pharmacy and economics.” Koskenkari says. 
Music is still an important aspect of Koskenkari’s life today. 
“We held the first rehearsals for our small family orchestra yesterday. I play the flute, my wife plays the saxophone and our 7.5-year-old daughter plays the violin,” says Koskenkari, while also revealing that his dream is to learn to play the saxophone. 
“The bar is set pretty high as my wife is a top-level professional saxophonist. But, we’ll see, I'll get there one day,” says Koskenkari with a laugh.