Jan. 19, 2015


Jordi Fernández Capo

Panama

Jordi Fernández Capo

General Manager of Central America and the Caribbean, Roche Diagnostics

BIO

Jordi Fernández Capo is the General Manager of Central America and the Caribbean at Roche Diagnostics, prior to which he was Marketing Director based out of Barcelona, Spain. He has an MBA from the University of Navarra and originally graduated in Business Administration from Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Why did Roche decide to enter the Panamanian market, and what is the regional importance of the country?

Roche affiliates were created in our Central American and Caribbean area, in Havana (1955), Nicaragua (1965), and Guatemala (1969). Today, Roche has two main divisions: pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics, the latter being the division we run from Panama. The Central America and Caribbean regional offices for the Pharmaceutical division are in Costa Rica. Roche, as a multinational, is constantly seeking new opportunities, and emerging markets are fundamental for the future growth of the Roche Group. As to why we entered this market, it was due to the potential of the region, and of Panama specifically. We relocated the operations for Central America and the Caribbean Diagnostics division here from Guatemala in 2008. Panama has proven to be a hub in terms of communication and logistics, which facilitates our access to our markets. Another aspect is safety. Panama is a secure place to live in compared to other countries in the region. Additionally, you can hire good talent, with different background and nationalities, which also helps to make a sustainable business. Finally, Panama has a stable political environment under the Sede de Empresas Multinacionales law, which has fostered a favorable business environment. We have grown constantly since we commenced operations here. Overall, the main achievements have been the consolidation of strong growth, extending the use of our products and services in this territory to contribute to the improvement of overall healthcare practices. We have over 130 people working for this affiliate, of which 70 are based in Panama. Altogether, we can be more effective by managing the business from here.

In terms of diagnostics in Panama, what are the most important products and services you provide?

We work mainly in the in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) business, providing routine and specialized testing for any type of IVD diagnosis that may be required to perform in a blood or urine sample, in a tissue biopsy, or in other types of specimens. We provide fully-automated technology and equipment for laboratories with the highest quality of diagnostic tests, covering the different parameters a patient needs in order to decide on the best treatment alternative. Our product portfolio addresses unmet medical needs in a wide variety of clinical areas such as oncology, cardiology, infectious diseases, women's health and pregnancy care, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders.

How would you describe the financial performance of the region in 2013, and what are your expectations for 2014?

We have been highly successful in the region, having grown at a double-digit rate in the diagnostics business. We are proud of this achievement in a region where budgets, although increasing, remain tight. That really shows that we are doing a good job in partnering with different countries in improving their access to a better healthcare system. Resources are being allocated adequately to improve the healthcare policies in many countries, and the outlook for 2014 is that we will be able to maintain solid and positive growth. That means we will keep investing here, hiring more people, and developing the business. We view positively the partnerships we have established with both public and private customers in many countries, from which we are providing best-in-class solutions to many hospitals and healthcare services.

What differentiates Roche from its competitors in the region?

At Roche, we are committed to providing the best quality products and services to our customers addressed at assisting the diagnosis and treatment of unmet medical needs. We always partner with our customers seeking improvements and innovation that can be beneficial for patients. Our key focus in the region is still on providing the best solutions available for all patients, regardless of whether the customer is a public or private institution. Finally, at Roche we are highly committed to conducting ethical business, based on high standards of integrity and respect. Any business we enter absolutely needs to be aligned with the corporate values we live up to. This belief underpins our overall strategy.

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