Shigeo Taniuchi has just returned from a business trip to Geneva, where the Japanese company Santen Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has been establishing its European headquarters since August.The pharmaceutical company which specializes in ophthalmic products was looking for the perfect location, and found it in Calvin’s city. Mr Taniuchi, the Europe Manager, appreciates the central location, the efficient public transport and the proximity to modern, manageable and well-functioning airports. When choosing the location other key criteria were also taken into account, as the Europe Manager underlines: «We placed a lot of emphasis on access to various well-educated specialists such as Marketing, Sales, Finance and Business Law – so for the jobs to be filled at our European headquarters.» They were also looking for a location close to pharma and life science clusters, while «the political stability and economic climate of Switzerland also played a key role in our evaluation».
The right decision
Before Mr Taniuchi chose Switzerland he got advice from the Swiss Business Hub (SBH) in Tokyo, the representative of the Swiss trade and investment promotion agency Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) in Japan. Mr Taniuchi was astonished with their efficient way of working: «It all went incredibly quickly. Just a few days after sending my online request at the start of 2014 I had already received the first proposals.» Mr Taniuchi praised the professional support which Santen was given by the SBH Tokyo and the Economic Development Agency of Geneva. His conclusion was: «We are happy we have chosen Geneva», he said, «so far all of our expectations have been met in every relationship». 13 employees now work at the European headquarters of Santen. In the Swiss business community Mr Taniuchi has discovered some virtues he knows and appreciates from Japan. «People are proactive, efficient and results-orientated, as well as on time and reliable – I like that a lot.»
In the future Santen wants to further strengthen its presence in Europe. The opening of the headquarters in Geneva was an important step for the company. But this is just the beginning, as the Europe Manager explains: «We are on the right path, but our journey has only just begun.»