Every business has its challenges, and for many, COVID-19 has either amplified those existing challenges, created more challenges or worse, done both. Yet, regardless of the trials and tribulations, the companies that succeed are the ones whose leaders find opportunity in every difficulty.
They’re forward thinking and adaptable. And they lead with heart. Vygon Regional Director Asia-Oceanic Thanapathy Kumaraiah is one of those leaders.
In a business dependent on relationships and face-to-face meetings, the executive has called upon his forward-thinking aptitude, reliable team and trusted partners to not only get Vygon through this crisis, but to also thrive through it. "Even in this scenario, we are growing," he says.
"Generally, our business is based on relationships, meeting our customers, being in front of them and talking about development, strategies and future plans. But today, with COVID-19, this can’t happen. So, now our challenge lies in finding ways to overcome this. We need to adapt to change, while reacting for the future."
Thanapathy believes a big part of doing this successfully lies in digitalisation. "We need to continuously evolve with new strategies, new ideas and new ways of looking at the business," he says. "In the past, we were not very technologically based. But today, we are digital. We are developing a platform where we can facilitate digital communication webinars for our clinicians and customers."
With a mission to maintain its position as a trusted adviser to clinicians, helping to make their clinical practices simpler and safer, Vygon is a standout for its customer-first ethos and strong education focus.
And in a dynamic industry like health care, Thanapathy says there’s simply no other way "The external environment won’t stop changing, so we can’t stop learning," he stresses.
"Training and education are our ways forward. Everyone is doing the same thing, but we do something better in the eye of the customer by providing education and training with our products. This helps the clinician use the product for a longer period of time, saving money while also bringing better clinical outcomes for patients."
Ultimately, Thanapathy believes in collaborating with clinicians to drive the business forward. By making them part of the conversation, Vygon is better able to serve both the clinicians and their patients. "Innovation is key in our industry. Understanding clinical work and its difficulties and ideas is very important," he reveals.
"So we listen and improve practices with clinicians. They bring us ideas and we take them to our R&D team. Innovation is important, but if we’re innovating simply for the sake of innovating and not using the clinician’s input, then it’s useless."
Thanapathy puts a lot of stock in relationships, and it’s taken him far, helping him achieve many successes in his current role at Vygon.
"I believe very strongly in relationship building and consider myself a people person," he says. Therefore, when it comes to strategic business partnerships, it comes as no surprise that, for him, it’s all about collaboration, value adding and commitment. "We are a family-owned business. So for us, partnerships are the key to our success," Thanapathy explains.
"We believe a collaborative approach is essential to being successful with our partners moving forward. We need to align together, creating that synergy to help our relationships grow further. And long-term commitment both ways is very important. Our distributors have to trust and invest in us, and we have to trust and support them."
Vygon designs, manufactures and markets high-tech, single-use medical devices for healthcare professionals. A global leader in the industry, the innovative company offers a diverse range of products for a number of clinical specialties including:
• Emergency and intensive care units
• Support for post-operative pain relief
• Vascular access
• Home care
Responsible for the Asia–Oceanic region, which includes about 25 countries spanning from Australia to China, Thanapathy’s plate is full. But he credits his team and his passion for the job as all the motivation he needs to keep punching the clock.
"Fortunately, I have a great team. And I also have a lot of support from the Vygon Group itself," he beams. "Every day, I wake up, and I am excited to go into work because I know that I’m saving thousands of lives. My products are saving thousands of lives. That’s been my motivation with Vygon for the past 12 years.
"I’m very proud to be in our organisation because we’re out there, being a facilitator to our clinicians to save lives. Our products are extremely wonderful."
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