Meet Krishnaverny Sundararajah (Verny), Teva Canada employee for over 35 years
For most employees at Teva Canada’s Stouffville manufacturing plant, the name “Verny” is very familiar. And, if you’ve been prescribed a Teva Canada product over the past 35 years, there’s a chance she had a hand in making it.
Verny came to Canada from Sri Lanka in 1986 and her Teva journey started soon after. Her husband had been working as a supervisor at Novopharm since 1983 and when a two-month position came up in 1987 at its Scarborough plant, she landed a short-term job with the company as a tablet and capsule inspector.
The role came with big responsibility – at the time, every product was inspected before going to QA and packaging – but Verny is a fast learner and soon proved she was up to the task. Within two years, she was hired on permanently as a Tableting/Encapsulation Operator and in 1999, she joined her husband at the Stouffville plant.
We asked her to estimate the number of tablets she turns out in a year, which makes her laugh. “Oh, billions!” she says. She’s not kidding. “The machine I ran yesterday was doing 350,000 an hour. The whole batch was 6 million in two days.”
For Verny, a typical day on the job involves setting up the machine according to the granulation documents and running tests on the tablets to ensure they are the correct thickness and hardness and meet all other requirements. After testing, production can begin. She notes that for a bigger job, another operator helps out. “We work like a team, all of us,” she says.
Verny says she is very lucky to have two families – one at home, and one at work. Her son, now a nurse at Toronto’s SickKids hospital, worked as part of Teva’s student program. He soon discovered another side to his mother. “The whole building, you say my name, everybody knows me,” she says. “He was shocked. He said, ‘You have another family!’”
The supportive work environment is another reason why Verny remains committed to Teva Canada after 35 years on the job. She explains that when a close family member had passed, the company reached out to find out if there was anything the family needed and offered Verny’s brother a job. This is just one of the many instances where Teva Canada reached out and supported her family.
When other opportunities come along offering better pay – and they do – Verny isn’t tempted. “I like Teva Canada. While I’m working here, I’m happy and my family is also happy. Money is not everything; it’s the colleagues and workers as well,” she says.
It’s also about being proud to work at a company where quality and patient safety come first. She wants people to know that working at Teva Canada means working with other people who value positivity, honesty and getting things done together.
“Quality is in our hands. I always remember we make medicines. Any medicine I make I think, ‘My kids, my family may take this.’”