Established 1921 in Switzerland, Sintetica is a pharmaceutical company delivering injectable anaesthetics and analgesics to patients worldwide, through innovative science and excellence in development, production and marketing. Their sites are located in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and United Kingdom, with the headquarters in Mendrisio, Switzerland, where among others, the innovation department employees 15% of the total work force.
Sintetica’s focus is primarily on local anaesthesia and pain relief, two areas in which we have been market leader for many years in Switzerland. Moreover, we are also seeking to develop a position in the growing field of neuromodulation.
Augusto talks to us in depth about what the firm does and what they have achieved over the last five years.
“We established our global division in 2011, which was our first international corporate structure. This Global division was tasked with pursuing international growth under two distinct models, being a B2B licensing strategy and somewhat later a B2C strategy in select markets.
“Under the B2B model, we sought to license out our top brands to partners with whom we shared values. Foremost among these values is that people and relationships, including business relationships, come first, and thus Sintetica seeks to build business by finding partners with whom we can share our values – thus, all of our partners must meet strict ethical criteria and share our innovation driven ‘quality without compromise’ value proposition. This was the most critical and difficult challenge we have faced since beginning our internationalization efforts, however I am proud to say that we have been very successful.
“Today, we have submitted hundreds of product registrations in over 100 different countries via this network of partners we have built over the last five years. This first phase of expansion covers North, Central and South America, South East Asia, and North Africa – a second phase which will be started within the next five years will target some of the more difficult markets like China and India. Many of these registrations have yet to come through, but so far, we have seen strong growth in the US, and some nice returns in South Asia and the pacific. Although we have yet to see significant revenues from abroad as the registration processes are still ongoing, we are very confident that given our unyielding commitment to quality we will see strong returns on the coming years.
“We had a German distributor called Meduna, also active in Austria, whom we acquired in 2013. As we had worked with them for some time, we already knew the company very well and they similarly knew our company quite well, which helped the integration progress very smoothly and quickly. One of the keys to successfully integrating a company is ensuring that everyone understands the overarching vision of the company and is committed and aligned in purpose towards making it happen – this is often very difficult and we were very lucky to have a situation where this happened very easily. As such, we now have a solid presence in the German and Austrian markets, and just last year we established a sales organization to cover the UK and Ireland with our own sales force.”
Sintetica has executive projects to improve the industrial sites manufacturing capacity and pharmaceutical and clinical pipeline development are major pillars to sustain their midterm strong growth. Augusto explains more about their ongoing strategy.
“Novel therapies and treatments require more and more the redevelopment of existing drugs. We enhance drug formulation assuring the fitting of our premix medicines to the current standard of care. Invasiveness in surgical procedures or duration reduction and increased cost pressure on health system are leading to a shift toward day surgery. Modern short/medium acting local anaesthetics are part of our ‘One Day Surgery’ proposal to adapt the length and the conditions of anaesthesia to the novel surgical needs, allowing patient same day safe demission.
“We also consider of outmost importance that patients when back home after surgery is again fully a citizen. This means that pain has to be managed at hospital as much as possible. ‘Dual Spinal’ is our development of innovative pain killer drug to treat the acute pain after surgery at hospital, when inducing anaesthesia. ‘Enhance Intrathecal Therapy’ is our promise to improve care in the neuromodulation. We develop novel drugs and make available life-changing medicines to the largest number of patients and health care providers world-wide.
“Respect for our partners, for our employees and for all people around the world in need of our high quality medicines is one of the fundamental core values of our company. Our reputation has remained unchanged over 95 years of Sintetica history inside Europe and overseas, which is the reason why I feel so proud to share this essential pillar of our successful go-to-market philosophy.”
The integration of technology is one of the operational challenges Sintetica faces in this period of rapid growth as Augusto explains.
“The technological development speed is impressive and in the pharmaceutical industry, we struggle to follow this, due to the stringent regulations we have abided by, which delays innovation adoption. The increasing complexity of the processes requires a massive implementation of the technology; not only in the manufacturing where we make important efforts of automation, but also in the management of the organization, the operations and sales force. Corporate ERP system is running and is continuously adapted to follow the pattern and the model of the growth, while a corporate CRM system is used by the national sales forces. A modern IT infrastructure is under development to support, among the others, different ways of work like the smart working.”
Thinking ahead is a key goal for Augusto, and by focusing on the long term mission of the company, he is able to stay motivated to see the job through.
“The continuous focus on the vision is what more than everything else keep me motivated and positive. The ability to see, at first, how the market will develop and where this will go, is the key point. The effort to think big and beyond, in a small business organization like we are, gives me tremendous energy and motivation to be successful short and long run.”
Augusto explains that the key attributes he possesses are making the vision clear, defining the high level strategy and coordinating the execution till the end. In addition, he has a strong ethical reputation, distinctive people management and team building skills. Despite these attributes, it does not alter the fact that there will always be challenges that every successful CEO has faced, but ultimately overcomes.
“Drive the change is what I love to do and at the same time it is the hardest challenge to overcome to be a successful CEO. It was until today; it will be until the next stage of the corporate development. My organisation has to be proactive and not reactive, therefore the change is a continuous amelioration process to be driven in the best way to be successful long run. We cannot manage the innovation without innovating the management style and processes.”
Augusto plans to stay with Sintetica for the near future. He explains what the firm has planned in the pipeline for the future.
“Hopefully a lot of good news and strong returns to my team’s great efforts! We have built up our international network and have done most of the legwork to register our products in over 100 different countries, and over the next five years we should see these efforts bear fruit and our products launched in many of these countries.
“Moreover, our board has already approved our 2021 strategy, which calls for growth driven by “commercial diffusion of innovation”. Thus, with network of partner who share our ‘quality first’ value we should be able to maintain and expand our current innovation driven value proposition significantly over the coming five years.”
Company: Sintetica SA
Name: Augusto Mitidieri
Email: [email protected]
Web Address: www.sintetica.com
Address: Mendrisio- Switzerland
Telephone: +41 91 640 42 50