Spicing up The Mexican OTC Market
In the late 1990s, Rodrigo Herrera Aspra wanted to commercialize a new anti-acne formulation, and was advised by a friend who was involved in the pharmaceutical industry to hire a group of medical reps. “After thinking on this issue, I concluded there was something wrong with a business model in which we would pay a medical rep eight hours of work for him to spend seven and a half hours waiting in the lobby. It is not the medical reps’ fault, the model is just flawed! Therefore we prepared the first infomercial in Spanish in the world and it was a great hit,” recalls Herrera Aspra, president of Genomma Lab.
During the last decade, Genomma Lab has become a leader in the OTC and personal care markets in Mexico, thanks to a very innovative business model. First, in terms of R&D, the firm is constantly looking for the safest and most effective active ingredient that exists for every indication that can be treated with an OTC product. “We do not get married with an active ingredient; if a new and better one comes up
in the market we just adopt it for our product. This process is quite straightforward, as even though we have our own labs and manufacturing facilities, we contract manufacture most of our products,” explains Herrera Aspra. Secondly, Genomma Lab advertises heavily. “But usually what we do is to limit our communication only to the illness and to the particular effect of a specific medicine. We want to inform and educate the consumer and it works,” he stresses.
Thanks to its creative approach today Genomma Lab, not only exports to over 30 countries, but has also recently successfully launched an IPO at the Mexican stock market. According to Herrera Aspra, “we are looking into the long term. We wanted to raise money to reach some targets in the coming years. We are currently analyzing targets in Mexico, although our international business is growing at a faster rate than the local business.”
Having started with just a garage-made, anti-acne formulation and an infomercial, and being today in his early 40s, Herrera Aspra represents a new breed of entrepreneurial young Mexicans and is set to continue spicing up the Mexican pharmaceutical market with his innovative ideas