Friday, 19 July 2024

“Women must follow their passion and take on any opportunity that presents itself"

07 March 2022 | Opinion

Celebrating women leadership across the life sciences sector, BioSpectrum Asia spoke to Eva van Pelt, Co-Chief Executive Officer & Chief Commercial Officer, Eppendorf AG, in detail about how FY21-22 can be summed up and what new plans are in store for the company this year.

How did the company perform in 2021?

Eppendorf has managed to break its record of 2020 once again and to exceed the threshold of one billion euros in sales for the first time. Such a result would not have been possible without the unparalleled commitment of our employees. We know that the past year has often been very difficult, especially against the backdrop of the  pandemic and its impact on professional and private life. That's why we, in the Management Board, are incredibly proud of these great colleagues and their boundless commitment. 


What key leadership decisions taken by you made a significant impact on the company's performance?

The outstanding performance achieved by Eppendorf in 2021 is a joint effort by all employees of the corporate group. In the past fiscal year, a number of important measures of the Management Board were undertaken to ensure our future success, such as organisational adjustments and investment decisions. For example, we have realigned our supply chain to better serve our customers in these challenging times and expanded our global locations. The same applies to our production capacities worldwide, which we have scaled up, as well as investments in the digitalisation of the company, such as the expansion of our e-business activities.


What were the major challenges faced in 2021- on the professional and personal front?

The past year has probably pushed us all – professionally and privately – even more to our limits than 2020 did. For me as Co-CEO, it is very important to instill confidence in our employees, to motivate them to carry on and to be a good role model for them. In times when you can't meet in person and often have to rely on collaboration via remote meetings, this is sometimes a challenge. From my personal perspective, it has become clear that face-to-face contact is something we all miss a lot. It is important to overcome this challenge in order to still work together effectively. 


What strategies are in store for 2022?

We want to continue on our current successful course and are highly motivated. For this year, we have put a number of important topics on our agenda such as product launches, the work on our digitisation efforts, the expansion of our worldwide capacities and we are further strengthening the support of our customers holistically with products and services. To ensure this, we implemented digital tools, e.g. our brand-new CRM system, enabling us to understand our customers even better and adapt even more quickly to changing market conditions.


How are the investment plans coming along within the APAC market?

Eppendorf considers the APAC and China markets as highly attractive, fast growing and very innovative. And since we have started to invest in these regions we are experiencing tremendous growth. We will continue to increase our investments in Asia, not only in our Go-to-market-strategy, but also addressing local R&D, production and innovation capabilities and capacities.


What would you like to say to all the women achievers in the life science sector?

Eppendorf stands for solidarity, tolerance and diversity – these are important cornerstones of Eppendorf's cosmopolitan culture and the basis for our company's success. Female achievers are still rather rare, especially in the life sciences. I can only encourage all women to continue on their path unwaveringly. Whatever your personal vision and motivation is, follow your passion and take on any opportunity that presents itself to you. Authenticity, openness, collaboration, networking and actively seeking for feedback, in my experience, are crucial cornerstones to move forward. 


Dr Manbeena Chawla


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