Five minutes with…
Dr. Tanja Schaffer, Vice President, Global Pharmaceutical Industry Performance Materials, DKSH International Ltd.
Chemistry Today: How is the business in fine chemicals and what parts of the market are driving it for DKSH?
Schaffer: For DKSH Business Line Pharmaceutical Industry, fine chemicals are a big part of the business. We specialize in providing intermediates for APIs to pharmaceutical companies. We have a very diverse and innovative product portfolio that includes building blocks, coupling reagents, protection groups, solvents and process chemicals. The demand for these types of products is strong in many regions in which we do business, mostly across Europe and Asia.
CT: What do you think of the future of the fine chemicals market?
Schaffer: Speaking to our business partners, we are seeing that the need for performance products is rapidly increasing. With the rising middle class in Asia, consumers can afford more high-value products. This means the pharmaceutical manufacturers must remain competitive by developing new advanced end products. They can achieve this with our performance products. DKSH’s global sourcing network allows us to easily offer new, innovative ingredients and locate alternative sources, if required. With the increase in popularity of these end products in the Asian markets, we are seeing a move away from traditional markets such as the USA.
CT: Speaking of Asia, you are a European company but you have a strong focus there.
Schaffer: We have a unique set-up: building bridges in both directions. As our tagline states “Think Asia. Think DKSH.” We are a Market Expansion Services provider in Europe for the Asian market – we source unique products from Asia and distribute them in Europe. We also do the same for the European market and introduce new products to Asia. Because of our unique set-up, we achieve a lot of synergies, create new market opportunities for companies and build long lasting relationships.
CT: What can DKSH offer that no one else can?
Schaffer: We have a comprehensive portfolio of tailor-made Value Added Services, which are key differentiators for us in a competitive industry. For example, we develop new and alternative sources for innovative high-performance pharmaceutical formulation and pharmaceutical synthesis. Through our comprehensive global network, which gives instant access to markets around the world, we provide responsible and traceable sourcing of hard-to-find APIs, excipients and intermediates. With a strong regulatory set-up in all major markets, we provide quality management, established product registration, supplier auditing, supplier certification processes and advice on local and international shipment and packaging regulations. In addition, our information services provide trend analysis and market insights, allowing us to stay ahead of the curve. Our capabilities go beyond those of a traditional distributor, we offer the core backbone of conventional services and in addition marketing and sales, distribution and logistics and after-sales services. Our service offerings, combined with our extensive product portfolio, add tangible value for our business partners.