Read the Conversation
EF: What attracted you to DCH Auriga?
NY: For over 50 years, DCH Auriga has been one of the leading market management solution partners for healthcare companies to bring essential pharmaceutical and life science offerings to Asia. Its comprehensive end-to-end regulatory, commercial, and distribution solutions enable healthcare companies to access market opportunities in Asia and help deliver the best possible care to those in need. Its multinational strength and start-up agility, coupled with long-standing partnerships with healthcare companies, provides a stable platform for me to drive growth and transform the organization to better serve the healthcare ecosystem stakeholders in a dynamic, fast-changing market environment.
EF: What was the mission you were given when appointed?
NY: The pace of digital adoption over the past few years has accelerated the evolution of the healthcare landscape in Singapore. The mission of DCH Auriga, to which we are committed, remains stronger than ever. We are here to enrich lives by making the right healthcare solutions more easily and readily available in the market. This means that our market management solution offerings need to evolve with the market to ensure we are creating value for our partners, healthcare providers, patients, and our own people. We aim to grow exponentially to become the leading partner of choice for healthcare companies to leverage our world-class distribution, commercial, and patient solutions infrastructure.
EF: What do you attribute this growth and any potential growth to?
NY: The 1st wave of growth in the next few years will come from healthcare companies refocusing and rebalancing product portfolios which creates opportunities for market management service providers like DCH Auriga to optimize the brand’s life cycle. We have omnichannel expertise and experience managing healthcare brands at every stage of the product life cycle, and our market channel relationships give partners ready access to customers.
In tandem with the changing landscape in Singapore, healthcare companies are also looking for cost efficiencies and greater value in their partnerships with service providers. This presents an opportunity for us as we pride ourselves on being partner-centric and flexible in our approach to crafting solutions for each of our partners to fit their objectives. We can deliver cost efficiencies and value for our partners through our technology rollouts and synergistically leveraging our current distribution and commercial platforms to provide benefits at every stage of the value chain. For example, to increase the value for our partners, we rolled out robotic process automation in our ordering and tendering processes, improving order processing efficiency and costs in the long run.
Lastly, in line with our mission to enrich lives, we are also committed to bringing to market innovative healthcare products, especially for underserved populations and areas where the increased competition will benefit our customers, leading to greater affordability and access for patients in Singapore.
EF: 2020 was the year of diagnostics, and 2021 was the year of vaccines. What do you think 2022 will be remembered for?
NY: 2022 will be remembered as the year of great adjustment as we move out of the pandemic with new behaviours and expectations formed in the last two years. Digital adoption in healthcare has accelerated over the pandemic period, and consumer expectations on how healthcare is delivered moving forward will be crucial for healthcare companies to understand and navigate to cater to external and internal stakeholders.
EF: How do you think digitalization has changed the service or product offerings and the solutions you bring to the client?
NY: From a patient or healthcare provider perspective, digitization has greatly improved convenience and accessibility to healthcare. There are many examples of this increased digital adoption by consumers over the past two years, such as telemedicine, disease monitoring, and management applications, patient education applications, direct-to-patient deliveries, and e-marketplaces, to name a few. At the touch of their fingertips, the patient or doctor of today can get access to healthcare services, products, information, and stakeholders. The issue with digital solutions in healthcare is that it is very much fragmented, and there is a need for a digital eco-system player to give patients and healthcare providers a seamless and reliable experience. What this means for healthcare companies is that the ability to adopt an omnichannel approach leveraging digital tools in engaging healthcare providers becomes increasingly important, as well as the need to become patient/consumer-centric further downstream to provide more value to end consumers or patients. To succeed, companies need to integrate offline and online engagement in the strategy deployment.
For DCH Auriga in Singapore, we are committed to helping our partners navigate market complexities as they explore new opportunities in this dynamic landscape. We evaluate and work together with our partners to assess their needs in the market and roll out solutions tailored to address those needs from an online or offline perspective. We continually upgrade our systems and introduce new capabilities to meet performance demands. For example, to enhance order processing, we implemented robotic process automation (RPA) in our ordering systems to improve the speed of order fulfilment. Our commercial teams are trained to engage with customers on virtual platforms to supplement day-to-day sales visits to our customers. We are also building our capabilities further downstream to offer patient solution programs in order to address their access, adherence, and convenience challenges in addition to our current direct-to-patient delivery capabilities for consumer and over-the-counter products.
EF: How do you choose the businesses you are involved in; how does it match the expertise you are developing, and what are your biggest growth drivers?
NY: We look at the market needs and synergies in the partnership, which we can deliver as well as add value to the healthcare stakeholders. DCH Auriga is an end-to-end market management solutions provider, and we are focused on strategic business pillars, namely pharmaceuticals, consumer/OTC, and well-medical devices. Our distribution platform enables our partners to reach customers in multiple channels. We provide demand-generation services via our dedicated and syndicated commercial teams in various therapeutic areas and channels. Our current portfolio of partners consists of various sizes from local, regional, and global players, with a healthy mix of products at every stage of the brand life-cycle. Growth drivers for us will come from scaling the current portfolio, expansion of services with current partners as well as new partnerships formed moving forward in line with our strategic business pillars.
EF: How are your resources distributed to the different areas you cover, and what is the prospect of growth in those areas?
NY: We are focused on growing three key pillars of our business, namely pharmaceuticals, OTC/Consumer, and medical devices, in line with our existing comprehensive distribution and commercial multichannel reach to hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, retail stores, and e-commerce.
Singapore being a market with an appetite for innovative solutions and products will present opportunities for new market entrants, and we intend to capitalize on this. Healthcare companies will look for a partner who can provide insights, go-to-market infrastructure, and a proven track record in growing healthcare brands. DCH Auriga being agile and flexible to the needs of our partners is well placed to offer customized solutions to our partners to ensure the value we provide is maximized.
Being a multinational company with a regional footprint in more than ten markets in Asia, we also offer unified solutions to partners for regional partners to ensure coherence in overall strategy execution and compliance across markets. In contrast, our country experts ensure broad strategies are localized to cater to local market nuances.
EF: What do you think is going to be the next frontier in the Singapore healthcare ecosystem?
NY: The healthcare landscape in Singapore is fast changing, driven by digitization and technological development. It is also a hotbed for healthcare startups within the SEA region, with over 750 startups looking to disrupt the market to improve the convenience and accessibility of healthcare to consumers. As consumer behaviours and expectations develop and get ingrained over time, healthcare companies need to become more patient-centric in their go-to-market execution. What this means is that healthcare companies need to take greater consideration in the new patient journey and plan engagements with stakeholders within the healthcare ecosystem to identify and address challenges along that patient journey. Therefore, strategic partnerships become increasingly important as companies roll out holistic solutions for patients along their treatment journey.
For example, the patient’s disease education and understanding are important aspects of overall disease management. With the limited time the doctor has, the question is how do healthcare companies play a more important role in this aspect while maintaining ethics and compliance? This is where DCH Auriga can come in to offer patient support programs to ethically engage with patients online or offline to increase disease knowledge levels, leading to better treatment adherence and compliance.
The importance of real-time data and analytics made possible will also be the cornerstone for healthcare stakeholders to understand trends and gain insights for faster response in decision-making. Predictive analytics will also play a more important role for healthcare companies to get ahead of the competition.
EF: Five years from now, when you look back at your career, what would you like to be remembered for?
NY: From a business perspective, I would like to be remembered for laying a strong foundation for DCH Auriga to operate in the new market environment, scaling the business to new heights, and, more importantly, making a positive difference in the lives of patients in Singapore. As a healthcare leader, I would like to be remembered as that guy who made a difference, inspiring my colleagues to grow and bringing the best out of them.
EF: In the transformation, what are the next steps and priorities in your agenda to execute?
NY: We will focus on enhancements to our operations to achieve greater productivity and cost efficiencies. This will form the base on which we work together with our partners to develop new services to navigate the changing healthcare landscape. We also intend to focus on our people's development as we view them as our greatest asset in achieving our vision as an organization.
EF: What final message would you like to send?
NY: It is important for healthcare executives to embrace change and be bold in experimenting with new initiatives. As future leaders, we need first to understand the challenges faced by patients and healthcare stakeholders, then customize solutions to plug those gaps to drive greater convenience and accessibility for patients and better healthcare outcomes.