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Written by Robert Hall for Life Science Leader Magazine
Early last year I had a call with the Global Head of Business Development and APAC (Asia Pacific) Regional Head of Human Resources at a major biotech group. Once initial pleasantries were exchanged the first words from this executive were “Rob, we’re looking to hire a scout ASAP to lead business development in Asia.”
Asia has quickly become one of the hottest centers for the biotech industry. Whether from industry development, to demographics and more, the globalization of the Asian biotech industry has boomed. However with the new business expansion and partnerships being formed, it's becoming increasingly difficult to locate and hire experienced talent.
Countries such as China, Singapore and Hong Kong have surged to the forefront of biotechnology. Being able to locate talent through recruiting services can help the increasing demand, but it's still a challenge to find qualified help. Here's some of the determining factors to why it's so hard to hire workers for the biotech industry.
Challenges in finding biotech industry talent
Growth - The biotech industry is booming so fast, that from a supply and demand standpoint it's just hard to keep pace. The fact that Asia is quickly urbanizing and growing only complicates matters. What this has done is created a huge void of qualified employees that can help.
With venture capitalists and big pharmaceutical companies partnering to fund biotech start-ups, the demand is higher than ever.
Expansion - From the various new partnerships in the biotech industry, to the expansion of new business models, the need for experienced talent is growing every day. With the growth of the biotech industry in Asia, there will always be a need for recruiting services in this market.
Almost daily new partnerships with government on the investment side, as well as universities on the R&D side expand the biotech industry in Asia
Healthcare - Asia is quickly developing a new consumptive middle class, which in turn increases the demand for healthcare. With this need, there's also a need for improvements in life science and finding more discoveries to help others.
The rise in population of such countries like China or India have boosted the need for qualified biotech industry workers.
Globalization - Not only does the need for biotech workers affect Asia, it's also for cross-border healthcare. In fact much of the business developed and delivered by large biotech companies is overseas and across the globe. There are many companies out there that are dedicated to different areas of the industry.
There are even some venture capital companies that are exclusively set up to manage assets of big pharmaceutical companies. Serving the global marketplace is what Asia's biotech industry has grown into, and it's driving the immense need for employees.
Technology - Not only does Asia lead the way in global biotech development, it's quickly growing into a hub of technological advances as well. Asia leads the way in technological development and advances in the biotech industry. In fact Singapore was recently named the fastest in clinical trial regulatory approval.
When you are looking for biotech industry professionals, the best talent recruiter is what you need. From the laboratory to the tail end of drug regulatory approval processes, there's no lack of need for qualified biotech industry workers. Use the best talent recruiting processes to find employees or work in the biotech industry today.
One of the fastest growing regions on the planet when it comes to medical technology, the Asia Pacific region can be considered the future of bio-tech advancement. There's no shortage of companies looking to tap into one of the fastest growing med-tech markets. However that's not to say that that there aren't challenges for any med-tech company looking to expand into the Asia Pacific region.
Despite these challenges, any med-tech hesitating to enter the region could find themselves losing ground. For this simple reason, these considerations must be factored when looking at the possibilities of expansion.
Factors for med-tech companies to expand into Asia Pacific
Time - Although there may be plenty of reason for med-tech corporations to pause, the fact is that the growth and expansion of bio-technology in Asia in unprecedented. Combined with the region's underserved patients, there's plenty of reason for med-tech companies to join suit.
Committing fully to Asia Pacific shouldn't be a difficult decision, considering the huge amount of bio-medical growth in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Growth - Some of the leading med-tech companies in the world are expanding into the Asia Pacific region, and for good reason. In fact most industry experts are estimating that Asia-Pacific will surpass it's Western rivals in the European Union by 2020. This would make the APAC region the second-largest med-tech market in the world.
Demand - In correlation to the region's expansive growth rate is the number of patients and the demand for life-saving medicines.
In the executive portion of the APAC survey, more than 55% responded that their product portfolio doesn't match local needs. The fact that local demand will drive global supply and increase the availability for affordable treatment is one of the sole determining factors.
Profits - The possibility of increased revenue and sales has forced many med-tech executives to rethink their strategy. Being able to move away from tiered distributor models and connect with end users, gives med-tech companies a greater insight on how to address patient needs.
The old model of relying on distributors to deliver products from Asia is a dying model, and not a clear cut path towards the future. Although it's certainly easier, the added margins of profit at each tier winds up costing companies far more than they realize.
Instead, being able to focus and develop market-appropriate products that are innovative and cost-efficient may be the single biggest reason to expand into Asia for many of these med-tech corporations.
These are the many reasons and considerations for companies to enter the Asia Pacific region. The expansion and growth of the medical technology in this region makes countries such as China, Hong Kong and Singapore the single most attractive destination for many leading medical corporations.
Despite the obstacles, to stay on the cutting edge of the medical technology industry expansion is required. Hesitation to enter this region could result in investors and competitors gaining ground and passing your corporation in short order.
Rapidly expanding in China, the bio-pharmaceutical industry has outgrown other markets by a vast margin. The growth of this industry is unparalleled in Asia, and it's pushed China to the forefront of the bio-pharmaceutical industry. This rapid growth has created a huge need for jobs and individuals that are trained and qualified.
As part of China's 12th Five-Year Plan, the bio-pharmaceutical sector is on the rise. Once considered a secondary resource for producing generics and contract research, it's quickly become one of the leaders for global companies. In fact the industry is developing at such a rapid rate, China's government has now shifted the primary focus to this sector.
The bio-pharmaceutical industry is booming at an incredible rate, boosted by government investment and the increasing rate of Western educated Chinese employees. More and more Chinese companies are putting their money into this new sector, and spurring new drug discovery and development.
Want to learn more about the rapid ascension of bio-pharmaceutical advancements in China? Here's a snapshot of just a few of the companies making their mark.
Merck in China - One of the biggest global pharmaceutical companies in the world has announced a huge expansion in China. Their commitment to build a $1. 5 billion USD research and development center will begin shortly in Beijing. This new facility once done will become the largest hub of bio-pharmaceutical development in China.
SiBiono Gene-Tech - The Shenzhen based company has released the world's first gene therapy drug called Gendicine. Meant to treat cancer in the head and neck, this wonder drug has drawn many cancer patients, as well as investors and companies to SiBiono Gene-Tech.
Sinovac Biotech - Developing their own late-stage trial of vaccines designed to help hand, foot and mouth disease patients, Sinovac is one of the many leading the way in China. Not only that but their hepatitis research has grown to meet or exceed many of the global giants in this sector.
BGI - Also located in Shenzhen, China, BGI is now the world's largest rapid gene sequencing center. Not only that but they are now researching the gene that is known to govern human intelligence. Their research could help developmentally challenged children, and expand our understanding of humanity.
Although the expansion of bio-pharmaceutical companies in China is taking off, experts are reluctant to crown China as the leading innovator. However this hesitant response should soon fall to the wayside, as China continues it's push to become the premier world-class nation in bio-pharmaceutical development. The single biggest sign that China is pushing ahead of the competition stems from the departure of hiring Westerners for managerial positions.
Increasingly China is increasingly looking toward it's own citizens to fill the growing need for bio-pharmaceutical technicians. With the growing evolution of this industry, and the expansion and increased investment opportunities, it's just a matter of time before the rest of world recognizes China's incredible growth in this segment.