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Chasing Purpose with Passion

With a background in business, economics, and medicine, Natasha Olsson is one of a kind talent that brings a different perspective to light. In this interview, I hope to learn more and get candid about who she defines herself to be and what keeps her motivated!

About Natasha

Natasha Olsson, Marketing Manager at Neobiomcis. She holds a BSc in Business and Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) and is currently studying Medicine at Karolinska Institutet. She is an experienced Project Manager in health care policy research and marketing. 

Starting with the most famous question that you have asked before, who are you?

To begin with, I would say that I am a person that loves to develop my knowledge. Knowledge both when it comes to self-leading, but also when it comes to global health and medicine. I get my energy from being in nature and spending time with close family and friends. A distinct personal characteristic is a never-ending interest in other people and a desire to expand perspectives. 

Natasha in her Norwegian grandmother’s knitwear. She is a Swedish-Norwegian.

If you ask my friends, they would probably describe me as an honest, animal-loving, energetic and social person. In contrast, if you ask my colleagues at the hospital, they would probably say that I am a very detail-oriented, talk-active, and inquisitive candidate that studies her cardiology book in the elevator between two shifts. I believe these two perspectives reflect parts of me. 

Close to where Natasha grew up: Ramsvikslandet in Bohuslän, Sweden.

You’re a triple threat with a background in Business, Economics and now you’re on to studying medicine. Why the big switch?

In short, I strongly believe in GRIT. In other words, put in the effort to reach part-time goals which enable you to reach the long-term goal of your professional career. In my case, my long-term professional goal includes medicine and making life better for others. 

I have realized that to secure better health in the world, I need to work with structural improvements rather than only being a clinical doctor. In order to ensure the right combination of skill-set for making structural improvements within healthcare, I decided to pursue an economics degree besides my medical degree. My work at Neobiomics, as well as my former jobs within healthcare policy research, is a realization of this combined interest in medicine and economics. 

How did you become a part of Neobiomics?

I had the luck to get recruited by Gustav Johansson, a former co-student at SSE and the son of Stefan Johansson that is a neonatologist and founder of Neobiomics. From the very first moment that I heard of the start-up and ProPrems, I knew that it was a splendid match for me and my interest in making health better for others.

How long have you been here and how does your journey look so far?

In January 2020, I joined Neobiomics as the fourth employee. Since then, Neobiomics has grown in both competence, employees, and geographical coverage. The team was based all over Europe from the very first start, but most employees had medical backgrounds. We were part of the KI Incubator Program at Karolinska Institutet Innovation, where we had the opportunity to get to know our chairman Mårten Österlund. In 2021, the team increased with competence in business and finance, which enabled us to improve market access and quality assurance. 

I have gotten to know a diverse group of people, with a common goal to improve the lives of others. I am captured by the ethical responsibility that is found in my colleagues, which I try to imitate and be inspired by as much as possible. During challenges, I have been able to see more positive mindsets than in any other workplace. I believe that the combination of the right team competence and a positive mindset has led to Neobiomic’s growth. In less than two years, our distribution of ProPrems has expanded from almost only the Nordics to 24 countries all over Europe. 

We have also changed the office, from a start-up hub into our own office. That was a big step in order to increase the team spirit!

A workshop at our old office at the H2 Health Hub in Stockholm. Natasha taking the photo of the board and the employees.

What’s your next big goal?

I am eager to see Stefan and the team making Neobiomics reach its potential – in order to fulfill the mission to bring ideas to life.  

Regarding my personal next goal, I am looking forward to my upcoming study trip with Karolinska Institute to learn more about health in Uganda. Besides this, I am looking forward to making more research and to finish my degree as a doctor.  

As a medical student at Karolinska Institute, I will soon do a study trip to learn more about the health in Uganda. This picture is from my Kenyan relatives beautiful backyard close to Lake Victoria. I have also studied for a semester with locals in the countryside of the Democratic Republic of Congo – which I loved. 

Who in your life has had the most influence on you?

I am a find it important with role models and therefore I have had three particular persons that have inspired me for the last decade: Hans Rosling, Denis Mukwege, and Dag Hammarsköld. Rosling, founder of Gapminder, for his drive to base decisions on fact. Mukwege, a gynecologist at Panzi Hospital in Congo, for his passion for tirelessly helping the most vulnerable patients. Hammarsköld, former UN secretary, for his faith and will to solve the most challenging conflicts with diplomatic actions.

Another person that has inspired me more lately is Stefan, the CEO of Neobiomics. He is a big role model when it comes to being a knowledge-seeking and caring leader and doctor. Important features!

As a person involved in marketing, what’s one piece of technology that you couldn’t live without?

A camera! 

From your last interview with Mårten Österlund, You have been part of the team starting up Neobiomics. What has been most exciting about being part of the Team starting up the Company and where do you think the Company will be in two years’ time? 

The most exciting thing has been to see the company growing with regard to team members but also ideas. During the soon 2,5 years that I have been with Neobiomics, I have been able to listen to exciting proposals from our health experts and further investigate those. The circular process of doing research for an innovative idea, later on testing it and evaluating it, is thrilling.   

In two years, I hope that Neobiomics continues with its innovative ideas and has been able to implement them further. I also hope that the team continues to be diverse with regard to competence, age, gender, and nationality. That will ensure a secure and flexible organization that will be able to overcome any challenge and expand into new markets.  (I have not really answered where I think the company will be in two years’ time…)

Stefan and Natasha at our old office in 2020

Lastly, what keeps you motivated?

Kind people! I get motivated when I meet friendly fellow human beings, such as colleagues or patients.  

Thank you very much for an interesting conversation, Natasha!