20 March 2020 | Influencers | By Ankit Kankar ( Podcast Special )
- Eva van Pelt, Co-CEO & Chief Commercial Officer, Eppendorf AG, Hamburg, Germany Hamburg based Eppendorf AG on December 6, 2019 has appointed Eva van Pelt, currently Chief Commercial Officer, and Dr. Peter Fruhstorfer, currently Head of Business Area Sample Handling, as Co-Chief Executive Officers of Eppendorf AG. Both will succeed Thomas Bachmann, the former President & CEO of Eppendorf AG, who has already left the company. Eppendorf, founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1945, has more than 3,300 employees worldwide. The company has subsidiaries in 26 countries and is represented in all important markets by distributors. In an interaction with Mr. Ankit Kankar from BioSpectrum Eva van Pelt shared her new role and plans for next five years.
- Eva van Pelt, Co-CEO & Chief Commercial Officer, Eppendorf AG, Hamburg, Germany
Congratulations on your new role. What are the main agendas behind the recently announced dual leadership at Eppendorf?
Thank you very much. This was a decision made by the Eppendorf Supervisory Board. In December 2019, the members of the Supervisory Board decided to restructure the Management Board of the company. The Supervisory Board believes that a powerful CEO-duo is the right choice for the current phase of realignment, the further development of our company, and for implementing Eppendorf's ambitious long-term growth strategy.
The sustainable growth strategy that we are pursuing and the be Eppendorf 2021 initiative for the future will be consistently pursued. However, the Supervisory Board is convinced that this can be implemented even better with a new, powerful Co-CEO team formed by Dr Peter Fruhstorfer and myself.
Congratulations to Eppendorf for completing 75 years. What are the major plans for the next five years?
Eppendorf is a remarkable growth story that began 75 years ago in Hamburg, Germany. It is our declared goal to extend this success and growth into the future. To this end, the future initiative be Eppendorf 2021 was launched four years ago and goals were defined.
In practical terms, we have defined three strategic subject areas to address: sales, (product) innovation and our corporate culture. We succeeded in taking important steps forward in all three areas during the last years: Within the framework of the “Going-to-Market” initiative, we continued to work on our sales and marketing organization to strengthen our market presence and customer proximity. Under the “innovation” initiative, we accelerated our product development by introducing the agile methodology, which is also geared toward meeting current customer needs. Digitization in particular will play an important role in the future. We are in the process of networking our devices in the interests of our customers and the demands in laboratories around the world. This will lead to faster processes, while reducing errors and improving the reproducibility of the results. And as part of the third initiative, we have continued to further enhance our existing impressive corporate culture to create a dynamic and flexible work environment. Currently, the implementation of numerous projects with which we will achieve these strategic goals is running at full speed. We are already seeing success and additional growth.
What are the major highlights at Eppendorf during its journey of 75 years?
Many Eppendorf products were milestones in the history of medical and laboratory technology and received an enthusiastic response from customers:
Among them were the first electronic thermometer (Thermorapid), a surgical device for operations on the inside of the eye (Ophtalmochirurg), the first stimulation current generator (Stimulator) and the photometer “Eppendorf” (1950) – the main aim has always been maximum benefit and easy handling. This has not changed to this day. The first piston pipette was launched in 1961 and the Eppendorf Microliter System (EMS) followed two years later, which has been an international benchmark since 1963 thanks to the “Eppis”. Further milestones have been the launch of the Microinjector system (1975), the Microcycler E5465 (1990) and the Gradientencycler (1997). From the very beginning until now the Pipette Eppendorf Research Plus (2008) has been a major success.
Which products or services are generating maximum revenue for Eppendorf currently?
We are currently very satisfied with the development of our Centrifuge, Automation and Bioprocess Business. These areas contribute significantly to our current and sustainable growth.
How did the previous year go by and how much growth is expected in the New Year?
2019 was a very good year for Eppendorf with increasing sales figures. We are making good progress and convinced that we will reach our growth target of 1 Billion Euros in the next few years. The company will present the detailed annual figures in the upcoming weeks.
What are the major plans for the Indian market in the years 2020-2025?
We continue to develop our “Going-to-Market” initiative in India and we are working on our sales and marketing organization to strengthen our market presence and customer proximity. India is working on “digital India” program and we will support this by having our e-shop as well as software solutions! India is a major hub for Pharma/ Biotech companies and our local organization will work closely to provide them with world class product and support.
Which Asian country is bringing best business for Eppendorf?
The major growth in Asia is generated in China. The significant sales increase above the industry average shows that the decision to implement China as an independent region was the right one. With our own regional sales strategy, which is specifically tailored to the needs of the Chinese market, we achieved growth of over 12 per cent compared to the previous year. In this context, the regional positioning was redefined, the customer focus adjusted and a new performance management system introduced.
Are you planning any expansion within the Asian market?
The Asian markets are important for Eppendorf and relevant drivers for our further growth. Accordingly, we are implementing targeted measures for our strategic development in this region.
To this end, a number of important steps have been taken in the past two years, e.g. the realignment of the entire organizational structure of Eppendorf in this region. The Chinese and Asian markets are now separate regions to ensure maximum customer centricity. The countries of the Asia/Pacific/Africa (APA) Region can now be serviced in a much more focused manner – therefore, potentials can be exploited in a better way. The relevance of the entire region is shown by the fact that the position of the Head of Market Region Asia/Pacific/Africa was transferred from Hamburg to the region in December 2019. With the new Head of Market Region APA, Thomas Keller, Eppendorf has gained a long time and experienced sales expert who knows the markets very well and who has lived in the area for many years.
Furthermore, Eppendorf is investing disproportionately in the expansion of its global locations, particularly in Asia. This includes the leasing of new, larger logistics capacities in China and an office move there as well as the move to new premises in Kuala Lumpur. The new location will significantly strengthen our presence in Kuala Lumpur. The move to the new office is a clear commitment to Malaysia and reflects the strong growth of our staff, who are working in two companies of the globally active Eppendorf Group, which are located in Kuala Lumpur – the Eppendorf Asia Pacific Sd. Bhd and the Eppendorf East Asia Regional Center.
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