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EF: Regarding the UN Climate Change Conference and the 27th session of the COP, are there any specific points of relevance for you to share with the audience if you were a speaker?   

TU: I would highlight the importance of two main aspects we need to bear in mind to reach our utmost ambiguous goal and ameliorate the actual climate situation: we will only succeed with a change in attitude and according to actions by everyone. Be it a private person or someone in a corporate responsibility role. 

EF: Could you elaborate on the lessons learned during these last two years of the pandemic?  

TU: During my role at the company, I learned three key lessons from the pandemic. Primarily, the fast digitalisation of executing our business was key for business continuity. That encompassed the technological availability and people's willingness and capability to use it. That was an impressive corporate success. Secondly, our focus on employee safety and health safeguarded our supply chain and the unrestricted availability of our products in the marketplace. Right from the beginning, we implemented corporate PCR testing availabilities for our employees and as soon as it was available we build up a Corporate Vaccination Centre. In the out-phasing pandemic, we understand, that despite all digital possibilities personal contact and interaction produce a significant business uplift when working with our customers or collaborating within our corporate structures and processes.  

EF: How did you ensure security supply? 

TU: As a manufacturer of herbal medical products the holistic control of each step and aspect not only of our products but also of our supply chain is key for producing outstanding product quality and consistency. At Schwabe, we do have not only a deep understanding but also a proven track record in this respect. Due to the nature of our active ingredients, we need to ensure a consistently high quality despite geographic variations and climatic changes and logistic challenges, for this reason, we decided to have full corporate coverage of the spectrum of the whole process from plantation to production, including harvesting, transportation, and intensive quality testing of the natural raw materials before they access to our operations processes. Therefore, we were at all times – also amidst the pandemic – self-reliant concerning our supply chain. We will follow this path despite the fact, that this will become even more challenging and expensive under the actual circumstances and in a future perspective. We will have to deal in this respect with further societal challenges like climate change which will be even more important for the sustainable success of our business model. The target group for our natural health solutions cares increasingly also about that aspect. 

EF: Could you elaborate on the current footprint of the company? 

TU: Even though we produce plant-based medicines we have the same manufacturing frame and rules that are in place for producers of chemical APIs. Therefore, also we are emitting CO2 in a relevant dimension. In order to improve we, first of all, must have sufficient intelligence on our emissions. We are just now in the phase of thoroughly analysing our footprint and are at the same time developing a concrete plan with defined milestones to significantly reduce it until 2035. 

EF: Could you elaborate on the extent of the operations of a business with about 150 years of history and the reasons for this solid growth? 

TU: We are specialized in natural health solutions. Consumers and Patients are seeking efficacious remedies for everyday ailments and conditions that also have excellent tolerability. Our offering fulfils that need. But nowadays conscious consumers do not only search for health solutions that are good for them, but also for society and for the environment. Our Health Solutions deliver that since they are produced sustainably from natural raw materials and as a family-owned company, we also lay great emphasis on corporate social responsibility. Therefore, we think our Business Model has also excellent future perspectives. 

EF: Could you elaborate on the product with the highest growth and performance in the company’s portfolio?  

TU: Whereas most companies in the natural health sector strongly focus on cough and cold as the largest OTC category. Schwabe Group's most important field of interest and source of business are mental disorders such as cognitive impairment, anxiety, and stress-related symptoms of depression. We focus on the treatment of diseases of deeper relevance such as mental disorders, anxiety, and depression. This is a category that is already now a field of significant societal relevance. Due to the demographic development in industrialized countries, the increasing personal challenges due to a globalized and digitalized world and also as an aftermath of the pandemic situation their medical prevalence will even increase considerably. Being able to offer efficacious natural medicines with an excellent profile of tolerability and safety creates Schwabe a significant growth potential.  

If we succeed in complementing our outstanding knowledge of natural health products with excellent customer centricity, we will be able to create a user experience with a sustainable competitive edge.  

EF: Could you elaborate on which areas in the pharmacological industry will grow the most with the help of digitalisation?  

TU: There are three main areas that will grow with the help of digital resources.  

Digitalisation will be a major driver for better adherence and compliance of patients taking medications or using other forms of treatment. This is due to the fact, that patients will be digitally enabled to monitor the therapy progress in real-time by themselves. That encourages people to stick with the therapy in a disciplined way. 

Secondly Our communication with our customers- be it patients and Health Care Professionals will be more precisely targeted concerning content and Channels used. 

And by digital means, we will be able to develop new health solutions in a more customer-centric and also faster way, outcome from people. 

EF: Considering the last 10 years of the company trajectory, what are your celebrations as CEO of Schwabe Group? 

TU: Developing into a customer-centric thinking organisation without giving up our ambition to produce and offer excellent natural health solutions is a challenging ambition. So far, we have been able to walk this road at a remarkable speed. I think everyone in our organisation can be proud of this. 

December 2022