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Empowering Pharma Partnerships with Digitalization [Ammar Badwy]

Ammar Badwy May 8, 2024

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Yan Kugel⁠ is joined by ⁠Ammar Badwy,⁠ the CEO at ⁠Pharmaoffer⁠, to discuss digitalization in the pharma industry and the trends in the API market. They talk about the changes and challenges in the industry, the importance of personal relationships in business, and the need for a more approachable and visible online presence for API manufacturers. They also discuss the impact of the pandemic on digitization and the evolution of Pharmaoffer as a marketplace for APIs and service providers in the pharmaceutical industry. The conversation provides valuable insights for API manufacturers and pharma companies looking to connect and do business.

Episode Chapters:

  1. Introduction and background (0:00 – 2:45)
  2. Changes and trends in the API market (2:46 – 8:30)
  3. Insights from analytics and understanding market needs (8:31 – 15:22)
  4. Focus on the contract services market (15:23 – 19:40)
  5. Acceptance of data sharing and challenges (19:41 – 25:10)
  6. Connecting service providers in the pharma industry (25:11 – 30:45)
  7. Conclusion and future plans (30:46 – 34:20)

Digitalization in the Pharma Industry

Pharmaoffer is a marketplace for APIs, offering a platform where API manufacturers can showcase their products and pharma companies and CDMOs can find the best products for their manufacturing needs. The digitalization in the pharmaceutical industry has seen significant changes, especially in light of the pandemic.

Impact of the Pandemic

The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation in the pharmaceutical industry. The shift to virtual meetings and the limited flights and exhibitions have pushed companies to embrace digital platforms for showcasing their products and connecting with potential clients.

Trends in the API Market

The API market has seen interesting trends, especially in terms of search behavior. The increase in searches for specific APIs during the pandemic, such as ethanol and dexamethasone, has provided insights into the demand for certain medications. This data can be powerful for supply chain managers and production forecasts.

Analyzing Supply Shortages

Pharmaoffer is working on analyzing supply shortages and predicting increases in demand based on search behavior. This information can be valuable for the industry in making informed decisions and managing production forecasts.

If you can predict shortages or if you can predict an increase in demand that can be very powerful for supply chain managers, for production forecasts.

Ammar Badwy

Introducing CDMO and CMO Services

Pharmaoffer has recently introduced a search for CDMOs and CMOs on their platform. This service aims to connect pharma companies with the right partners for production and manufacturing needs. The inclusion of CDMOs and CMOs on the platform aligns with the company’s focus on solving challenges in the API market.


Potential in Contract Services Market

The contract services market, including CDMOs, CMOs, CROs, and other service providers, holds significant potential for partnerships and long-term collaborations. PharmaOffer aims to provide a user-friendly environment for companies to find the right partners for their specific needs.

The Importance of Personalization

PharmaOffer is focused on making the digital space personal, providing insights into the companies listed on the platform and showcasing their unique selling points. The shift towards digital interaction does not diminish the importance of personal relationships, especially in the pharmaceutical industry.

Balancing Digital and Personal Interaction

The shift towards digital platforms does not negate the need for personal interactions and face-to-face meetings. While digital platforms offer convenience and accessibility, personal relationships and trust-building remain essential in the pharmaceutical industry.

The Language and Tone of Digital Platforms

The language and tone used on digital platforms play a crucial role in shaping the perception of a company. Friendly and approachable language on websites can enhance the user experience and create a more personalized connection with potential clients.

Importance of Visibility and SEO

  • Visibility is crucial for companies in the pharmaceutical industry, especially in the digital space.
  • Companies should invest in their SEO strategy to improve their online presence and ranking on search engines like Google.
  • Link building is important for improving website ranking and visibility. Companies should focus on creating quality content and building backlinks to their website.
  • Making use of platforms like PharmaOffer can also enhance visibility and increase the chances of doing business.

Future of Digitalization in Pharma

The digitalization of the pharmaceutical industry has brought about significant changes, especially in the way companies showcase their products and connect with potential partners. While digital platforms offer convenience and accessibility, personal relationships and trust-building remain essential in the industry.

The shift towards a more personalized and user-friendly digital space is crucial for companies to effectively communicate their unique selling points and connect with the right partners in the pharmaceutical industry.

For more insights and discussions on the digitalization of the pharma industry, stay tuned for the next episode of Qualitalks podcast.

Stay connected with Qualistery and Pharmaoffer for the latest updates and developments in the pharmaceutical industry.

AI Generated transcript:

Please be advised that the AI generated transcript may contain errors.

00:00 – 00:15

Yan Kugel: Welcome to the Qualitalks podcast. My name is Yan Kugel, the Managing Director at Qualistery. And joining me today, a friend and the CEO at Pharmaoffer, Ammar Badawi. Welcome to the Qualitalks podcast. Happy to have you here today.

00:15 – 00:18

Speaker 2: Thanks, Yan. I’m happy to be here as well.

00:19 – 01:16

Yan Kugel: So we had a chat a couple of years ago, so we did a podcast episode where Pharma offer was not at the beginning, not at the complete beginning, but it looks completely different nowadays. It developed so much and it’s so fun having you here today to discuss the digitalization in the pharma industry and just to hear where we are heading in the API market. So a pharma offer is a marketplace for APIs. So basically you offer there a platform where API manufacturers can showcase their products and pharma companies and CDMOs can find the best products that

01:16 – 01:36

Yan Kugel: they need for their manufacturing. So through those years, so between the time that we spoke last time, like what changes or what trends do you see in the API markets? What’s going on there? Is it like an exciting field or what’s going on in this area?

01:36 – 02:25

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, I definitely think it’s exciting. I think what changed is that, correct me if I’m wrong, but maybe the pandemic came in between or after last time that we had the podcast. And I would say that that have really changed a lot for us. I remember when we started Pharma Offer, We really thought that we needed to have meetings with all the companies we wanted to convince of using our platform. Because yeah, that’s the way how you get in contact with companies. It’s so much based on personal relationships that physical meetings are necessary. But since the

02:25 – 03:14

Ammar Badwy: pandemic, it went actually so quick how common it is right now to have a video call, for example, even for very traditional companies. So I think that’s an example of digitization in the pharmaceutical industry which went basically quite quick. And also because yeah there was limited flights And also because there was limited flights during that time and also exhibitions. So that basically helped for us a lot to grow the company much quicker because a lot more companies realized that they needed to digitize in order to get in contact with new clients and to showcase themselves.

03:18 – 03:56

Yan Kugel: Right. And in terms of what’s happening in the market of the APIs as well, so you probably have quite interested analytics, which maybe you can share. So do you get some insights by understanding what APIs are needed to also understand where the market is headed or what medicine is the most popular right now or what’s happening in the general in the world in terms of the need for different medications? Is this something that you can understand from your analytics?

03:57 – 04:59

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, the interesting thing about analytics is that usually you have data about the sales of a certain medicine or based on logistics, for example. But in our case, what we see with the data is based on search behavior. And usually when there’s a shortage, for example, it starts with that you see an increase on people searching for a certain API. So for example, during the pandemic, we saw an increase on ethanol, for example, or on dexamethasone, possible solutions for the pandemic. And yeah, later on we saw, for example, an increase on Iodium, you know, when unfortunately

05:00 – 05:35

Ammar Badwy: there’s quite some stuff going on in the world right now. But based on, on, on, our data, you can sometimes really see what’s going on in, in the world. And I think there’s a lot of possibilities there as well. If you can predict shortages or if you can predict an increase in demand that can be very powerful for supply chain managers, for example, for production forecasts. So yeah, that’s quite interesting.

05:37 – 06:05

Yan Kugel: So this information that you have on supply shortages, for example, So is it something that you already analyze or is it something that you’re planning to do? And how will you involve, if yes, if you will analyze it, how can you also share it with the pharma world and help them make the right decision? Is it something that you’re working on?

06:06 – 06:54

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, so we work a lot with data, but we have basically 2 types of data. We have the confidential data. That’s something that we will never share. But that’s more related to context between several companies, communication, etc. But most of the data is regarding about behavior. That was the example that I just gave. We share this data with the suppliers on our platform so they can learn based on the data of their product portfolio. But I would say right now that’s more, more marketing related, so they can see whether there are trends going on on their

06:54 – 07:20

Ammar Badwy: API’s, from which type of companies were in the world, etc. For really supply chain predictions, I would say we have just started and we will develop there to help the industry with the information that can help them further. Yeah, for sure.

07:21 – 08:11

Yan Kugel: Cool. So I think that would be a nice conversation for us for the next CPHI, which it’s like a tradition for us to meet at every CFPHI for dinner and just discuss what’s going on in the pharma world and the digital world. So last year, we had a very interesting project where we interviewed CDMO directors, directors in various CDMOs and CMOs and people in business development there and shared very interesting explanatory videos about what is a CDMO, what they do, how to choose them. And it was a very interesting project to do together. And now you

08:11 – 08:37

Yan Kugel: started also on your platform to offer a search for CMOS and CDMOs. So it was, I think it’s something quite new because I seen it pop on LinkedIn and I wanted to ask you how is it connected with your initial offering of API marketplace and where did you see the need for it? How and what does it, whom does it help and how does it work?

08:38 – 09:27

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, this is indeed a service that we have recently introduced on Farmover. As you know, Farmover has always been focusing on the API market and that’s also something that we were always quite proud of, that we had so much focus to solve the challenges in that market. A while ago we did research to CDMOs, together we made a video, which I really like to do. But that interest in the first place mainly came because so many manufacturers of APIs also act as a CDMO or a CMO. And that makes sense because when you produce APIs, you

09:27 – 10:08

Ammar Badwy: have production facilities. And when you have production facilities, it’s nice to have your own product portfolio, but it’s always interesting if a potential client comes to you and asks you like, hey, I know you have these machines and area, we want to produce this product, can we do it? Can you produce a white label for us? Basically, all manufacturers are open for that. So that was something we realized and also that many of our clients, the suppliers who are listed, asked us, like, hey, can we also promote our CDMO activities? And at the same time, we

10:08 – 10:54

Ammar Badwy: have buyers on the platform searching for an API supplier. But then at the same time, they asked us, like, hey, I’m located in Italy and I’m looking for a partner who can help me produce this product. Can you suggest some companies? And during that time, we were manually suggesting them, like, okay, we know that this company is nearby they are certified etc maybe you should contact them and we made introductions and it happened so many times that we thought like why should we not include it in the platform and with Pharmaoffer, we always believe it’s so

10:54 – 11:42

Ammar Badwy: important to have a very user-friendly environment. And I remember when I started to work at a pharma company, we also needed sometime a partner who can help us doing this or that. To be honest, during that time, I didn’t know it was called a CDMO or a CMO. So I think that even if you don’t know what a CDMO is, but you need 1, then still you should be able to find 1. And I think there was a huge opportunity to help people who are looking for a partner that can help them further to do that

11:42 – 11:43

Ammar Badwy: on farm over as well.

11:45 – 12:01

Yan Kugel: So is it something that is mostly relevant for biotech startup companies that just started up and want to take this to the clinical trials and they’re looking for the right partner?

12:02 – 12:48

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, I think that’s 1 of the most obvious companies or people that are looking for a CDMO, but I would say it’s not only for them. Basically all pharma companies are dependent also to work in partnerships. Whether it is when they have production problems or don’t have the right capacity or don’t have the right machinery. It happens so many times that you just want to have a chat with another company and see like, hey, can we work together here? Maybe even just temporarily. And I think that’s also the interesting thing. Many multinationals in the pharma market

12:48 – 13:20

Ammar Badwy: are also a CDMO. But basically also a lot of small pharma companies with maybe 20 or 50 employees, they also have something to offer in that space. So I would say all pharma companies that have production facilities or clean rooms have probably some kind of service to offer to the market. And then I think it’s important to help them by showing what they can.

13:22 – 13:27

Yan Kugel: Right. And how many CMOs, CDMOs do you have listed right now on your platform?

13:28 – 13:31

Ammar Badwy: Right now we have 200 CDMOs listed.

13:31 – 13:33

Yan Kugel: Oh wow, that’s already a nice number.

13:33 – 14:19

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, And we started 2 months ago, 2 and a half months ago. But I would say we’re still at the beginning there. Of course, many of our clients that manufacture APIs was the easiest for us to onboard them as well as a CDMO. Not only because we have the connection already, but also there’s a relationship, So it’s helpful for us to learn from their experience as well. And that’s also how we started it. First, we talked to our clients and we try to listen very carefully, like, How do you distinguish yourself from other CDMOs? What type

14:19 – 14:53

Ammar Badwy: of clients are you looking for? How is it going right now? How do you think it should go? We ask a lot of questions and based on their feedback, we created a minimal viable product. And from there, we’re trying to improve that. And that’s of course a long process because you’re never done with improving a tech product. But it’s important that you at least start and learn along the way.

14:55 – 15:08

Yan Kugel: Right. So that sounds very promising. And do you have the number of how many CDMO companies are there in the world? Like what is the potential there?

15:09 – 15:54

Ammar Badwy: Well, I think it has, even a bigger potential than, than the APM, API market, because like I said, nearly all API manufacturers are CDMO already. Plus, we’re not focusing on CDMO only, we’re focusing on contract services in general. So that can also be a CRO, a contract research organization, but it can also be a repacking company or even a consultancy company, as long as it is quite clear to us like what the service really entails. And also the interesting thing for the companies is that the contracts usually are quite big if there’s like a real partnership

15:56 – 16:17

Ammar Badwy: then it’s usually also a long-term partnership and yeah and the value of it is higher as well. So right now, we’re also still trying to find out what contains all in these contract services markets.

16:18 – 17:09

Yan Kugel: Right. Cool. So I hope we have people from CMOs, CDMOs, listen to this podcast and they can check it out and maybe they can contribute to your database of this amazing partnership opportunities. So it’s also interesting that during this pandemic time, a lot of platforms broke out And there is a lot of offerings right now because pharma companies, although they used to be quite conservative, and when you wanted to buy something, a material, you probably had to pick up the phone and just start calling companies, asking them to send you documents and COAs and what are

17:09 – 17:55

Yan Kugel: your certification. It was a manual process. And now I believe in your website, you can directly see all the documentation, you can see who is certified, it makes life so much easier. But it requires data sharing. So do you feel that right now, especially after the pandemic, companies are more accepting to sharing data and being part of bigger platforms and being listed there and what were the challenges at the beginning if there were as such to convince companies like API manufacturers, CDMOs, CROs to come to be listed on your platform in those terms?

17:55 – 18:37

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, I think it’s always a big deal for a pharma company to share information and in many cases they also might see it as a bigger deal than it in reality is. But what I mean with a big deal is that it’s usually not a decision that is made by 1 person. So there are a group of people that decide, hey, do we want to be publicly available here and there? But the reality is that we don’t ask for a lot of confidential information. Of course we want to know how the company is certified, but that’s

18:37 – 19:24

Ammar Badwy: usually something that they’re also proud of and it’s not a secret. What we focus on with PharmaWolfer is that we try to give the company a face. So in this market, a lot of relationships are built over the years. It’s a very personal market, I would say. That’s why also the exhibitions are so important because there you can further grow the relationship and that’s really important. And we also agree to that. If you really want to build good business, it’s important that there’s a level of trust with your client or supplier, that you meet each other

19:24 – 20:11

Ammar Badwy: sometimes. So I think that’s definitely important. But what we do is we try to help companies connect with the right companies. So really at the beginning. And then it’s important that you know who the company is without having talked to anyone yet. So if you have a list of companies, which company do you have to contact? That’s basically the question we answer. So out of a list of 50 companies, when you have to choose 3 companies you want to contact, That’s how we help companies select the right supplier. So we’re not focusing only on how they

20:11 – 20:50

Ammar Badwy: are certified. And in which country, for example, the the product is produced, but also more on the soft side. So what are the unique selling points of this supplier? When was it established? How many people are working there? Some pictures, some videos of the company, just to give you an idea who this company is. Even if you never have heard about them, if they are located on the other side of the world, then still it’s important that you have an understanding who the company is and how you feel about that before you’re getting in contact with

20:50 – 20:58

Ammar Badwy: them. So we’re trying to make the digital space personal.

21:00 – 21:45

Yan Kugel: Right. So you mentioned the trust and reflecting on it, I think what we are, what you’re doing and what we are doing at Qualistry has some similarities to it. So we have a more digital platform, all the data is there. And at Qualistry, what we are doing through our knowledge sharing webinars is also allowing different companies and service providers to pharma to take the stage and through educational content showcase their expertise in the areas and so we don’t encourage of course direct advertising through our webinars because this is the point, this is the touch, the first

21:45 – 22:39

Yan Kugel: touch to share the knowledge and start the personal relationship so people see the faces behind the logo. I think it’s very important and also the relationship that we have with our clients and sponsors of our webinars is amazing because what we do together through the knowledge sharing and also allowing the pharma experts, pharma employees and pharma decision makers to see the different people who work with various companies who offer similar solution and choose who they think is best to work with. And they then can go and research more about those companies and decide whether their products

22:39 – 23:25

Yan Kugel: fit them, for example. And so we have the digital solutions, right? So we have the platform, we have the webinars, and then there are the exhibitions, which are also very important, the personal touch. But as we both of us are working in the digital world, right, we are doing the webinars, you’re doing the digital platform. So how do you see the shift in this mentality? And what is the balance there between the digital interaction and still the need to go to exhibitions and shake hands. How do you see the difference and what is more powerful at

23:25 – 23:25

Yan Kugel: the moment?

23:26 – 24:20

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, I think it’s really not a matter of choosing 1. So if you do only digital, I would say invest also more in personal relationships and meeting people and also the other way around. But what we see is that the people within pharma companies, the decision makers, they’re getting younger. So when we started PharmaWoffer in 2016, we saw that half of the people using Pharmaoffer was below 30 years old. But that’s 7 years ago. So these people, they’ve also grown to more senior positions. So we’re really doing good on also the younger generation, people underneath the

24:20 – 25:09

Ammar Badwy: 45 years old. And that will further grow. That’s a fact. Something that I don’t understand is that when I have a meeting with a pharma company at their facilities, I always feel so welcome. So when they receive me, people are friendly, I get coffee or they invite me for a lunch. It feels so good to meet people face to face and build the relationships over there. But then if I look for example to their website, it feels like a very cold company. So I don’t recognize the company at all by looking through their website. And with

25:09 – 25:52

Ammar Badwy: FarmOffer, we are checking 10,000 of websites because we verify all the users on our platform. And many websites, to be honest, look quite the same. And it’s quite difficult to understand based on the website who the company really is, what their values are, who the people are working for the companies. It doesn’t match in many cases with the people. And the strange thing is that when I visit them, they’re really doing their best but maybe they have just a few visits per month, but they maybe don’t realize that they have hundreds of visits on their website,

25:54 – 26:36

Ammar Badwy: which is much more than people visiting their company. And that’s the first impression people get on that company. So, I mean, to me, it’s fine if you don’t spend a lot on your website, but sometimes it feels like companies feel that they can’t be too personal on their website. So it should be like a business card and that’s it. And that’s something quite different compared with other markets where it’s much more developed than in the pharmaceutical industry.

26:36 – 27:19

Yan Kugel: Right, so in many markets when you go to a website people want to see that like friendly faces and in pharma for some reason it’s more or especially chemical. So I think pharma, it may be a bit different depending on which website you land. So if you go to a product, then usually the pharma wants to show happy people that they’re using their products right and healthy. But I think especially if you go to chemicals or even software for a farmer, it’s very rigid. You don’t see who’s behind the curtain. And I think you’re right, because

27:19 – 28:00

Yan Kugel: I think also the people who, especially in big companies, the people who design the website, the marketing are a bit disconnected from the people even who are the face of the companies to other clients or business partners. So it’s a bit, there is a bit of disconnect there. And I agree with you that a lot change. So this is also the importance of having a conversation with people, even if it’s virtual like we are having right now. But when you see the person live then in writing, so you see the, so that’s where the connection made.

28:00 – 28:44

Yan Kugel: And then especially when you meet the people live. So the magic is to try to make also the written conversation more lively, more polite, more nice, more friendly, and Especially living in Germany where everything is on a very conservative note when you have especially business conversation. It’s much difficult, I think, to build a good relationship there. But I also see the shift there. So I get a lot of marketing messages on LinkedIn, for example, and you already see how the sales people marketing approach already in a more friendly way. They’re like, you started using Smiley. So

28:44 – 28:57

Yan Kugel: maybe we’ll have a chat, smiley, which is something that I don’t think you would see in a normal email in Germany, right? Usually from people who you don’t know. So you see the shift, you know, say, okay, people want friendliness. They want warmness.

28:57 – 29:19

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, no, I agree with you. It’s definitely not with all companies. And like you said, it’s not only about friendly faces. It’s also really about the language. So when you meet people face to face the language is friendly but if you go to their website the language is very formal and a little bit more

29:19 – 30:10

Yan Kugel: complicated. And to be frank, when I go to some websites, there is a trend right now. And it’s very interesting because I noticed it by mistake, not by mistake, but I just checked. So I love marketing, you know that, and branding. So I’ve been to a website like Coca-Cola just to see what are trends. And the amazing thing, if you go to the website of Coca-Cola, you won’t see anything about drinks there. Everything on their website is about climate and, you know, supporting the environment and sustainability. You won’t see anything about their products there. But where

30:10 – 30:53

Yan Kugel: is the problem? I’ve been to other websites that sell manufacturing equipment to pharma And their website is a copy paste from Coca-Cola. And you have no idea what this company that manufacturing this equipment does. But some marketers think, okay, let’s just copy Coca-Cola because this is the trend. Let’s talk about sustainability. And I think it doesn’t matter where you go. Even if you go to some pharma company, you will for sure see sustainability there. But the difference between Coca-Cola and you that everybody knows who Coca-Cola is and what they sell but if you’re a smaller company

30:53 – 31:17

Yan Kugel: and you just talk about sustainability and not about who you are what you offer and who works there and who are the people, nobody knows who you are. So I’ve been to several websites and I scroll and I scroll and I scroll, I have no idea what the company sells. And it’s so crazy to see that.

31:17 – 32:05

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, I see definitely the same and it’s also a bit part of what I just said like if you go to a website, companies struggle sometimes by saying in their own way who they are and what they do. So if you see CSR, which is of course important nowadays, but if you just describe it in a very general way, it will look similar at all websites. But sometimes you see companies that are really describing it in a way, like what is it really meaning to them or how is it impacting their production process? It’s of course

32:05 – 32:24

Ammar Badwy: not easy, but yeah, I agree. Try to stay away from general, If you only have to think to share general information, then it’s better not to put it because it’s just confusing actually.

32:27 – 33:07

Yan Kugel: Right. So I think that’s a very good point because especially if you are a niche brand, right? And I know that everybody wants to show that they want like sustainability, but it’s not, you know, it’s not what you are. It’s not who you are. So of course, it’s important for the world, but it’s not showing who you are and what. So I think what’s a lot of those websites really missing is the people behind it, the stories of the people, what they want to achieve. And I think also a lot of companies have the standard strategic

33:07 – 33:47

Yan Kugel: value that they use big words on their website, we strive for greatness, or So a lot of big words that mean nothing, right? But it’s not something that drips to every employee. So it’s not the real values of the company and people can understand that it’s like similar. So I think it should be like more personal stories about, you know, what you stand for, what you offer, what your products like, why are you doing this? Like what’s behind this? Why are you manufacturing this equipment? Why are you, what brought you to manufacture this API or this

33:47 – 34:26

Yan Kugel: raw material or this drug. It’s like, what is your goal? You want to help people worldwide that suffer from this. You want to help them and how do you do it? You manufacture this, but then you do it with good quality. And then if you do it like this, also the employees will understand that they have this mission to do something good. And they understand. So working in quality myself for many years, you see people doing their job because it’s in their job description and because it is the task they’re given, this is the project, but

34:26 – 35:02

Yan Kugel: they forget what is the end product because manufacturing a medicine, it’s so many processes. Like people don’t think, okay, there are like logistic people, there are buyers who need to buy an API, they need to choose which API fits the most. So there is only by choosing 1 API manufacturer, there’s just so much behind it, like so much like you need to think about where they sit. What happens if suddenly, you know, there is a pandemic and the boats cannot leave the harbor? Do you have a replace? Do you have a secondary API manufacturer? And then

35:02 – 35:37

Yan Kugel: you have the people on the ground, you have the logistic people in the warehouse who need to do GDP and you have the quality. In fact, there’s so many going on there and everybody does a small piece of it and they forget why they do it, why the quality is important, why being real and true and really, you know, when you have issues really doing the root cause analysis and not just signing off, oh, that’s nothing. Because at the end, you know, remember, you know, the patient at the end, that’s the market we’re in, right?

35:37 – 36:26

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, yeah, that’s true. And I’ve always found that also a bit difficult, to be honest, that in the pharmaceutical industry, like the industry that we are active in and our clients are active in, to be honest you’re quite far away from the patient, right? I mean companies that produce a medicine, they have in mind the patient that they want to help, but the reality is that they are working probably on an industrial park in a manufacturing plant. Once the product is produced it goes to a warehouse, to maybe a different warehouse, to a pharmacy, to the

36:26 – 37:22

Ammar Badwy: patient. So it’s quite far away from the people working in the industry. So I do understand why many company visions are quite general. For example, we want to create a better world with the highest quality, this, this, this. But it’s an interesting challenge as a company to think further than just we want to create safe medicines for a better world. There should be a challenge in it as well or something extra that you want to achieve because otherwise all companies have the same vision. And that’s also what we see a lot. So it’s quite rare to

37:22 – 37:40

Ammar Badwy: find a company who is quite specific in who they say they are and who they want to be. But it is for people working in the company, it’s very refreshing if there’s a clear goal where you want to go to instead of keeping it very general.

37:42 – 38:03

Yan Kugel: But can you as an API manufacturer, for example, put a very unique vision and goal for your product? Let’s say there are already several companies that manufacture the same thing. Do you think it’s something that is viable and possible to do?

38:04 – 38:54

Ammar Badwy: Well, it’s important, of course to know who you are. Do you want to produce APIs as efficient as possible to make sure that the medicine for patients become more affordable? Or do you want to develop new APIs that are much more efficient for a patient? Or Do you want to make sure that from a logistic point of view that your medicines will become available in countries that doesn’t have a great infrastructure to get most of the medicine? So I think it’s important to choose some kind of direction where you want to be good in instead of

38:54 – 39:00

Ammar Badwy: keeping it very general and if you choose a direction then it’s much more easier to become the best within.

39:00 – 39:48

Yan Kugel: Exactly, Yeah. So it’s a very good point also in the business perspective, right? So you can compare it to the vehicle industry, right? So each vehicle brand has its own strengths, right? So for example, if you want safety, when you think about safety, usually Toyota pops in your mind, right? When you want speed, right? You think about cars like a Porsche, right? So you need to decide what is your best strength and then strive to it. Like you said, very interestingly, you can say my vision is to, you know, distribute it to the third world countries.

39:48 – 40:31

Yan Kugel: So we are the best. We have the best logistics. Others say we have the best You know supply KPIs we never late we are always on time at your doorstep and we never late with our deliveries. You can always choose something and find the right clients who find it the most important, right? To be there on time, to have the best quality, to have the biggest quantities, because you say, you know, we can manufacture, you know, the biggest qualities in the world because we have such good processes behind and manufacturing equipment. So I think The idea

40:31 – 40:41

Yan Kugel: is for companies to look at their strengths and what they can improve and then become the best in this specific field, in this specific quality.

40:43 – 40:49

Ammar Badwy: Yeah. First, first thing is important is that at least they know it from from

40:49 – 40:56

Yan Kugel: from inside right yeah yeah and then that also every employees knows it and that’s how they yeah you know and

40:56 – 41:42

Ammar Badwy: that’s also what we like to see on farm offer because we see it as our goal to show the difference between suppliers. So we want to know, for example, why should you choose this supplier or why should you not choose this supplier. So for example, if you’re looking for the lowest price possible, then don’t approach a supplier who has all the qualifications and is focusing on the highest quality or purity possible. But yeah, we see that in many cases, the supplier doesn’t really know what their strength is or they don’t showcase it on their website or

41:42 – 42:11

Ammar Badwy: in their brochures. And it’s also a little bit scary maybe because if you if you want to be sure that you will receive all the leads you might feel more comfortable by saying yeah we can do everything we’re good in everything but I think in the end it will not bring you the most leads. By being quite specific about your strengths will bring you at least much better quality leads.

42:13 – 43:01

Yan Kugel: Right, Exactly. So that’s a very good point. Again, for every business, especially if there are a lot of competition, then you need to stand out. You don’t want to be a commodity, right? So you want to showcase your strengths and say, okay, we don’t have this certification, but we have the best this and that, right? So you can always say, or find the right market for you. And then it goes also to the people relationship, as you mentioned, because I think when you have even the same 2 suppliers and they have exactly the same certifications, have

43:01 – 43:31

Yan Kugel: exactly the same certification, they’re exactly the same in terms of capacity and so on. You would choose it based upon Who you like more, like with whom do you like, who answers quicker to your email, who replies and who you trust if there are issues, who you trust more to take care of those problems, right?

43:34 – 44:16

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, that’s for sure. We what we usually see when we look to suppliers who are most successful are, I think 1 of the most important things is responding quickly, but it’s also very much about how they respond. Do you just answer a question very shortly when someone is asking for a price, for example, and you just give the price and that’s it. If you compare that with someone who really gives you the feeling that you are welcome by asking this question and trying to get in a conversation to learn more about how the company can help

44:16 – 45:03

Ammar Badwy: you, you feel much more comfortable with it. So I would say speed of response, quality of response, ranking is of course very important. And also company reputation. So for example, some companies really like to work with with big brands, other ones prefer to choose the smaller companies. So no company is of course the same. Yeah, so there are definitely things that you can do to increase the number of leads. And in many cases, it’s easier than you might expect.

45:05 – 45:53

Yan Kugel: Right. So what you’re saying is, you know, try to establish a better, even in writing, try to establish already a conversation and discussion and don’t like don’t see them as just a number there, right? So try to understand already the need. Yeah. So I think that’s a very good and interesting point in the customer relationship with whom you like to deal better. Right. Do you have any more, let’s say, tips for, let’s say, API manufacturers or people who put their company on your website, see most of the models, how to be more approachable and how to

45:53 – 45:55

Yan Kugel: increase your chances to do business?

45:58 – 46:44

Ammar Badwy: Well, I think being visible is very important. And that’s also what you see right now with many companies. So for example, many pharma companies started to create content sometimes from the company account, but sometimes also the people working from the company do it themselves. I think that is really important, just making sure that you are visible. But also, It starts by making sure that you are visible, but also important is that you are visible at the right places. So for example, you can make content on LinkedIn, but if you have like 20 followers, it will not

46:44 – 47:33

Ammar Badwy: have a lot of impact. So you need to invest and spend time on growing your account over there. Same thing with Google. So for example for us, Google is our number 1 source of getting users. So we have a good Google ranking. So when people are searching for an API or CDMO, we are among the top results. But the same count also for the companies. So just to give you an example, for search engines like Google, it’s important that you have, for example, a lot of link building, which means that if, for example, a blog on

47:33 – 48:16

Ammar Badwy: Google is linking to your website, Google thinks okay that’s good, your website has a little bit higher ranking now. So the more links to your website the better. If you look to for example the cosmetic market, they are much more online focused. So they easily pay 1000 euros a year just for a link to their website. That’s part of their link building strategy. In the pharma world, this is still really the beginning, I would say. But that also means that it’s much more easier to make big steps there. So I would say Invest also in your

48:16 – 49:11

Ammar Badwy: SEO strategy, especially because pharma companies are quite limited when it comes to advertising on their products. It’s even more important to invest on your organic search strategy. And of course make use of platforms. I would say not try only our platform but as much as possible try to learn from it and see which performs the best. But if you see how much you have to pay for a platform nowadays, it’s actually still quite cheap if you compare it with big digital strategies. So yeah, it’s of course easy to recommend your own product, but I’m serious that

49:11 – 49:21

Ammar Badwy: that would be the first thing I would do. It’s the easiest way of being present on a place where so many pharma professionals are searching for your products.

49:23 – 49:27

Yan Kugel: Right. So I totally agree with you. So do

49:27 – 49:30

Ammar Badwy: you have anything to add on that, Yan?

49:31 – 50:15

Yan Kugel: Yes. So I think that, you know, the digitalization is a schizoid, you said, and it might be, at first people may say, oh, I don’t want to pay additional fees for this or that platform, but at the end of the day, the hours such platforms and such tools and digital solutions save you. It’s like let’s say chatGPT today that people use it a lot. Like let’s bring it as an example. You can do with it so much in terms of writing content and so on, then having another person working a full day on it. So think

50:15 – 50:58

Yan Kugel: about all those platforms, like for example, searching for the right API. So before, let’s say before your platform was there, the buyers had to Google everything, they had to call, probably something they can do like in 1 minute, let’s say, for example, on your platform, they would need like 2 days just to do the research, right? So all those days, it’s nothing is so much in comparison with the small price that companies pay for different digital solutions, like quality management systems or different tools that help them track deviations or analyze different manufacturing aspects that at first

50:58 – 51:29

Yan Kugel: people are afraid to start using because they need first to have the learning curve. How do we use the platform? Or oh no, I need to input so much information there. So they’re a bit thinking, OK, oh, but then I need to like 2 hours to put all the info. But again, you need to do it like 1 time with some software you might need maybe when it’s a complicated system that you bring to the manufacturing facility, it might take a couple of months to establish it. But the long run, the 1 year, 2 years, 3

51:29 – 52:04

Yan Kugel: years return on investment, it’s just so gigantic. So I do think that digitalization in every aspect is, you know, is coming and it’s growing in pharma. And I think we also see it in big CPHI conferences when we see the small startups that showcase the different solutions, right? So what is your, what are your thoughts about the digitalization where pharma is at, like where we were like 3 years ago, where we’re now and what do you think it will be like in

52:04 – 52:55

Ammar Badwy: 2 years? Well, I think it has been developed a lot in the last couple of years. If you only look to people who have some kind of digital in their job title within pharma companies or innovation or tech or whatever. So it means that companies starting to hire people that need to focus on digitization or digital marketers or yeah anything digital related so I think that is already a huge step but for the future there are it will it will go like a hundred times compared with what it is right now. I’m a hundred percent sure

52:55 – 53:39

Ammar Badwy: of that. If you see like the smart people who are also working in this industry, who are used working with digital tools and also quite fast in in getting used to these tools. Yeah so the future will be much more efficient for the pharmaceutical industry and I’m quite excited about that to see all the possibilities that will that will come and also the new things that we right now can’t even think about like how it will look like in a couple of years. But I think it’s exciting to see how many startups are working on on

53:39 – 53:54

Ammar Badwy: solutions that are completely new to the industry and also how fast they can they can develop. Yeah, so I’m really looking forward to that as well.

53:55 – 54:39

Yan Kugel: Yes, me too, me too, Omar. So on that note, I would like to thank you for this chat. And I would like to invite everybody to go to and just check it out. I think your platform went through also some facelift a couple of several months ago and just check it out because I would, I will do it as well because I’m very interested to see the development from just API market to understanding the needs of the market and adding CDMOs, CMOs, CROs and the business just being the platform that connects the service providers to

54:39 – 54:48

Yan Kugel: the ones who need them in pharma. And I think it’s a great thing and I’m looking forward to our next chat tomorrow.

54:48 – 55:02

Ammar Badwy: Yeah, thanks a lot Yan. I really enjoyed it as always. And thanks a lot for having me. And yeah, I’m already looking forward to the next podcast, of course.

55:03 – 55:12

Yan Kugel: Yeah. Yeah, But before that, I think we’ll see each other also in the next meeting CPHA and so on. So thank you again for having this chat with me.

55:12 – 55:15

Ammar Badwy: Yes. Thanks. Ciao, ciao.

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Ammar Badwy

Ammar Badwy is the Co-founder and CEO at, a consultancy that empowers life sciences to elevate quality management maturity, ensure regulatory compliance, and deploy innovative technology solutions.

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