Interview with Bruno Chassot, President, Zodiac Pharmaceuticals

What would you recommend in terms of increasing the competitiveness and growth of the Brazilian pharmaceutical industry?

The Brazilian pharmaceutical industry needs to improve its R&D capabilities. I personally think that the country can’t build a strong pharmaceutical industry based only on generics. Generics are an important part of the market, but we have to go further. Our government is now starting what we believe will be the future in Brazil, which is stimulating partnerships in R&D and enlarging people’s access to the medicines.

Zodiac was in a turnaround point when you took the helm. Can you bring us through that transition time since your arrival?

First of all, it’s important to note that Zodiac is part of the Tecnofarma Pharmaceutical Group. Tecnofarma was founded in 1975, and has over 5000 employees in Latin America.
Our vast experience in Latin America, combined with the large manufacturing and distribution capabilities are the main reasons why more than 15 global R&D companies have chosen us as a gateway to the Latin American market.
Until 2004, Zodiac (Tecnofarma’s Brazilian affiliate) was very focused on oncology. At that time we occupied the 77th position in the IMS Ranking. Since 2005 we have been developing a primary care and specialties line. By 2010 we have moved into the top 40. Our goal for 2012 is to be among the top 30 pharmaceutical companies.

Can you highlight a successful partnership with Zodiac?

We have established a solid partnership with Purdue-Mundipharma, which is a leading company in the pain management.
More examples of our Latin American partners are: Celgene, Cephalon, Chiron (Novartis).

In Brazil how are you attracting people away from other companies? What is the environment here for attracting the top talent?

One of our biggest challenges is to attract, develop and retain high quality people in order to support the company growth. This is the reason why we have been working on training and Management Skills programs. Zodiac offers an entrepreneurial environment, stimulating creativity and innovation.

And just what is it? Inside of that TecnoFarma structure, what does Zodiac represent?

We have the freedom to create, but we have to be in alignment with corporate strategy. The challenge is to balance both sides.
This is why we have been growing: Zodiac has been challenging itself every year and we are always looking to push forward for better results.

In those coming years, what is your ambition for Zodiac?

We are very focused on reaching our mentioned goals for 2012. Our expectations are high and the company needs to keep growing from 20 to 30% a year.

What is your final message about Zodiac and its prospects in Brazil?

As a final point I would like to tell the executives who are leading the entrance of new players in the Brazilian market: never underestimate the competitive challenges and structural barriers of the Brazilian Pharmaceutical Market.
Brazil is a complex and long term results country, especially for start ups. It makes a Key success factor to be realistic in establishment of the shareholders’ results expectations.

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