86% PRIVATE HEALTH MARKET COVERAGE

Mexico 2019 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | B2B

TBY talks to Alejandro Martin, CEO Mexico, and Antonio Pozos, CMO Mexico & LATAM for Mayoly Spindler, on introducing probiotics, high growth in 2018, and economic expectations for Mexico.

Alejandro Martin
ALEJANDRO MARTIN
LATAM area Director and CEO for Mexico
Mayoly Spindler
Antonio Pozos
ANTONIO POZOS
CMO Mexico & LATAM
Mayoly Spindler

What are the main areas of opportunity you have identified in the Mexican health industry?

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 by offering medicines and food supplements considering primary care not only in the private system but also in public. We are working to introduce our products into the public health system, now we have some of our brands in some specific public sector, such as the military SEDENA, and with the national oil company, PEMEX. Our main clients are in both the public and private sector. The public health system is changing and becoming more centralized. Our products treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, constipation reflux and gastritis symptoms, dyspepsia and our new probiotics line, that complement the digestive heath.

How competitive is the gastroenterology medicine market in Mexico?

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, this need to be done by 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 IBS patients diagnosed, 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?

There is a growth in the market for probiotics as gastroenterological conditions are so common in the country. Probiotics are an effective way to treat this. Nowadays, specifically in Latin-America, it is not as common as in Europe or in USA or Canada to use probiotics for different health conditions . But in Latin-America, it is something that is growing and expanding. Mexico is highly influenced by habits in the US and if probiotics are being increasingly used there, Mexico will follow. We began incorporating probiotics into our portfolio in 2009. We were the first company to work on specific strengths for different diseases. Subsequently, Mexican gastroenterologists began to work on the specified strains focus on every different diseases. We now can have the opportunity to get products that work with a specific streins for specific diseases. That is why we decided to launch a big part of our portfolio and we now have five brands. We considered ourselves the biggest portfolio in Mexico for probiotics in terms of specify of strains, this is something new. It is something that continues to be studied and researched. This is why we decided to include this new category into our pipeplan. Our idea is to change the culture in Mexico towards using probiotics rather than antibiotics. The word antibiotics means “against life" and probiotics means “in favor of life."

How does the company plan to incorporate the use of probiotics into Mexican culture?

We focus on working directly with physicians. The first step is to give them the best information and best research worldwide. The company shares its knowledge with physicians and technology of our products to motivate them to prescribe our probiotics. Our probiotics are much more specialized than others in the market.

How were you able to achieve such a high growth number in 2018?

The overall market did not do very well in 2018; however, for our company it was a different story, as we had 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 is getting in touch with them and making sure they know how to use our products. The company has a base of scientific information that is continuously shared with clients and doctors to gain their trust. The sales representatives 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. Other big companies have a part of their business unit with gastro but our focus is only gastro.

What strategies are you using to further grow in the next year?

We foresee that 2019 will not be as active as 2018. The economic situation in the country is uncertain. So, we will see what happens and then continue investing. It is also not sustainable to grow more than 30% each year, so we would be satisfied with a 10% growth. That is still quite good considering that the market is dropping 1 or 2% per year. Since this company started in Mexico we have never had a loss in any year at a higher rate than the market. This is why, all our competitors are watching our strategy closely. We are not the biggest company, but we are doing well. Nowadays, we are working to grow in Latin America. We are responsible here in Mexico for managing the entire LATAM region. The strategy of the company is to find any partnership with a distributor. Once we have a good presence, we establish an office. This year and the next our strategy is to work directly on the probiotics in Mexico and Latin America.