Goch, Germany (8th February 2022) - On 14th February, Martti Hedman will become the new CEO of DFE Pharma. We had a chance to talk to him, in order to better understand his background and vision for the company.
Your previous experience was at Colorcon, why did you decide to move?
I had an honor to serve Colorcon over 23 years in five different roles, the last nearly 8 years as a CEO. I had wonderful times, and learned a lot. However, after all these years, me and my family decided to move back to Europe, and I was fortunate to find a new challenge at DFE Pharma. I greatly appreciate I will remain in the industry and continue to work with my (former) industry partners.
As a Finnish national, you have lived quite a few years abroad, for instance in the United States, how did you like that?
We loved it. Americans are very welcoming and we are certainly going to miss our dear friends in Pennsylvania. America is an easy country to work in as a foreigner. It does not matter where you come from, the only thing that matters is what you can do. The country is a true melting pot. It offers a lot of opportunities for hard-working people. We also very much enjoyed our 10 years in the UK.
On 14th February you will succeed Bas van Driel as the new CEO of DFE Pharma. What made you come here?
I have known DFE Pharma as an international leader in the excipients industry, and I have respected the company for its broad portfolio, and key opinion leadership. I am grateful for the opportunity to bring DFE Pharma to its next stages of growth.
What is your first impression of DFE Pharma?
I am very impressed of what I have seen so far. DFE Pharma is a truly global company, with passionate and skilled people. People that really live up to the purpose of the company; together moving to a healthier world. I am excited to be a part of the team as of today.
What are you going to do first ?
I am going to follow the principle “try to understand before you want to become understood”. I will take time to discuss with the various stakeholders (employees, customers, shareholders etc.) regarding what is working or not working and what we should more, less or differently. We will then further build and adjust plans based on our learnings and earlier success.
Have you already identified any challenges / opportunities based on your initial discussions with the key stakeholders of DFE Pharma?
One of the big challenges is the cost inflation. There is a global imbalance in demand and supply of raw- and packaging materials and freight services. The cost of energy is in sharp increase. This impacts all companies in all industries – not just our company or industry. As DFE Pharma continues to commit on its promise of security of supply, this cost pressure also hits us.
One of the opportunities is the transformation of DFE Pharma to an even more market- and customer-oriented business. Innovation, new products and new applications of existing products represent a significant opportunity for organic growth. We will also continue to scout for inorganic growth opportunities.
How do you see the key dynamics in the pharmaceutical / excipient industry?
The pharmaceutical industry represents steady growth opportunities for its stakeholders. The on-going consolidation of the industry will continue which means that global pharma companies increasingly need global suppliers. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of a well-functioning business continuity plan. Suppliers’ ability to create value to its customers and lower their cost is more important than ever before due to the cost and demand pressure from governments, health insurance companies and other payers.
Any other remarks?
I am very excited of my new role and look forward to working with my new colleagues and customers. On a more personal note, we are looking for an apartment near Dusseldorf / Germany : )