The Client is a US-based biotech startup specializing in genetic coding and analysis for cancer research. They were entering the Japan market and needed to establish an entity, locate office space, and make their first critical hire. He or she would need experience with sales management, distributor and customer management, and branding to grow awareness of their Next Gen Sequencing product.
The Client required a candidate who had solid management experience while being a fundamentally hands on person capable of handling multiple roles as the only person on the ground. A key focus for our team was to identify a suitable shortlist of candidates with requisite market knowledge, relationships, and versatility to work in the context of a full startup. He would also need management experience to handle the operation as it scaled. Notwithstanding the advanced technology the Client’s solution represented, he would need to be highly self-assured and motivated to take on a role in a market that is seen as approaching saturation. Finally, because the company did not wish to directly employ the first hire immediately, we would need to find someone with a mindset adventurous enough to work as an employee on our books until such time as the client felt comfortable officially putting him into their own registered entity.
We established a research team of 3 to assist our Lead Consultant initiate search activity. At the same time we worked with the client to find an office location while advising them on how to minimize their cost exposure as they entered the market. We also advised them on employment standards in Japan as well as salary expectations they would likely need to satisfy as a startup. We agreed that putting whomever they hired onto the BMES payroll would be the most prudent way for them to approach the market until they decided to move him or her over to their registered entity. As we continued the search we found that much of the market was highly interested in the client’s technology but were generally more concerned at the perceived risk of joining a startup in a relatively crowded market. Though we were prepared for this response, the search required significant heavy lifting on the research side to methodically cover all prospective target companies as we worked to identify all those who existed in the market capable of performing the job. In the end, our successful hire met the Client’s expressed requirements having spent 15+ years in global biotechnology firms handling related technology and in the process having developed superior connections with the Client’s current distributor.
We will continue to partner with the Client as they enter other markets in the region.