Marketing director of the company “Bionorika” Anatolii Pasichnyk tells about the pharmaceutical business, crisis, investment attractiveness of Ukraine and democratic management in the company
In times of crisis, the Ukrainian business had difficulty, many failed to withstand the pressure and surrendered, and some not only survived, but also managed to achieve minimal losses. Anatolii Pasichnyk, specially for LDaily , told about how to manage in a crisis situation, how to be a few steps ahead of the market, how to take risks and be an innovator.
LDaily: Anatolii, tell us about the “Bionorika“: how long has the company been represented in Ukraine, on what it specializes?
А. Pasichnyk: “Bionorika” was founded more than 80 years ago, in Germany. Subsequently, a small private enterprise developed into a group of companies with offices and partners located on virtually all continents. From this we can rightly call ourselves a global player in the market of phytopreparations. “Bionorika” specializes in the development and production of highly effective herbal medicines. And the Ukrainian office has been making a significant contribution to the development of the company for over 15 years.
LDaily: Is it true that “Bionorika” produces only innovative drugs?
А. Pasichnyk: Yes, it really is. In the manufacture of drugs, the company follows the unique concept of phytoning (Phyto – plant, Engineering / Pioneering – engineering / be the pioneer). This concept embodies the knowledge of the field of traditional methods of treating medicinal plants and the progressive results of scientific research. The concept also includes a high level of control at all stages, from the planting of raw material into the soil in the ecologically clean regions of Europe, its cultivation, the production of medicines and, as the final stage – the appearance on the shelves of pharmacies. This allows us to state that the generic copies of the “Bionorika” company’s products are simply not available.
LDaily: How has the “Bionorika” survived the crisis of 2014-2015?
А. Pasichnyk: Due to the fact that the company is operating in Ukraine not for the first year, the crisis of 2014 is not the first for us. Its true, that before that we were faced mainly with economic crises and, in principle, there was an understanding as what should be done in difficult times. The 2014 crisis is fraught with military actions that are still ongoing. Very painful for us, as well as for Ukraine as a whole, was the loss of territories, which focused on about 18% of the company’s business.
LDaily: Do you agree with such a frequent statement today that the crisis “played out” on Ukrainian pharmacy?
А. Pasichnyk: During the crisis, domestic producers really strengthened their positions. We saw a similar situation during previous crises. Due to devaluation of hryvnia in patients/consumers the purchasing power of foreign drugs has decreased. This is due to the fact that the price of foreign drugs is often tied to any of the currencies. The exchange rate changes – the price changes. In such difficult times, people, of course, seek for themselves the best possible treatment options. But I have to tell you that the situation is gradually changing. According to the data I have, in 2017, patients/consumers began to buy imported medicines more often and foreign manufacturers began to return gradually their lost positions.
LDaily: At the moment, the worst is behind, and 2016 can be called a breakthrough?
А. Pasichnyk: 2014 and 2015 were indeed very complex, sales fell, the market was almost halved. Somewhere in the first half of 2016, this rapid drop came to a halt and there was a feeling that the market had reached its bottom. By the end of 2016, the market has already begun to show a positive dynamics in the euro.
LDaily: Could it be said that “Bionorika” came out of all political and economic difficulties with equal back?
А. Pasichnyk: At the moment, the company is “breathing” a little easier. According to the results of the first half of 2017, the growth of sales of “Bionorika” in euros is 1.5 times higher than the similar indicator of the country’s market. Moreover, one of our key medicines, deservedly burst into the TOP-10 of the best-selling drugs in Ukraine and securely strengthened there.
I am convinced that one of the key factors of such success is the huge amount of work done during the crisis. We tried to be very flexible: we boldly and rapidly implemented new business ideas, offered them to our partners. From some ideas, they also quickly rejected, as soon as they understood that they were working poorly. And immediately taken for the search for new ones
LDaily: How does “Bionorika” feel in Ukraine for 15 years? Despite all the difficulties, the company did not go – is it the faith in the country, or there are some persistent indicators that give hope for the prospect of business development?
А. Pasichnyk: I think this is synergy, consisting of faith in the country in which we live, the values that are present in the company and the goals we set. Since the company’s arrival in Ukraine, the product portfolio has constantly expanded and the team has been expanding. Even in the most difficult periods, everything was done to save the team, avoiding contractions as much as possible. We were constantly balancing: on the one hand, they wanted to keep the team, and on the other, financial indicators were being squeezed on us, because the volumes of business were greatly reduced. It was very important for us to do our best to maximize the availability of the company’s products for patients and maintain their trust.
I want to pay tribute to the owner of the company, who showed a healthy adventure and continued to believe in Ukraine and the Ukrainian team. Maximally keeping the team at the most critical moments for us.
LDaily: Is it possible to say that the “Bionorica” works on the advance, “playing in a long time”?
А. Pasichnyk: Of course. We always “play long” (smiles). The Ukrainian market is one of the most important markets for the company. To date, we have a clear vision of what we will do in 2018-2023. We know exactly which new projects we will start in 2018, as we will first protect their copying by competitors, and then modify them. Our competitors help us to stay in tone.
LDaily: Anatoly, by official duty You often go on business trips, what image has Ukrainian business abroad?
А. Pasichnyk: Often, foreign partners do not fully understand what is happening in Ukraine. Recently I hear a lot of positive reviews about the necessary introduction of compulsory health insurance in our country. For European countries, this is a mandatory fact, understood by itself. But we understand that we still have to grow and grow to this. Almost everyone it is noted that Ukraine is dynamically developing, and very positively appreciate this development.
LDaily: Is it possible to say that such a concept as “business culture” is gaining momentum in Ukraine? What do you think about this?
А. Pasichnyk: In my opinion, now the situation is much better than a few years ago. Drug promotion has become more ethical. A significant role in this for the pharmaceutical industry is played by the external environment – state institutions, as regulatory bodies, and internal – various associations of pharmaceuticals. Manufacturers, including on the ethics of business.
LDaily: What is the management model in your company? Are you personally an available manager?
А. Pasichnyk: The corporate culture of “Bionorika” is distinguished by its openness. We profess democracy and create an excellent atmosphere. The doors of my office, as well as any head of the company, are almost always open. Communication with employees is an essential component of the team’s success. If you communicate with an employee with a sincere interest and desire to understand him / her, you will be rewarded later as a manager.
Bad communication loses good initiatives. The last thing I want is to instill fear in communicating employees with the manager.
LDaily: Please describe the investment attractiveness of Ukraine? What do you think needs to be done to make investments in the country more active?
А. Pasichnyk: For new companies, a country in which armed hostilities continue, is unlikely to seem attractive. Yes, and the “rules of the game” are already very confusing. Another thing is to increase investment by companies that are already present in Ukraine for some time. I think that they will eventually increase the volume of their investments. As for Bionorika, in early 2017, we expanded the line of our drugs and our new drug “Sinupret Extract” became available to Ukrainians. Today is the brand of the most active company in Germany. We are constantly focused on expanding our portfolio, which entails an increase in the number of employees and the volume of investments.
LDaily: What would you like to wish our country?
А. Pasichnyk: Believe in yourself, believe in the country in which we live. Believe in what we do. Be honest with oneself and others.