Manuel Caamaño – General Manager, Takeda Mexico
The Japan-based company is changing into a new Takeda. José Manuel Caamaño, general manager of Takeda Mexico, talks about the transformation process the company is going through to become a best-in-class organization. The company’s five-year aim is to be recognized as a best employer in Mexico keeping the values and corporate philosophy of Takeda-ism.
You have been recently appointed general manager of Takeda Mexico. What have been your key priorities since then?
Our first global priority has been focusing on our patients and implementing this mindset to the whole organization. What I truly respect about the company is its firm cultural belief that we should concentrate on helping people. We are a strong company which strives for a better health in people around the world, therefore it is important for every employee in the organization to keep the patient in mind at all times. We put the patient in the center and want the company to be perceived as best-in-class in the eyes of the patients as well as healthcare professionals and our employees.
A local priority for Takeda Mexico has been tailoring the company’s product offer to the specific needs of the Mexican market. Our initial strategy has involved focusing our expertise on key areas and developing best-in-class products.
What does the current product portfolio look like in Mexico, especially taking into consideration the epidemiological profile of the country?
Since we are a research-based company, we are innovating with products to address health needs that were not satisfied in Mexico before, such as for diabetes type 2 and oncology, among others. We have developed a product portfolio specifically tailored to the country: The four areas we will be focusing on locally are primary care and high specialty, with treatments in the therapeutic areas cardio-metabolic, oncology and gastrointestinal. Takeda Mexico has successfully launched eleven products in three years in Mexico. We are definitely committed to bringing innovative products for a better health of our patients.
How does Takeda Mexico fit within the company’s global structure in terms of priorities, sales and future strategies?
Takeda Mexico currently ranks 8th in sales for Takeda global and 13th in the Mexican pharmaceutical companies, according to IMS Health. The company’s broad sales for Latin America are in Brazil and Mexico, but we are getting stronger in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
The Mexican pharmaceutical market is flat at the moment, with generics aggressively strengthening their share, as people seek valuable prices. Nonetheless, Takeda in Mexico is growing four times faster than the market itself, which is not something you find ordinarily.
We still have to execute targeted market strategies to continue positioning Takeda in the Mexican market, with a patient-centric focus.
Takeda has a strong commitment to Mexico in terms of manufacturing. How does the local footprint look today and how do you plan to increase manufacturing capacity to be able to satisfy international demand?
The Takeda Mexico Plant started operations in 1961 and has had two large renovations since then. Today, it exports to 16 countries including Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela. It has certifications from COFEPRIS, Safe Company from the Ministry of Labor, Clean Industry from PROFEPA and INVIMA from Colombia, in addition to several, continuous audits.
For the past nine months, our plant was completely refurbished to become a best-in-class plant with top technology and high-quality staff. During this time, nineteen products of one of the dosage forms manufactured were outsourced – maintaining Takeda’s highest quality standards – due to the space restrictions since the new production lines are as big as 50 meters. In addition, a temporary stock was prepared to guarantee the supply of our product to our patients.
We are expecting the inauguration in Spring 2015.
One of the most important recent milestones has been the agreement between AMIIF (the Mexican Association of Pharmaceutical Research Industries) and COFEPRIS with IMSS (the Mexican Social Security Institute) to open the largest healthcare providing institution in Latin America to clinical trials. How do you think this agreement will impact the innovative pharmaceutical industry here in Mexico and how will it impact your clinical research activities in the country?
The impact of this agreement will be very positive. The Mexican regulatory authorities require companies to conduct trials within the local population. With this agreement, a lot more effort will be put into bringing clinical trials to Mexico from all over the world.
Takeda has a whole department dedicated to clinical research, as it is crucial to have patients as well as physicians involved throughout the entire medication’s development, all the way to its launch. With Mexico’s patient-centric strategy, it is essential to have a solid presence in clinical trials in Mexico.
Takeda-ism is the heritage and unchanging set of core values that guides all company’s activities. How does this vision translate in the local strategy on the Mexican market?
Takeda is a company founded by Japanese people, who are internationally known for having very powerful values. The entire corporation is based on Takeda-ism, with the foundation of integrity at the core of everything we do. We really want to work as a team and implement human values into our day-to-day work.
I strongly believe in this, especially business-wise because we always go back to our main focus, the patients. In fact, before making a business decision, the first question we ask ourselves is the impact it will have on our patients. Secondly, we question the impact our decision will have on society. Thirdly, we ask ourselves how we are impacting the reputation of the company. Only lastly, we look at what makes sense for the business. We do not reach the point of discussing business opportunities unless we have ticked all the previous boxes first. This is crucial to stay true to the Takeda philosophy whereby we fully believe that in order to change the world one must attempt changing the sector in which it operates first.
In addition, the commitment of Takeda Mexico to its patients, stakeholders and employees, expands to our community and the environment with several Corporate Social Responsibility programs that have been honored for the 8th consecutive year with the Social Responsible Company Award (ESR) granted by CEMEFI.
The Vision 2020 is Takeda’s long-term strategic direction. Where would you like to see Takeda in Mexico by then?
We are committed to our patients to improve their heath, to strengthen our organization through diversity, and to become a best-in-class employer to our people, who are powered by passion. Our aim is that our employees are engaged and proud to be part of Takeda, a company where they have career opportunities and where they enjoy their everyday work. Our company is not all about selling; what makes us unique is our relationship with our patients, stakeholders and, as said before, our unique team.