Member of the Month

Member of the month December 2019 - Hänseler AG

CEO Dr. Dominik Hauser on the internationalization of Hänseler AG

Hänseler AG is a Swiss manufacturing and trading company in the pharmaceutical sector. Its three main areas of activity are trading and processing pharmaceutical raw materials, manufacturing and selling over-the-counter medicines, as well as the production and packaging on behalf of partner companies. In an interview, Dr. Dominik Hauser, CEO of Hänseler AG, explains what he is particularly proud of and how the company will continue to export successfully in future.

Hänseler AG

As the market leader for pharmaceutical raw materials in Switzerland, the company stocks over 3,000 products. These include essential oils, plant extracts, vitamins and even anesthetics. The portfolio is rounded off by such renowned brands such as Alcacyl®, Original Bach® flower remedies/RESCUE® and Gly-Coramin®. 

Hänseler AG is still at the start of its internationalization. However, the company has already established that high quality products from Switzerland enjoy a solid reputation and are absolutely competitive.

Mr Hauser, what’s the idea behind your company?
The company is founded on three pillars: Pharmaceutical raw materials / OTC products*/ Contract manufacturing**.

Initially, the focus of the company was on the production and trade of pharmaceutical raw materials for physicians. The focus of the business model has shifted from physicians to pharmacies, druggists and industrial partners who process our high-quality raw materials into their own specialties or medicines. Over the years, the product portfolio has been expanded to include OTC preparations* such as herbal medicines (mainly in the women's health segment), dietary supplements and medical devices. We are also an expert in GMP*** contract manufacturing for small and medium-sized batches. Here we cover a comprehensive range with GMP-compliant production and packaging of powder mixtures, tinctures, oils, ointments, gels and liquid extracts.

* OTC = Over-the-counter = products that can be sold by pharmacists without a prescription.
** Contract manufacturing = Production and packaging on behalf of partner companies
*** GMP = "Good Manufacturing Practice" for medicines.

What were your biggest learning experiences during the internationalization process?
As a pharmaceutical company, we are used to the fact that the approval of medicines requires a lot of effort and time. As a company just starting out with its internationalization, the time factor should not be underestimated. It takes time and perseverance to familiarize yourself with markets, customer requirements, regulations in the international environment and building networks with business partners.

What are you particularly proud of?
As an SME from Appenzell, we were able to take over an existing Asian business a few years ago and were able to successfully expand it further. For me, this example focuses not only on the financial success of the company, but also on the fact that the experience of our employees has grown through new international customer contacts and that the internationalization of Hänseler AG is making noticeable progress.

Where do you see your export opportunities for the future?
As a Swiss pharmaceutical company with the highest quality standards for our products, we can only survive in an international environment if we launch innovative products on the market. This applies both to the registration of pharmaceuticals and to the fulfillment of customer wishes with innovative pharmaceutical raw materials. The decisive factor here will be for us to focus on our core competencies. I am confident that we will succeed in this.

To what extent has Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) helped you succeed? 
S-GE has already supported us on several occasions. Be it with the analysis of international markets or the establishment of contacts with authorities or industry partners. We are currently collaborating on a project for the Spanish market in connection with the launch of a herbal medicine in the women's health segment (www.youtube.com).

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