Over the past 8 years, ZenTech Biotechnology, a company headquartered in Liège Science Park and specializing in the diagnostic of pathologies occurring in prenatal, neonatal and pediatrics stages, deployed a strong internationalization strategy and is now deeply rooted in Asia.
Interview with Jean-Claude Havaux, CEO of ZenTech Biotechnology
ZenTech Biotechnology is currently active in Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India. You are clearly focused on the ASEAN markets. Why are these markets of particular interest for your company?
“Our core business targets neonatal, prenatal and pediatric diagnostics needs. When we analyze the ASEAN markets and their prospects in terms of population growth, we see that they gather 620 million inhabitants. Now, emerging countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia or India are very interesting because they are achieving a strong economic growth. They are also in demand of technologies that will help them meeting their medical needs in the future. Indonesia is a good example: 240 million inhabitants are living in this country and 4 million births happen every year. Still, only 3 % of the newborn are tested for 1 or 2 genetic diseases while in Belgium, 100 % is tested for at least 7 different genetic pathologies! There is thus a card to play for companies like ZenTech Biotechnology”.
How do you manage your business development in these regions?
“We launched this international business development strategy 8 years ago. We first opened a commercial office in Vietnam that allowed us to make good connections with local distributors. But we soon realized that we were missing some opportunities because of our remote working process. We needed to expand our distribution network so we have decided to incorporate a small technical hub in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). This structure is taking care of all logistics matters and regulatory affairs but is also used as a research center”.
What difficulties do you have to deal with?
“Companies which are thinking about developing their business in Asia must know that the products registration process is very heavy and takes a long time to be achieved. This is the reason why we have someone who is dedicated to Regulatory Affairs issues in Malaysia. But the good news is that, from 2015, ASEAN countries will create their own mark approval. It should be valid for any product registered in Asia”.
You have recently signed a distribution contract with an Indian company, could you tell us more about it?
“ZenTech has indeed signed an important distribution contract with Synergy Medical Systems LLP. This company will commercialize our whole range of products, with a particular emphasis on those developed for neonatal needs. This market represents 350 million dollars and a growth of 15 to 20 % per year. We are talking about more than 17 million births a year! More than a contract, this is a long-lasting joint-venture project we are building with our Indian partner”.
What are the next steps of ZenTech Biotechnology in Asia?
“We are going to keep on investing in the ASEAN regions and more especially in training. As I said previously, these countries are mostly emerging countries and, though they know a strong economic growth, they are starting from scratch! ZenTech plans to open a training center in Kuala Lumpur that will offer tailor-made trainings for distributors, laboratory technicians but also young physicians specializing in pediatric, neonatal and prenatal diagnostics”.
For more information about ZenTech Biotechnology: www.zentech.be
Mr. Jean-Claude Havaux
Phone: +32 4 361 42 43
Mobile: +32 475 704 830