Our story takes us to Malaysia and the pharmaceutical industry, a country and industry seldom mentioned in the same sentence but this only serves to display the trailblazing nature of our client, Oncogen and Novugen, who shrewdly established this part of their business in Malaysia and sought the assistance of Kestria to build on their commercial talent pool.
About the client
A global pharmaceutical company divided into two brands due to the broad scope of its activity in both general medicine and oncology. The company vision is to accelerate high quality affordable medicine being provided to the world though a global-minded strategy, synergistic approach and wealth of experience.
Having set up in Malaysia 6 years ago, the company has invested over 200 million US dollars in Malaysia to set up their vertically integrated R&D center, manufacturing facilities and their commercial operations. This unique combination of activity makes the company the first global of its kind in Malaysia as well as the first company in South East Asia to be vertically integrated. The company has seen some amazing growth since its establishment, having already moved into the US where they continue to hire.
Encouraging an appetite for the start-up atmosphere
Our task in this case was not just a simple recruitment transaction but very much involved profiling of the company to promote visibility on their product, brand and vision to inspire people to want to join the team.
The nature of a start-up is not for everyone so finding people who are talented and thrive in this environment and were willing to make a bold move was key.
Leveraging connections and tenure
Oncogen's and Novugen’s partnership with Kestria Malaysia was born of their struggle to obtain the best talents for commercial roles as well as understanding organizational needs. The timing and ask in this case was fortuitous for Kestria, in particular given the fact that we had previous experience with the HR manager of the company at that time in recruiting for senior leadership roles. Once we connected with the company leadership, we presented the talent landscape of Malaysia to the client as well as the overview and optimal structure to prepare for commercialization and long-term sustainability for these roles. We also advised on the clarity of roles, competencies and behaviours for delivery of business objectives. To date we have placed the following positions:
Business unit director in charge of sales and marketing
VP of Finance for the entire business strategy and finance operation
Senior Product Manager
At the end of the day, it's always about good communication and understanding
Leveraging the unique setting of a global company was the basis of our branding the business in Malaysia and getting the word out to the top talents and the appropriate medical community. An important part of our outward communication was the fact that the company is endorsed by by MIDA – the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority, which has supported the organisation in terms of grants, and other benefits for bringing investments, a global vertically integrated R&D function and development of local talent to become a game changer in the global Pharmaceutical industry. The company was also the first in Malaysia to gain US FDA approval of a product, amongst a large pipeline of products to be exported to the USA and Europe market from Malaysia. This boosts its legitimacy in the eyes of potential employees.
Kestria’s tenure in the industry in question along with our deep knowledge of the talent landscape and previous start-up experience as well as the candidate relationships built up in our network helped us to gain footing quickly and pitch effectively and successfully. Our consistent close contact with the company CEO also helped to maintain clarity throughout the search process and showed the client how reliable, transparent and dedicated a partner Kestria Malaysia is.