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EF: Looking back over the past three years, 2020 being the year of diagnostics, 2021 the year of vaccines, what do you think 2022 will be a year of? What do you think it's going to look like?
AC: 2022 was a year of transformation, with an emphasis on the importance of balancing the professional and personal side of life, with the current workplace being the best. However, it's quite hard to tell what it’ll look like and what the next steps are as we are now facing a new scenario, which is the Ukraine – Russian war, that is affecting all of us. It was good to recover the market after a pandemic, but the war is quite concerning, and we're hoping they will come to an agreement.
I am however confident that we will have a positive 2022 in terms of business here in Brazil as we are expecting to grow. But we do have pressure in terms of logistics, supplies, and inflation, and with elections coming, the war, and the pandemic, it's crazy. But we are in good shape as we are working more diligently to find solutions
EF: What advice would you give to the administration?
AC: To try and push the results as we have elections near the end of the year and we hope that after that, we will have a good president. To be immersed in knowing the local and global market and understand the pressures in the areas of inflation and investment and work on pushing our sales to deliver until the end of Q3.
EF: Could you elaborate on the role of the company in Brazil during COVID?
AC: Our company played an important role in providing and selling ventilators and Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation machines, a life support machine that provides prolonged life support to critically affected patients. Now, with the pandemic coming to an end, we're back to surgeries that were postponed due to COVID and have a movement to compensate the business whilst moving to the surgical side as demand is ramping up on that side. We also have very a important product portfolio that is growing and quite important and it already has products in the pipeline for launch in 2023.
EF: Is there anything that's coming up in terms of pipeline or projects that you're particularly excited about?
AC: We do have a few projects that are being discussed which are very relevant for continuous projects as we have new potential sites and service demand, which touches on equipment that we've had from the last five to 10 years. We are thinking outside the box as we look for opportunities in the market and focusing on a strategy to make it happen.
EF: Could you maybe explain or elaborate on the strategic importance of Brazil to the company?
AC: Brazil is a very complex environment. We are facing local and global competitors, so what we're doing is looking for opportunities outside the box to provide solutions. We have a consolidation of great companies that are key players in the Brazil region, they cover 80% of the total market in Brazil. These partners have helped us work closely to provide solutions and good service. They have also helped us not just to sell a commercialized product, but also offer after-sales, which is very important to keep these relationships. We have some projects that are being developed here that look for solutions for the hospitals, and promotions of our special program that we're launching by the end of June.
EF: How do you think the MedTech Industry and the company will contribute to the fight against these challenges?
AC: Long story short, it's digital transformation. Digital transformation is the process of using digital technology to create new ones, which are very important, especially for highly complex surgeries. For example, robotics plays a huge role in helping surgeons be more precise in long, high complex surgeries. They fully reduce human error which is compensated by the technology. Getinge is also working in this direction to be sure that we are following the market demand and staying relevant in the industry for the next 10 to 20 years.
EF: What is your take on the importance of digital transformation and digitalization access in the future?
AC: It's important because it connects everything. At the end of the day, the future is not offering products, it is offering solutions. Technology associates with products to provide good solutions to customers, an example being doctors using technology to treat patients, who are our end customers.
EF: Have you brought any of your experience from finance into your current position? What advice would you give to new leaders?
AC: Being a CFO for the last 10 years, four of those being at Getinge, I've noted that it's always important to understand the business as a whole. Your company stands a better chance of being successful if you have good working relations with your employees, teamwork spirit, good communication, and leading by example. If you work as a team and your team is engaged and you have a transparent process, while having a clear vision and approach to what your company needs to accomplish and the direction to go, this will help you run the company smoothly.
EF: Is that how you define good leadership?
AC: Being a good leader starts with walking the talk. A leader that can evolve, create a safe atmosphere, and create positive ways to solve issues whilst for good solutions that provoke positive discussions within the team, and being a leader that is able to strategize and pass across the same vision to his/her employees to achieve results.
EF: Were there any new initiatives that were developed during COVID to keep employees engaged?
AC: We have a new project called Smart Workplace that allows our team to work three days a week from home and two days in the office. However, as of now, we're almost 100% working from home, but we do have certain employees who need to work in the office, for example, engineers who need to ensure hospital equipment is checked and running effectively. We also created WhatsApp groups, Teams calls, and more to maintain our communications, but as of now, the office days allow interactions and communications on a face-to-face basis.
EF: Five years from now, how do you want to be remembered?
AC: This is a very important transformation in my life because I have a very good project going here that I want to be remembered for. I have been able to fix problems, provide stability and look at our processes and prepare the business for a good long-term perspective because it's not just a creator business, we were facing a scenario with a lack of confidence from shareholders, stakeholders, customers, teams and so on. I have cleaned up the business and it's been a turnaround. Now, we are able to control Brazil and Latin America operations, and I want to be remembered for that. I also want to be remembered for creating new technologies and solutions for the future while helping Getinge bring out the mission and not just concentrating on sales.
EF: Is there anything we didn't ask you that you'd like to comment on or add to the report?
AC: I always tell my team we need to reflect and have a positive way of reviewing the business at the end of the day. Always plan, fix the problems, and review what was done. Postponing problems postpones solutions.