Why did Harro Höfliger decide to establish a branch office in Southeast Asia?
Albahar: Southeast Asia is one of the so-called “Pharmerging Markets”, the emerging markets for pharmaceutical and medical products. Countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia or Thailand are going through a phase of industrialization. This is why the demand for machines is rising, also in pharmaceutical and medical technology. Workers used to pack medicines by hand, but more and more frequently automated cartoning machines are taking over this task, just to name one example. We want to be a part of this growth and are therefore expanding our activities in Southeast Asia.
Stoiber: In the past, our colleagues in Germany were responsible for this market, but due to the distance and time difference, it took longer to respond to inquiries. Now we can look after our customers much more thoroughly and quickly, both on the phone or directly on site. Customers are very relationship-oriented here and appreciate us being close by for consultations.
Which technologies are in demand in the Southeast Asian market?
Stoiber: Web converting machines are very popular. They can be used to manufacture traditional medical products, such as heat therapy patches with herbal ingredients to relieve muscle tension. Assembly and packaging technologies for insulin pen systems are also in great demand, since diabetes is on the rise in Southeast Asia. Innovative products such as the XStraw® are also very well received. In addition to existing solutions, we also offer new ideas for niche applications.
Why did you choose Singapore?
Albahar: Singapore has an ideal geographical location. Our markets are only one to three hours away by plane. In addition, we work closely with colleagues from our Excellence United partners Uhlmann and Fette Compacting, with whom we share an office. Together we can offer our customers complete turnkey solutions from a single source that cover all their needs; with blister machines from Uhlmann, tablet presses from Fette and capsule filling machines from us.
What are your goals for the future?
Stoiber: We would like to make Harro Höfliger even more popular in this region, establish new contacts and strengthen the existing ones. The next step is to implement our on-site service in order to provide optimum support for customers in the area. Our colleagues in the sales and service offices in India and China are setting an example for us to follow.
Photos: Janine Kyofsky, istock.com/fazon1