Read the Conversation

EF: When appointed, what mission were you given, and did this evolve while having to navigate such a unique moment in modern history?

PG: My mission coming into QIAGEN in the middle of 2019, was to reorganize the company in the region, stabilize the team and accelerate growth, seeing that QIAGEN has lots of opportunities plus a huge portfolio that was underutilized. I made changes to regional structure and processes, we started to operate as one company in the region, sharing support from all our human resources to be able to develop the market in a proper way. When I came in, the team was facing some motivation challenges. Today, I’m proud that QIAGEN has been certificated for two years in a row as a “Great Place to Work” in both Brazil and Mexico’s offices, which is most impressive because we were able to win those awards during the pandemic. We showed team commitment, trust, responsibility, and joy to work together.

During our monthly leadership meetings, we introduced the discussion of the “Home Office” concept as this was something unfamiliar to QIAGEN. Coincidentally, in parallel with the HO discussion, COVID arrived in our lives, and immediately we took the decision to close our offices. Fortunately, everybody works with laptops in our Brazil and Mexico offices, so the roll-out was smooth. This led to a steady and successful growth rate for two years as we were able to accomplish and solve problems from home, especially becoming one of the main solution providers for DNA and RNA tests (PCR tests).

One month after the pandemic started, we didn't have enough supplies to meet all the demand, but still, we remained firm in not raising prices for our customers; clear communication and determination definitely kept us connected to them. We decided to prioritize our traditional customers and not accept deals from new ones. We developed weekly internal calls for peer discussion on the supply chain, which included different regional managers to keep track of our supply numbers, their regional needs, and the type of kits that were needed, while at the same time balancing incoming orders. We did this for one and a half years. Studying our customers and their supply request habits helped us remain a partner of suppliers that we'd been working with, which built confidence in QIAGEN. The process was very open and transparent, and no one in our team was left behind, as such, we were able to professionally navigate through those dark times with the right mindset. Due to this, customers have also stuck with us as we did them. We became strategic very fast and handled the pandemic in a positive way.

EF: What strategic importance and opportunities does QIAGEN have within different Latin American countries?

PG: QIAGEN LATAM before and during the pandemic grew fast, even above the global average. Our potential in the market is huge. We have more than 900 million habitants in our region who need to eat, be educated, get healthcare, entertainment, etc. Having done smart structure changes to the company was crucial.  We made investments by contracting Managers and specialists to support countries where QIAGEN is represented by distributors. We were under-represented, and these countries have now doubled, if not tripled, their percentage growth compared to Brazil and Mexico. We as a company have a responsibility to support our partners.

Restructuring in Brazil and Mexico also proved effective. Clear CRM processes, productivity gains, and significant improvements in our service and after-sales team are opening up new opportunities for us with traditional and new customers.

EF: Moving forward, where do you think the portfolio of QIAGEN is going?

PG: QIAGEN is divided into three main business areas: Molecular Diagnostics, Life Sciences, and Bioinformatics. In our strategic mindset, we have five pillars of growth, and these five pillars are not limited to Covid since we view QIAGEN as “Covid relevant but not Covid dependent”. Growth provided by the pandemic period gave us the chance to invest faster in our portfolio, and increase manufacturing facilities which in turn has amplified employment opportunities in different regions, and this is something we continue to grow on.

We're investing heavily in infectious diseases. Last year QIAGEN concluded the acquisition of NeuMoDx Molecular, Inc. and is now finalizing the integration. We're in the process of registration in almost all our countries. Considering the bureaucracy to register products in our region, hopefully, we will be launching this solution in some of the countries in which we operate this year. With this, we intend to increase our range in the market, moving from acting only in niche areas in which we work to expanding our portfolio, and this is the perfect time to do so.  

Another sector we're going to get into is availing of syndromic tests, via QIAstat solution, to simultaneously test for multiple pathogens with overlapping signs and symptoms in a very short period of time. This will be a game-changer and a great tool. We're working to implement this solution in our markets in the right way.  

Via QuantiFERON solutions, QIAGEN supports Latent Tuberculosis tests. We're tropicalizing the strategy by discussing how to use it and how it works in our market, as well as the support we need for it. We are playing an important role in aligning with private and public sectors the vital importance of the test for this killer disease

My team and I have a mission, as healthcare providers, to understand how we can partner with pharma companies and other vendors, mainly in the Oncology area, to provide personalized treatment, tests, and drugs, to give a better life quality to patients, which is very connected to QIAGEN’s vision (Making Improvements in Life Possible) as we're talking about people.  

Another important pillar is digital PCR which is just starting and, with genomics, will become standard.

EF: What would you like this moment in your professional career to be remembered for?

PG: How the QIAGEN team understood the changes and the strategies, trusted my leadership, and assumed responsibility and urgency during the pandemic, turning us into a "Great Place to Work" company. How we manage and come together to achieve not just revenue results, but results for our customers. Being recognized as the best supplier by highly relevant customers in our market during the pandemic period is also huge, and one of the best things I would like to be remembered for.

May 2022