Executive Interviews




Danadams Pharmaceuticals Industry Limited
279fb5hczi7i2gdwf2x4-e322bac9.jpgMr. Yaw Adu-Agyei Gyamfi (CEO)
Many business people from abroad including the emerging countries have participated in HIDA training programs. Positions of the targeted audience vary with the programs, and there are some programs aimed for top executives.
This time, we interviewed with a person who runs a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Ghana.
-Please explain your company profile first.
We are a local pharmaceutical manufacturing company, established in 2005, initially with a workforce of 50 and now we are 275 persons. Our major focus has been in the production of anti-retroviral drugs, antimalarials, antibiotics, analgesics, and other quality generic medications. African countries generally import at least 70% of their required medicines from China and India, and our company, which is 100% locally owned, is paving the way with its local production in meeting the needs of its populace.
-What aspects of corporate management do you put much value on? Please share with us your management philosophy or policy, or something considered important.
In the actual practice, our management philosophy is also a personal life philosophy. There is no real difference between the two. People need a strong foundation or belief system that will encourage them to “want” to strive for excellence. To say the very least business can be chaotic even in the best of times.
We have a set of beliefs as used by individuals in the management position to guide the decision making process. Some of our management philosophies include the following:

1. Providing low-cost manufacturing products without compromising quality.
2. Focusing on branded generic products and unbranded generic medicines.
3. Satisfying our customers with quality medicines.
4. Awarding employees for performance and creating enabling working environment for the employees.  

-Do you think of any challenges that hinder your company business to grow and develop further? What kind of actions do you think need to be taken to address the above-mentioned “challenges”?
The major challenges facing our business include the following:

1. Access to finance or credit.
2. Currency depreciation or need for foreign exchange for importation of raw materials.
3. Lack of market or market demand and problem with collection for sales done in Ghana.
4. Lack of skilled employees.
5. Practical lack of access to necessary technology for production.
6. Cost of production is high due to high cost of utilities and multiplicity of taxes.

In order to address some of these challenges facing our company, some of the following activities have been adopted as part of our strategy;

1. Preparation of a business plan to seek funding through capital ventures was already made, and the Company Memorandum has now been concluded.
2. There is not much that we could do about the currency depreciation issue. It is an external challenge, and government fiscal policies do not favor business in the country due to high interest rates or high taxes.
3. We have expanded our business to Nigeria, which is the country with the largest population in West Africa with over 180million people as compared to 27million people in Ghana. We have registered a sister company in Nigeria to distribute our products in the neighboring country.
4. We have recruited expatriates from India, and there are four Indians in our workforce to enhance training of our local staff.
5. Signing an MOU for technology transfer though South-South Cooperation is important and we have now entered into collaboration with some Indian companies to supply us some finished products to increase our drug portfolio.
6. Seeking for partnership with any company in Japan interested in collaborating with us to build a sustainable company in Ghana.  

-How do you view the current status of your business in the global market?
The process of conceptualizing and then conveying a final product or service worldwide with the hopes of reaching the international marketing community is very important. Proper global marketing has the ability to catapult a company to the next level, if they do it correctly. Different strategies are implemented based on the region the company is marketing its products in. Global marketing is especially important to companies that provide products or services that have a universal demand such as automobiles and food.
For us Danadams, we can only reach this level through collaboration with an international company from one of the developed countries like Japan. The biggest headache is how to find that partner. We have tried through our Embassies in these countries but we have not received any positive response yet.
In addition to Nigeria, we have been selling our products in such West African countries as Cameroon, Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso. We are just focusing on production of generic pharmaceutical products which are not patented.
-Are you planning to expand your business overseas? What does your company consider important and wish to focus on to lead your business overseas to a success?
Yes, we would like to expand to other African countries like Kenya. We would like to shift to central Africa where our products have not reached. The most important aspect needed for our business expansion to other African countries is to have collaboration with an international company to assist us with a cash injection for equity in our business. Finding investors who are interested in the African market will help our growth fast.
We are not planning to expand our business in Japan but it would be better if we could have a technical tie-up relationship with Japanese companies. Technology transfer to African countries and introduction of patented drugs into the African market are something that we are expecting.
-What are the points that you have kept in mind to develop human resources in your company? In other words, how do you wish to improve your engagement with the matter in the future?
We usually provide yearly drawn training programs for all personnel on a monthly or quarterly base, depending on the department, from Administration, Production, Quality Control, Sales and Marketing, Maintenance & Engineering, Finance, etc. As it is a yearly program, it will be implemented through a whole year.
-What is your impression about Japan and Japanese companies? Please share with us an episode or experience that surprised or touched you.
I am impressed about the level of application of TQM in the Japanese companies I visited and really would like to have some collaboration with a Japanese company or companies to train some of my staff for Africa. Or if I could, I’d like to get a Japanese consultant who’d be willing to come and assist us in setting up TQM for our organization.
Thank you very much for your cooperation.

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