While the daily business in Iraq is particularly difficult with risks that are hard to foresee Acino’s team in Iraq is doing an excellent job dealing with unexpected changes on a daily basis.
We are the number one pharmaceutical retail company in Iraq and work professionally focusing on our business. However, the unstable political situation is always a threat. The best way is to get on with it and to adapt by developing a plan B and C to mitigate risks and to transform threats into opportunities for growth.
Hayder Assad, General Manager Acino Iraq
The Acino team on the ground consists of 70 employees of which 58 are medical sales representatives with a high educational background – all of Acino’s sales people are pharmacists by profession. They are focusing on their business and visit their customers every day in spite of the permanent security risks.
The threat of attacks that also target Iraqi civilians is constant throughout the country, which hinders free movement and influences public opinion regarding safety and security. A constant challenge for the Acino team is to ensure the goods delivery to meet customer demand and they permanently need to be creative and flexible to adapt to changing conditions.
Despite or maybe because of this particularly difficult situation the Acino team in Iraq has an outstanding mindset as they see every unforeseen change as another opportunity and motivation to grow. After the invasion of some northern regions by ISIL, Acino’s active market was reduced by 12% compared to the year before. Instead of limiting our business in Iraq Acino decided to reinforce its presence in the remaining parts of the country by moving highly qualified employees to safer areas and by expanding the team of medical representatives overall. The team not only made up for the loss of the territory but achieved a 10% growth compared to the year before!
Our in-depth knowledge of our markets enables us to adapt to local needs. With a team of over 70 employees in 15 French-speaking countries in West and Central Africa, Acino has an impressive footprint in this region. The area is highly diversified with over 240 million people living in a mix of oil-exporting countries and middle to low income countries.
The strength of our teams on the ground is their close connection to local reality. We know the different challenges and opportunities in our markets and have the flexibility to adapt to changes rapidly.
Annette Ake, Cluster Head French speaking West Africa
The rainy season for example triggers diseases like malaria and Acino adapts its portfolio to seasonal as well as geographical needs. As most countries in the area are out-of-pocket markets agricultural activities can influence Acino’s demand planning like the beginning of the cocoa harvest season in Ivory Coast for example.
Acino is particularly well positioned with it antispasmodic agent Spasfon being ranked 6 in the overall top 10 market products with a market share of 58% percent in its segment. The disease burden is currently dominated by infectious diseases but current trends show a transition towards more and more chronic diseases and with its product range Acino is well positioned to respond to this demand.
But it is not only Acino’s local connections and our product portfolio which distinguishes us from competitors. As a Swiss-based company it is a matter of course that our teams on the ground apply the highest ethical standards to their relationships with health care professionals and other local partners in everything they do.
Acino’s team in Saudi-Arabia (KSA) is particularly close to the market and permanently seek to provide additional support to health care specialists. Every single member of our Medical Representatives in KSA has a medical qualification so they are able to offer even more than high-quality products.
We go further to help meet patient and physician needs. In 2016 the team used its experience to develop and distribute a brochure that promotes a holistic approach to relieving back pain. This simple brochure presents several easy stretches and exercise tips that everyone can do to help recovery from injury or pain – giving physicians another tool to help patients.
We are not just selling a product, what we are really able to do is help doctors to achieve their aims of relieving patients’ pain.
Amr El-Deeb, Senior Product Manager (and qualified Pharmacist)
This is just one example of the benefits of working with Acino. Our Medical Representatives are thinking innovatively every day to come up with the next solution that will make an impact for patients.
Acino Middle East & Africa (MEA) is managed through our Regional Office in Dubai and operates in a highly diversified region. Organized in five clusters – Iraq, Saudi Arabia (KSA), GLE, French Speaking Africa (FSA), and English Speaking Africa (ESA) – we have strong local teams in our markets with a sales force of around 300 medical sales representatives and strong distribution partnerships across the region.
Driven by passion and committed to quality, our teams have a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of a large number of markets that might be difficult to access. Our approach is driven by the highest ethical and compliance standards which we apply to all our relationships with customers, partners and employees.
With organic sales growth above market growth in 2016, Acino MEA is seeking to expand local structures to bring quality medicines for a healthier tomorrow in emerging markets.
Building 24, 2nd Floor, Office #. 204
Dubai Healthcare City
Post Box 505296
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Regional Head, Middle East & Africa
Phone +971 4 556 5444