A BRANDED NEW AGE

Dubai 2016 | HEALTH | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Majid Kaddoumi, Vice President & Regional Managing Director of Middle East, Africa, Central Asia & Turkey of Medtronic META FZ-LLC, on leveraging combined capabilities, formulating strategies, and developing the healthcare industry.

Majid Kaddoumi
BIOGRAPHY
Majid Kaddoumi is Vice President & Regional Managing Director of the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia & Turkey for Medtronic META FZ-LLC. Prior to his current position, he was Country General Manager for GE Healthcare in Saudi Arabia and Zone Manager for Saudi devices in GE Healthcare. Before joining GE, Majid was the general manager of a leading Saudi distribution and packaging company for healthcare equipment and services. He also held leading positions in several other Saudi companies in the fields of operation, maintenance, distribution, and consulting. He holds a master’s in international law and a bachelor’s of public administration and economics from the American University in Washington, DC.

Medtronic completed the acquisition of Covidien in January 2015. How did you bring together the capabilities of both companies?

Since day one there were obvious synergies between both companies. For example, the neurovascular therapy that legacy Covidien already had complemented our neuro offering for neurosurgeons and neuromodulation physicians to offer a more comprehensive product portfolio. The biggest impact has been on the number of patients we are able to reach out to. We have created a company that serves more than 62 million patients around the globe, treats more than 70 conditions, has an R&D program that is in the billions, and is present in over 160 countries. The Medtronic acquisition of Covidien brought with it tens of thousands of new products as well as treatments to areas in the body that we have not treated before. Now we are looking into how we can combine the huge product and technology portfolio with the access we have to the international market and offer meaningful solutions to more patients around the region.

In which areas are you focusing your commercial strategy?

We feel responsible to equally support healthcare offerings to the 1.4 billion people in our region. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to access patients by helping healthcare systems provide the right level of quality and the right level of care. However, some of these systems are still in the building process and they need help and support in finding the most efficient ways to deliver care to the patients. The variation in the region presents challenges, opportunities, and excitement as well. In the more mature systems within our region we want to support the transformation from the traditional healthcare system that is measured by the success of a procedure, to a value-based healthcare system that works toward improving patients' long-term outcome. In this way we can work on the gaps within each of these groups so that we improve clinical outcomes while lowering overall cost. The more mature systems will see more of a focus on value-based healthcare, especially from the governments and payers who want to maintain high-quality healthcare systems. We want to contribute to all types of markets and not only the mature ones. In the mature ones we want to focus on value-based healthcare. On the other hand, in the underserved countries that are still building up their systems we want to add our worldwide expertise, offer best practices, and contribute to the development of the infrastructure through direct or indirect investment. Through optimization, we can help develop the current infrastructure, which involves developing technologies specific to the area. This would bring a lot of value to us in a sub-Saharan setting and the company is already focusing on that aspect.

What is the situation within the UAE in this respect?

The third area we work in, which falls closer to the mature market, are countries that have the capacity and awareness level to become mature in terms of healthcare delivery, and which have the resources and the vision of the leaders to carry it out. This tends to be the case in the Gulf region but, most specifically, the UAE. The country's healthcare vision for 2021 and its development programs show the effort spent on the planning process, making sure that the local population is receiving high standard care. We have seen a huge amount of investments being made by the government, but equally we see big investment coming from the private sector as well. What is interesting is that no matter how many new facilities open up it always gets activated within a short time-frame, which means that the demand is high and people's awareness of the local healthcare systems is at a level that would allow for more investment. In the UAE, because we have our headquarters here we feel we can contribute in faster and more meaningful ways.