Read the Conversation

EF: Starting a new position, what is your main mission at Cardinal Health, and what are the priorities of this year’s agenda?

RF: Cardinal Health is a relatively new International medical products company. Cardinal Health has successfully expanded internationally through strategic business acquisitions from global players like Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic, consolidating our entrance into the international market roughly five years ago. In this context, Brazil has consistently delivered positive results. Registering double-digit growth and significantly improving our margins year after year. After four years managing Finance for Cardinal Health’s operations in different clusters across International, I will now be focused on the company’s operations in Brazil as the new Country Manager. In 2021, Cardinal Health underwent a significant transformation across our commercial organization. The first phase of the strategy concentrated on simplifying the business and choosing where to play and how to win, focusing on key countries internationally and key product categories. In this new fiscal year, we are continuing to build on what we have done in the first phase, and are seeking to accelerate growth sustainably.

To achieve our goals, Cardinal Health Brazil has built its strategy on four key pillars:

I. The delivery of profitable growth,


II. A focus on customer centricity,


III. The improvement of operational efficiency, and


IV. The creation of a high-performance work culture.


My core priority in Brazil is to deliver on these four priorities.

EF: What role does Brazil take within Cardinal Health’s global operations?

RF: Cardinal Health has many interests across Latin America, with production sites across Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic, where many key products are manufactured.

Our operations in Brazil, however, are purely commercial. With a population of over 200 million people, Brazil is the number one focus area in Latin America. This becomes evident in the results we have been delivering. Last year, Cardinal Health Brazil was one of the highest-grossing markets Internationally. Brazil plays an important role in helping to accelerate the Medical Segment's overall profitability. Our goal is not only to enhance bottom-line gains but also to drive accelerated top-line growth, contributing substantial profits to the equation.

EF: How does Cardinal Health partner with local, private, and public stakeholders to guarantee nationwide access?

RF: In Brazil, the main source of healthcare expenditure comes from the public budget managed by the Ministry of Health. Additionally, only over 50 million people in Brazil have access to private insurance. Together with out-of-pocket spending, this adds up to less than one-third of the population having access to integral healthcare.
Our challenge is to make healthcare accessible to a broader number of people. We want to contribute to the development of the healthcare sector and generate a deeper impact on economies. Since we do not have manufacturing in Brazil, we operate through partnerships, collaborating with local suppliers to ensure communities can thrive. 

EF: Could you elaborate on your portfolio and its impact in Brazil?

RF: Cardinal Health is a pharmaceutical and medical device business with more than 50.000 SKUs in its portfolio globally.

In Brazil, we offer 3.000 SKUs and see a lot of potential to grow our market share in key focused product categories.  
We split our portfolio into three segments: General medical products (GenMed), which includes high-volume consumables for hospitals, our operating-room-related items, and the specialty portfolio, which focuses on specific procedures and covers our enteral feeding and market-leading compression business. We are also market leaders in electrodes. We seek to expand our portfolio beyond the standard and refine our strategy to use our market capabilities in Brazil. We want to explore alternatives and leverage the fluid management and surgical essentials market to launch new products through local partnerships.

The international exposure of my role allows me to benchmark Cardinal Health Brazil’s initiatives against different countries across APAC, Europe, and Latin America. We have simplified our structures and divested business segments like Cordis, allowing us to re-think and optimize our product portfolio. With a broader, holistic perspective, we can strategically determine our growth opportunities in Brazil.

EF: Building a high-performance culture is one of Cardinal Health’s strategic pillars- How do you attract the best talent and foster more resilient, adaptable, and attractive workspaces?

RF: A high-performance culture is built on people and talent. At Cardinal Health, we create such a culture by listening to our employees. Our goal is to make Cardinal Health a place where everyone truly enjoys working. We have recently conducted our annual “Voice of the Employee Survey,” where we gather information on our employees’ needs and listen to their ideas and suggestions. We then take action based on their survey feedback.  

For our 2024 fiscal year, we have introduced "A One Cardinal Health Mindset" program in Brazil. Accelerated growth can only happen in a healthy work environment sustained by a spirit of collaboration. Secondly, Transparency is paramount in all our operations, and all decisions will be openly shared. Being mission-driven is our top priority. It unites everyone and helps us to fulfill our commercial goals and social responsibilities.

We have adopted a comprehensive approach to help foster the potential of employees. We have mapped skills, created challenging assignments, and assigned talents to vital projects across regions. To address skill gaps, we are developing learning pathways to build technical and soft skills expertise.  

As a healthcare company, we seek to improve people’s quality of life every day. Working in healthcare has a great purpose. We want to ensure that every employee feels that what they are doing is essential to care and it truly matters.

EF: What are your goals for the next five years?

RF: My goal is to make Brazil the number one International Direct Market from a financial performance perspective and, most importantly, from a talent perspective.

There is untapped potential in Brazil, and we are just at the beginning of our journey. There is a lot that can be achieved. We aim to leverage all opportunities to provide our talents with development and growth in their careers. I envision a future where Brazil comes to mind when individuals consider International investment due to the wealth of talent, our ability to deliver, and the abundant opportunities available in the market.

September 2023