What are the main areas of opportunity in the Mexican health industry?
ALEJANDRO MARTÍN Mayoly Spindler is a French company that specializes in gastroenterology. For us, it is important to develop products that help people to improve their quality of life. We offer medicines and food supplements considering primary care not only in the private system but also in the public system. We are working to introduce our products to the public health system. At present, some of our brands are available in some specific public-sector institutions, such as the military SEDENA and the national oil company, Pemex. Our main clients are in both the public and private sectors.
ANTONIO POZOS The public health system is changing and becoming more centralized. Our products treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, constipation reflux and gastritis symptoms, and dyspepsia. Our new probiotics line complements the digestive system.
How competitive is the gastroenterology medicine market in Mexico?
AM There are many players in the market and some of them are focusing on IBS. In order to be diagnosed as a patient with IBS, one needs to see a physician. However, this is a common illness for many people around the world, especially in countries such as Mexico. A global study found that Mexico has the third-highest number of diagnosed IBS patients, after Japan and the US. Stress can be a trigger for symptoms, but not a cause.
What areas of opportunities in the market drove the company to incorporate probiotics into its portfolio?
AP Probiotics are experiencing growth in the market because gastroenterological conditions are common in the country. Nowadays, specifically in Latin America, it is not as common as in Europe, the US, or Canada to use probiotics for different health conditions. However, in Latin America, it is something that is growing and expanding. We began incorporating probiotics into our portfolio in 2009.
How does the company plan to incorporate the use of probiotics into Mexican culture?
AP We focus on working directly with physicians. The first step is to provide them with the best information and research. The company shares its knowledge and technology with physicians to motivate them to prescribe our probiotics. Our probiotics are more specialized than others.
How were you able to achieve such a high growth number in 2018?
AM The overall market did not do very well in 2018; however, for our company it was a different story, as we posted 36% growth. We were able to achieve such good results by keeping our business focus limited and strategic. We focused only on key clients: physicians. We made sure our sales representative team gets in touch with them and makes sure they know how to use our products.
AP The company has a base of scientific information that is continuously shared with clients and doctors. Our sales representatives are focused on targeting the correct physicians. Our sales teams are knowledgeable; we have specific training that helps them explain the products. Our representatives can interact with the physicians regarding the science behind the medicines. Something that also helped us is that there are only four or five labs for gastro with a niche portfolio like us.
What strategies are you using to further grow in the next year?
AM We predict 2019 will not be as active as 2018 because the economic situation in the country is uncertain. It is also not sustainable to grow more than 30% every year, so we would be satisfied with a 10% growth. Throughout the company's history in Mexico, it has never suffered a greater loss than the market rate. This is why all our competitors are watching our strategy closely. We are working to expand further in Latin America. The strategy of the company is to find any partnership with a distributor. Once we have a solid presence, we establish an office.