Japan Country Manager, European Life Sciences Company

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Innovative Fast-Growing Genomics Company

The Challenge: Innovative, fast-growing global genomics company, “the sweetheart of the industry,” lagging in Japan.

Trusted Advisors Take Action

The Solution: A systematic and thorough market search for the best available talent, executed by 10-year industry and regional veterans.

An Amazing Turnaround

The Results: Within 18 months of the leadership change, country sales doubled and a long-term strategic foundation for success had been laid.

The Challenge

A small European life sciences company established its Japan subsidiary over 10 years ago, hiring a country manager from the leading company in its segment. The first two years went well, including a few big wins with key accounts. Business leveled off after that. Sales and market share grew slowly, as other regions significantly outpaced Japan. By 2015, the company’s innovative genomics technology was far ahead of its competition. Global sales were growing in double digits quarter after quarter, over 2 years straight. Yet, Japan still lagged. Was the technology too advanced for the Japan market? Had the company chosen the wrong distribution partners? Was it simply a “government funding” issue? The Global VPs needed answers – and they weren’t satisfied with what they were hearing from their Japan Country Manager. More importantly, they needed better results.

After repeated efforts to identify potential strategic and tactical improvements, the Global Leadership Team realized that a large part of the challenge was with the local team itself. Brought on from the largest player in their segment, most of them had no experience in a fast-moving, nimble and flexible start up with limited resources. As is common in Japan, they had initially relied on existing relationships  to win their first sales. But new business development just wasn’t happening.

The Solution

When the Leadership Team decided to make a change, they knew they needed a new Country Manager in Japan who had enough technical competence to understand and sell their technology, but who was not a long-time insider stuck in the ruts that had worked a decade ago. In short, they needed a scientist who could sell too, and who could build an organization with the right foundation for growth in Japan. They engaged Bullock and Company for a systematic and thorough market search, to identify the key people in their niche and peripherally, and to help determine who would not be a fit as well as who should be shortlisted.

The Research and Recruiting stages resulted in 10 resumes after 5 weeks. Face-to-face interviews by the Regional VP and COO were conducted with 7 candidates in Tokyo. Four moved forward to the second round, while one was the clear front-runner. Unfortunately, after the second round of meetings, she decided not to proceed. Respecting her decision, but suspecting that something wasn’t being said, Gerald Bullock flew to Tokyo to meet with her in person. Her motivations were clarified, her concerns were addressed, and as hoped, she re-engaged. Four weeks later, she accepted the company’s offer as their new Japan Manager. Over the next 18 months, with a new strategy in place, she upgraded their dealer network, top-graded the sales, marketing and applications teams, and doubled sales, winning a company-wide award for global growth and achievement.

Candidates Contacted

Qualified Candidates

Candidates Introduced

Interviewed

  • Lasting Value: Our placed candidates who stay 3+ years at our clients. 93%
  • A Players: Percentage of our placed candidates who are promoted within 12 months. 37%
  • Trust: Our past clients who will provide references. 100%

Our Results Are Amazing

Our numbers don’t tell the whole story, but we think they tell a pretty good one. Contact us to day to learn more about how we can help you find the right talent at the right time.

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