Written by Rebecca Castrejon, Editor
Produced by Lucy Verde, Director of Projects for WDM Group-LATAM
Interviewee Christian Schilling, General Manager of Drogueria INTI
Business Review Latin America had the opportunity to interview INTI’s current leader, Christian Schilling, CEO of Laboratorio Drogueria INTI and third generation at the helm of the pharmaceutical company.
"It was a heavy burden, but more for the fact that my father is no longer here. Fortunately during this time we have built a great team of collaborators and thus we may continue to carry out many projects," said Schilling.
After years of sustained growth in the Bolivian healthcare market, INTI continues to look forward with dynamism and positive indicators for the next 10 years.
"We've always tried to be innovative, both in the technical, financial or commercial aspects, we were the first pharma company to have bonds as financial means in the Bolivian Stock Exchange," added the CEO.
1. Pharmaceutical legacy: Drugstore INTI is recognized not only by the quality of its products, but for providing solutions to the whole family as a brand that works for the welfare of local consumers.
2. Leading the Bolivian health market: INTI was the first to be certified by the Medicines Act, enacted in 1997.
3. Use of the best manufacturing practices: Investment in training and equipment to optimize production processes and to provide consumers with a higher quality product.
Additionally, the company faces a low turnover in their production area, denoting INTI’s tradition in talent management.
"We have no problem in attracting new employees and little people leave, it is all in how we treat them and invest in their development," said Schilling.
To protect the safety, efficiency and purity in drugs, Drogueria INTI acquired a new factory to manufacture their medicine in 2002. The company invested US$8 million in first-class equipment, followed European standards in the design and construction of the plant, and integrated best practices in manufacturing BPM - GMD. Today, the factory is considered one of Latin America’s best plants.
Under Schilling’s leadership, the company continues to upgrade its methods and renewing medical equipment according to national and global regulations led by WHO - World Health Organization.
"We are always improving our technical equipment, but as we are a competitive player in the pharmaceutical industry, we are used to renovating our plant," said Schilling.
In early 2016, INTI will receive new European machinery, such as new Uhlmann blisters, COURTOY tablet press, etc. which will increase productivity and efficiency.
Another aspect that portrays the modernity of the business is its adjustment to new technologies, such as INTI’s digital applications for the use of the whole value chain.
Drogueria INTI also sells drugstore products such as B.Braun, Merck, Nutricia, Meda Pharma, SIT, Beiersdorf, Chinoin, Kin, Galderma, Dentinox, Bebelac, among others. Containing in its portfolio a list of more than 500 solutions. Additionally, the company recently relaunched one of their most popular brands, Mentisan, revamping its presentation.
INTI allocates part of its resource to welfare programs, such as diabetes prevention seminars, the refurbishment of Dr. Jaime Torrico’s rheumatology unit, donations to national health campaigns, and intensive medical update courses for their medical staff, among many others.
"We have collaborated with government initiatives and UNICEF, to reduce child mortality from diarrhea, by providing oral rehydration salts called Sueros de Vida," said Schilling. The CEO also mentioned other social activities such as the Chispitas program, where the company delivers nutritional supplements to kids; and the initiative to combat violence against women in Bolivia.
This year, they are working to achieve a cleaner production certification by demonstrating their environmental commitment to energy efficiency processes, the proper use of resources, etc.
"If possible, we want to manufacture our products in Bolivia instead of importing, and thus ensure more jobs for the country," said Schilling after discussing local suppliers.
In celebration of their 80th anniversary, the management team of Drogueria INTI gratifies employees that have accompanied the company during its growth, with workers that have been with the drugstore for 30, 40 and even 50 years.
Apart from consolidating its domestic market in Bolivia, INTI plans to increase commercialization efforts in Peru and Paraguay, while continuing with some exports to Germany. Additionally, the company will consider a further introduction into more European countries, starting with France.
"The last five years have been very successful for us. With these positive projections we believe we can achieve more than 10 percent growth annually," said Schilling.
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