“My leadership philosophy centers on fostering an inclusive and dynamic environment where every team member thrives.”
Medica Group is one of the leaders in the distribution of medical aesthetic equipment and products in the GCC and the Middle East. “Hospitals” Magazine had the privilege to meet with Andre Daoud, Group CEO of Medica Group to talk about Medica’s success, its long-term strategic vision, expansion strategies among many other topics. Below is the full interview:
Can you describe your leadership style and how it has contributed to the success of Medica over the past 2 years you’ve been with the organization?
As the CEO of Medica Group for the past two years, my leadership philosophy centers on fostering an inclusive and dynamic environment where every team member thrives. An important aspect is my commitment to an open-door policy, encouraging open communication at all levels. This ensures that ideas are freely exchanged, promoting collaboration and innovation.
Today, Medica operates on a meritocratic foundation as I believe in recognizing and rewarding talent based on accomplishments, which helps to encourage a culture of fairness and equal opportunity.
Transparency is a cornerstone of my leadership style, where clear communication about organizational goals, challenges, and successes builds trust among team members. Over the past two years, this approach has significantly contributed to our success. By evaluating individuals based on both aptitude and attitude, we have cultivated a positive and motivated workforce. This strategy not only enhances employee satisfaction but also drives the organization towards achieving its strategic objectives efficiently and cohesively.
What values do you prioritize in your leadership approach, and how do they align with Medica’s?
Our aim at Medica is to be a more purposeful organization, one with a clear set of drivers and values that bond us together, that define our behaviour and how our decisions are made. It is through these drivers that we want to achieve our goals and fulfil our vision and guide our teams to find solutions outside their normal routines to better serve their own growth and add value to our customers and to the organization as a whole.
That’s why, we have defined four values that guide us on how we do the right thing, how we value our partners, how we operate with the spirit of all for one and one for all, and how we celebrate individuality.
We do the right thing by embracing “Integrity”, acting with strong ethical and moral principles with honesty, honour, truthfulness, and accountability.
We are “Customer-centric”, we understand and anticipate the needs of our partners by providing an outstanding first-class journey, with empathy and fairness.
We are “Collaborative”. We act as one. We share knowledge, challenge assumptions, breakdown barriers, and adopt best practices across all our business.
We celebrate “Diversity” and individuality. We embrace a culture of inclusiveness in a safe environment that promotes respect and equity.
With these core values truly ingrained in the way we do business, every decision is made with those beliefs in mind. They create accountability to us and others – and our customers and partners will see that in every interaction we have with them.
On industry expertise
Under your leadership, how do you ensure Medica stays updated on industry trends and innovations within the aesthetic distribution sector?
Under my leadership, I prioritize keeping our organization at the forefront of industry trends and innovations within the aesthetic sector. We maintain a system of continuous market analysis, closely monitoring emerging technologies and shifts in consumer preferences and behaviours. Regular industry conferences, networking events, and strategic partnerships are leveraged to facilitate knowledge exchange with different stakeholders and partners.
Additionally, fostering a culture of curiosity and encouraging cross-functional collaboration ensures that insights from all corners of the organization contribute to our awareness of industry advancements. This proactive approach not only keeps us informed but positions us to anticipate and adapt to changes, maintaining our competitive edge.
On organization strategy
What is the long-term strategic vision for Medica in the next 3-5 years?
Over the next 3-5 years, our long-term strategic vision is multifaceted. 1) We aim to be the partner of choice, offering the most innovative aesthetic solutions, thereby solidifying our position as industry leaders. 2) By disrupting norms and shaping needs in the aesthetic industry, we aspire to drive transformative change. 3) Sustainability is paramount, with a commitment to providing a resilient business model for Medica and our partners. 4) The engagement and enablement of our talent is central to our success, that’s why we aim to keep fostering a dynamic and motivated workforce. And 5) our journey towards digitalization will empower us to discern and respond to the evolving voice of the customer, ensuring our strategies remain customer-centric and adaptable.
How does Medica remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market?
Medica remains competitive in the rapidly evolving aesthetic solutions market through various means. To name a few, innovative solutions and diversification of product portfolio are essential. We ensure that we continuously source and introduce cutting-edge aesthetic solutions that cater to our partners and their customers; in addition to our collaboration with innovative manufacturers to diversify our offerings. We forge strategic partnerships and alliances with our suppliers and partners, fostering a culture of trust, transparency and accountability.
Remember, we are customer centric. We ensure we maintain a deep understanding of customer needs through regular engagement, and we customize solutions and services to meet the diverse demands of practitioners and end-users. We listen to our customers by utilizing digital tools to better streamline our operations, interact with our customers more efficiently, and make decisions based on data and insights. For that, we deploy our digital channels in marketing and other areas to collect feedback and stay connected with our target audience.
What strategies are in place for expanding Medica’s presence within the region or potentially beyond?
At Medica, we employ a comprehensive approach to expand our presence within the region and beyond. Strategic partnerships with key industry players facilitate our market entry and enhance our distribution networks. In addition, we conduct market research to identify untapped opportunities and make well informed decisions on our localized strategies, with the support of robust digital marketing initiatives leveraging online platforms to reach a wider audience.
Our commitment to compliance and quality assurance builds trust, a crucial element for expansion in our business and any business actually. In terms of being an employer of choice, my management team and I encourage the cultivation of a dynamic sales force who are fluent in local market needs and differences. All these combined efforts position Medica as a proactive player, set to effectively broaden its footprint within the region and explore new territories.
On product portfolio
How do you decide on the products to include in Medica’s distribution portfolio?
Selecting products for Medica’s distribution portfolio is a meticulous process driven by innovation, market demand, and quality standards. We prioritize cutting-edge solutions, collaborating with reputable manufacturers renowned for technological advancements. Thorough market analysis identifies emerging trends and customer needs, ensuring our portfolio remains current and relevant. Also, strategic partnerships with industry leaders contribute to the diversification of our offerings. The decision-making process is anchored in a commitment to providing practitioners and end-users with the most effective and sought-after aesthetic solutions, reinforcing our reputation as a trusted partner of choice in the dynamic aesthetic market.
Can you discuss any recent successful product launches or partnerships that have contributed to the organization’s growth?
Certainly, our recent successful product launches and strategic partnerships have significantly fueled Medica’s growth. These initiatives reflect our commitment to innovation and collaboration, ensuring we bring cutting-edge solutions to the market and expand our network.
The breakthrough innovation comes from our strategic partner, Establishment Labs (ESTA) related to breast implants. We are in the process of launching Mia Femtech https://miafemtech.com/experience.
Mia Femtech™ is the latest innovation in the breast implant experience, which came to existence after almost a decade of research and studies conducted by ESTA, the manufacturer of Motiva implants. Mia Femtech™ is a minimally invasive implant procedure, that does not require general anesthesia, during which the implant is injected with the use of a special injector tool through a 2 cm incision under the armpit. The implant is injected after expansion of the breast tissue using an inflatable balloon which helps in breast tissue preservation and allows the implant to nest above the muscle and under the skin. The aim of Mia Femtech™ is to offer women, who are not considering a breast augmentation, and those who are relying on compensatory garments such as push up bras and gel pads to have an option to harmonize their breast shape whilst maintaining a natural look of their breasts.
Furthermore, the Mia Femtech™ experience comes with a full-fledged concierge service which allows escorting the consumer before, during and after the procedure ensuring they undergo a smooth and satisfactory experience all the way. Mia Femtech™ also comes with the warranty of ESTA’s “Women’s Choice Program” that allows women with implants to be explanted within a period of 2 years from procedure date in case she changes her mind.
Our second most recent launch was Revolax Dermal Filler, a facial filler which is set to revolutionize the category as it is formulated with the highest-quality hyaluronic acid. In the saturated filler market, the Middle East launch of Revolax is a game-changer for us. With a focus on differentiation, Revolax stands out by delivering long lasting results and natural look for individuals who wish to use it. Based on the market research we have conducted and the positive feedback we have gathered from the doctors during its most recent launch in the UAE and Lebanon, we are very confident that it will not only meet but surpass consumer expectations, revolutionizing the category and setting a new standard for long-lasting, natural-looking dermal fillers in the region.
We have also unveiled recently a strategic partnership with none other than Dr Burgener Switzerland, an esteemed brand synonymous with excellence and innovation in the realm of skincare. Dr Burgener’s expertise, deeply rooted in the heart of Switzerland, and their renowned clinic, stand for personalized skincare excellence. Their commitment to remaining at the forefront of the industry is evident through continuous research, exploring the best formulas, and evolving protocols. This is a sector that continues to flourish, driven by the surging demand for tailor-made and customized skincare solutions.
On employer of choice
How would you describe the culture and values that define Medica as an employer?
We pride ourselves on fostering a culture of innovation, collaboration, and excellence. The values which I mentioned before are rooted in transparency, integrity, and a commitment to employee growth. We prioritize a dynamic work environment where creativity flourishes, and diversity is celebrated. As an employer of choice, we work relentlessly on nurturing our talent, providing them with opportunities for continuous learning, and cultivating a workplace where every individual’s contributions are valued and recognized.
Can you elaborate on the professional development and training opportunities provided to employees?
Our commitment to employee growth is paramount. We invest significantly in learning and development, offering diverse training programs conducted by internationally certified partners in the field. These cover sales, project management, leadership development, and team collaboration skills. Our strategic planning and customized sales training specifically focus on instilling customer-centric values, aligning with our core principles. By providing comprehensive professional development opportunities, we empower our talent to thrive in their roles and contribute effectively to Medica’s success in the dynamic field of aesthetic distribution.
On technology and digitalization
How do you foster a culture of innovation within the organization?
Put simply, we encourage open communication, embrace diverse perspectives, and empower team members to think beyond conventional boundaries. By providing resources for continuous learning and recognizing and celebrating innovative ideas, we cultivate a culture that thrives on forward-thinking solutions and continuous improvement.
How does this culture impact your customer experience? Any notable improvements in customer satisfaction or feedback?
The culture of innovation we have instilled at Medica has significantly elevated our customer experience – bringing us even closer to one of our values: being customer centric. For that reason, we embarked over a year ago on a journey to fully digitalize our organization from project management, customer service, to structured internal processes. As an example, our automated systems collect the voice of the customer from different sources – be it digitally or through the insights of our sales force on ground, providing real-time insights that help us understand what the customer wants and needs.
Can you discuss the measurable outcomes and ROI resulting from the digital transformation initiatives?
Certainly, the digital transformation initiatives at Medica have yielded substantial measurable outcomes. Increased operational efficiency, streamlined processes, and enhanced data analytics capabilities have driven tangible ROI. Our investments in digital platforms have resulted in improved customer engagement, market reach, and a notable boost in overall productivity. These outcomes reflect the success of our strategic digital initiatives in aligning with business objectives and delivering concrete, measurable returns on investment.
On corporate social responsibility
What role does corporate social responsibility play in Medica’s overall strategy?
Corporate social responsibility is integral to Medica’s strategy, it reflects our responsibility as a conscientious corporate entity. We believe that by actively engaging in social initiatives, sustainability efforts, and philanthropy, we aim to contribute positively to the communities we serve. This reflects our commitment to ethical practices and community well-being. With a dedicated CSR resource onboard, we orchestrate initiatives across the region. In addition, allocating investments for philanthropy and social initiatives is a testament to our belief in making a meaningful difference in our ecosystem.
Can you share any specific initiatives or projects the company is involved in to give back to the community?
In a demonstration of Medica’s commitment to social responsibility, we initiated three impactful CSR drives in Lebanon during the festive season – one of the very many initiatives we have in the pipeline. First, our team embraced the spirit of giving by visiting the elderly, uplifting spirits, and fostering meaningful human connections. Additionally, we dedicated time to the SOS village, sharing moments and joy with underprivileged children. Lastly, our visit to SESOBEL underscored our unwavering support for the cause of children with disabilities, reflecting Medica’s dedication to making a positive impact and fostering a compassionate community.