The Business Year

Karel J. Fucikovsky

MEXICO - Health & Education

Karel J. Fucikovsky

General Director, Pierre Fabre Médicament Latam

Bio

Karel J. Fucikovsky is the General Director of Pierre Fabre Médicament Latam, a position he has held for more than five years. He has more than 25 years of experience working for transnational pharmaceutical companies in Mexico and Latam. He started as sales representative and later assumed key positions in the marketing, finance, productivity, and business development departments.

Pierre Fabre is looking ahead and transforming itself into a more digital-oriented, financially healthy, and profitable company working for a better world.

In what ways have consumer habits changed over the past year?

The digital era has caused a shift in the behaviors of consumers in many ways. In our case, in the pharma business in Mexico we are also seeing an evolution of sorts in the digital world, especially in terms of continued medical education, for example. Many events are now being held digitally. Physicians are considered our consumers or secondhand consumers, and they now have immediate access to information in the palm of their hands. The health sector is advancing digitally not only in Mexico but globally as well. However, in Latin America technology has not been able to substitute face-to-face relationships, emotions, and culture.

What investments is Pierre Fabre making to be part of this digital transformation and ensure it remains up to date with these trends?

The company is strongly investing in digital tools and platforms not only in terms of pure players but also some of the key stakeholders of the digital world, especially traders such as Amazon in Mexico. We are also making changes and investing heavily in developing strong digital and technological areas. For example, this is not only as part of a marketing team but is now also a significant business unit that we are delivering and building up in the company to remain up to date regarding consumers’ needs. We are not looking for it to reap profits right now in the first year, though it will become a strong profit center in the coming years. Sales via digital platforms are reaching approximately 10% of our sales in the dermo-cosmetics arena. We are certain that in the next three years, 30% of our revenues will come from digital. It is a big shift, and this has a lot to do with consumers. Our other business is purely medicines, prescriptions, and high-end therapies such as oncology. We are highly dependent on the synergy between innovation, physicians, and patients. Access is key, as it continues to be a key issue in Mexico.

Has there been a lack of research into other conditions with the heightened focus on COVID-19?

R&D centers have resources for several pathologies. COVID-19 has become a global health priority, and governments and the private industry have been heavily focused on developing and working on the pandemic. However, this has not stopped R&D in other segments. I am sure they are still advancing, especially in oncology. There are many start-ups in oncology that are heavily researching specific molecules and new therapies that will eventually need some strong investment behind them. Eventually, they will deliver innovation and cure patients in the spectrum of cancer, for example.

How is the restructuring of your portfolio going, and how is it impacting Mexico?

One of our main focuses of the year is to transform the company to become one entity. Previously, we used to be divided into two companies—dermatology and pharmaceuticals—and now one entity is managing the operations and the future of the company. That has a lot to do with the cost structures, profitability, and efficiency related to many hidden costs that emerged and were impacting the profitability of the company. Another core strategy was portfolio reorganization, which was key in all the countries where we operate. This also had to do with transforming ourselves into a more digital-oriented, financially healthy, and profitable company excelling in CDMO and supply chain management. We needed to keep up with the times. We want to ensure the Pierre Fabre Foundation is delivering support to less fortunate communities that are in need of support, especially medical support.

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