Executive Q&A: Latin America
By Jaqueline Escotero |
World Courier's newest Regional Vice President speaks the language of logistics.
Q. There is a great deal of excitement surrounding your new role. Can you describe your background/experience in the industry and how you feel that experience will transfer over to this new role for World Courier?
JAQUELINE ESCOTERO: With 24 years of experience in the healthcare industry, I’ve had an incredible opportunity to work in different segments, and pharma — from traditional and specialty to biologics and diagnostics — is one of them. In one role with a former company, I was responsible at the local level for Brazil for a number of years. In another role, I spent six years as the regional leader for all of Latin America. And then for two years, I held an intercontinental role, which included Latin America, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
All of that experience has prepared me well for World Courier. As Regional Vice President for Latin America, my responsibilities will include regional leadership across multiple functions, from sales and marketing to government policy, supply chain and logistics to customer service. It’s a broad and exciting role, and I’m privileged to work with such a talented team at World Courier and AmerisourceBergen. Even in my first few months in this role, I have seen how the company constantly fosters new ideas and innovation, how World Courier encourages associates to think from the customer’s perspective, how the needs of our customers guide so much of our decision-making. Building upon that mindset and approach in Latin America will be an essential part of our continued growth in this region.
Q: What made you decide to make the move from pharma to World Courier?
JE: My first motivator was the credibility of this company and what they represent in the market. I am proud to be a part of this team and am very motivated. I also identified a lot with the values of the company. I envision that World Courier, aligned with AmerisourceBergen, is a company that will continue to grow. That also attracted me. And I want to expand my horizons as the business grows. I’ve worked in different areas, but when I see what we do here I feel that I have a lot to contribute to the business.
Q: What opportunities do you see for the advancement of healthcare — and specialty logistics services for healthcare — in Latin America?
JE: The healthcare business overall is a growing market. As for pharma and Latin America specifically, we have so many more clinical studies going on in Latin America compared to a few years ago. What World Courier offers is a very unique type of service. The healthcare industry invests a lot of money to develop new drugs, and we are the operational part of that. Development and registration are important, but part of a successful product launch is a successful clinical study where you have access to patients in different locations.
When we think about the transport of drugs and supplies, it’s not as simple as it looks like from the outside. There’s a huge complexity, a lot of requirements to be followed and a lot of steps we have to cover, but the most important thing is to ensure the product arrives as perfectly as the client had idealized it. And this is great for the patient — what really matters is the patient. The whole supply chain is really supposed to work for the patient, curing diseases and improving quality of life. So the whole chain is very much responsible.
For World Courier, it’s really important to deliver what’s expected of us the proper way. When we transport a product from one location to another, we ensure that everything is followed as it should be. There are occasions when it looks like a simple process, but we have to realize the impact on the manufacturer side if a product is lost. It’s much more complex than it appears.
Q: What other markets (agribusiness, etc.) seem to be under-served by logistics providers in Latin America? Why is this the case? How would you like to see this change?
JE: There is some agribusiness in Latin America, and World Courier is in a position to offer an expanded range of solutions. Our temperature control capabilities are evidence of that — we can transport everything from ambient controlled to liquid nitrogen. What we’re working on is to ensure World Courier becomes more and more well-known in the market because we believe all the products are precious. We see opportunities in developing markets like agribusiness, and we work in those businesses in other countries. As in any business, it’s important to be out there with the customer and demonstrating expanded capabilities. We are working on our ability to serve Latin America, and over the last few years we’ve added an expanded business development team here.
Q: How do you feel that World Courier’s global reach can improve the company’s specific ability to serve Latin America?
JE: World Courier’s global reach is certainly a crucial consideration for our customers. They see our 140+ owned offices in 50+ countries worldwide. They understand that we operate off a singular set of standard operating procedures — which means that their products and shipments are handled the same way by World Courier associates in every country we serve. They see our local expertise in transport planning and customs clearance. It all combines to create an offering that is globally consistent — while also being locally engaged. Our decades of experience in all parts of the world gives World Courier unique insight into how we can tailor our services specifically to the needs of Latin America. That might mean more customized packaging for customers in different industries. It might mean more stringent temperature monitoring to account for the broad range of climates in the region. It might mean increased utilization of our clinical supply depots to serve as primary, bulk shipping points before more localized delivery to a clinical trial site. World Courier’s global reach — and more importantly, what we’ve been able to do with that global reach — thas prepared us to meet all client needs in Latin America.
Q: It seems all industries are looking to Latin America as a singular growth opportunity. Are there specific misconceptions about the LATAM market that you think need to be considered as companies look to grow in the region?
JE: The concept of emerging markets has been in place for seven or eight years. So when we look at growth opportunities, it is through that lens of growing or emerging markets. Historically, Brazil has received the big focus in ours and other industries, followed by Mexico. But the misconception I would like to highlight is that the smaller Latin American countries are not important. The results from these smaller areas are extremely important for the composition of total revenue, results or success of the region. We tend to think Brazil is a huge market because of population, but population doesn’t always represent opportunity. A lot of small markets are being developed, and that’s where complexity around regulations, access to patients and policy sits.
In terms of the growth opportunity in Latin America for World Courier, we’ve been extremely successful for our customers here and we are more and more known and recognized. Customers are referring us to others. So though we do see complexity in some countries, at the end of the day what really matters is that we’re eager to make it happen. The people who work at World Courier are really engaged and motivated to grow our relationships here.
Q: In closing, if there is one message about yourself or Latin America that you would like to share with all World Courier customers, what would that be?
JE: I’ll simply add that I believe that Latin America is a very special region that I am happy and honored to be a part of with World Courier. My experience in this region leads me to believe that the dynamics, despite the political or financial challenges, mean we’re a growing market. I’m very confident in our ability to see great results for our customers here. We’re investing in new markets, as evidenced by our new facility in Melbourne, and I am excited to be a part of World Courier’s expanded business and capabilities. It’s clear we have a strategy/business plan in place to ensure intentional expansion and results for the companies we partner with.