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domingo, 11 de diciembre de 2011



After more than 17 years’ experience in the pharma industry I’ve developed different activities occupying various roles in three distinct multinational companies. My first company when I was 27 years old was ASTRA-TECH, which was a small piece inside the pharma multinational ASTRAZENECA. 
I was very lucky; I was recruited by an excellent professional and an even better person (Francisco Grau Rahola, ASTRA-TECH CEO and now a very good friend…); Paco then gave me the chance to participate in a project which was just starting and where I was the third person recruited by the company. I stayed there for almost 7 years and learned the Swedish way of thinking (its strict forecast model); I attended international meetings where I used to learn new stuff every day, always in the commercial department (formerly as a sales rep and afterwards in the marketing setting). As my native language is not English and besides while I was in ASTRA-TECH my level was very, very low (writing, listening or speaking…), when I had a rendez-vous with colleagues I used to be very anxious, I was never sure about the actual Schedule and arrived usually late…But with a tremendous effort and endurance I improved my language skills.

During that period in ASTRA-TECH I divided my time into two different business units, because my skills allow me to learn technically almost any product in a fast track way. At the beginnig there was neither Medical  nor Marketing department. The two units were the HOSPITAL UNIT (SURGERY AND UROLOGY) and the DENTAL IMPLANT  UNIT.

-Nationwide PUBLIC and PRIVATE Hospitals.
-Low-friction Hydrophilic Probes.
-Vacuum Drains
 -Post-orthopaedical Surgery Blood Recuperators.
(Anesthetists, Traumatologists, Urologists, General Surgeons).
Nationwide Hospital  Sales Rep.
Hospital commercialization through tenders. Negotiating with SACYL, SAS, etc...Presentations in Anesthetics, General Surgery, etc…departments. Peer-review and support to other colleagues.

PUBLIC and PRIVATE Hospitals and Dental Clinics.
(Maxillofacial surgeons, Periodontists, General Odontologists e Implantologists)
Nationwide Hospital Sales Rep.
Commercialization of implants as substitutes for actual teeth in the upper or lower jaw
Customers CME. Auxiliary personnel CME. Follow-up of Customer querys and fidelization. Promotion and deveolpment of courses and activities.In 2004, Paco helped me improve my training and education through the MARKETING AND  COMMERCIALIZACION MASTER of ESADE.
But Afterwards I Paco wanted me to change my role to PRODUCT MANAGER and move to Barcelona, and due to my personal situation (I was getting married!) I decided to move to a different company. 


Then I got in contact with another great professional and wonderful person, Joan Mercadé; he recruited me to the brand-new Oncology Unit in MERCK (then MERCK FARMA y QUIMICA) as a Sales Rep, and I couldn’t be happier…Joan leaded the launch and development of ERBITUX, an innovative monoclonal antibody; to all of us it was a huge challenge, because there wasn’t any know-how in the company inside the ONCOLOGY ground and, although Joan new it, specially for me. 
He recruited people coming from PRASFARMA, formerly involved in the commercializacion of cancer chemotherapies, including IRINOTECAN.

As I told you before, with Joan as a leader SPAIN reached the highest performance and succes as a European Country, so Joan was awarded. He had a secret, he recruited Claudi Sola against some inner advices; Claudi, a former oncologist at Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona, was a hype! Although he came from breast cancer specialty, he was able to update himself in colorectal cancer in about four months.

He used to offer lectures highly appreciated by the Spanish Oncology ground.
Joan Mercade is an excellent professional who plans in the long term and bases his strategy in a powerful commercial crew supported by an amazing medical team.
At the Marketing department he also recruited another upscale performer coming also from PRASFARMA, Isabel Bestit (MD and Marketing specialist) also), and Ivette Brugués to enhance this department.

To make all these machinery work properly, Joan plans a meeting interface between all the departments and lets us know each other without pressure…The aftermath is a huge synergy that we became one of the favorite partners in Oncology in less than two years (to recall: we were absolute beginners two years ago…).

The ERBITUX launch with Mercadé’s leadership is so avowed that its studied by some elite Business Schools; in 4 years the project is changing and I’m designated NATIONAL SALES MANAGER (leading a 8 people team).

Then came the merger and the leakage of talent was brutal; I stayed only with another person from the former team, everything else is wasted… Companies are made of people; some of them have great  talent.

The loss of this talent brings together the loss of productivity, excelence ,prestige, sales and, OVERALL LOSS OF ILLUSION AND TRUST IN THE PROJECT.

There is a sentence in Blade Runner that clearly defines the situation: 

“I’ve seen things that you won’t believe…To attack warships in flames beyond Orion. I’ve seen C Rays shining in the darkness closet o Tannhauser’s Gate. All these moments will be lost like tears in the rain…” 


Octavio Ignacio Ruiz Ruiz Business Development. oirmab@gmail.com   

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Te ruego expreses tu opinión sobre el Blog. La crítica siempre nos ayuda, pero para ser objetivo necesitamos que la crítica sea referenciada. Ejemplo la construcción de la frase ........ no es correcta según el Diccionario de la Real Academia de la lengua. Un Saludo. Octavio ignacio Ruiz Ruiz