In this episode of Vietnam Innovators, Hao Tran met with Kevin Doak, Sanofi’s new General Manager of Consumer Healthcare (CHC) in Vietnam and Cambodia, to learn more about their pioneering role to place Fast-Moving Consumer Health (FMCH) industry in the country and globally.
Kevin started his professional career as a strategy consultant specializing in consumer goods companies — fast-moving consumer goods mostly in beverages and electronics. He’s passionate about creating impact for consumers and bringing them innovative solutions.
Determined by his drive to work on long-term goals, he moved to Reckitt Benckiser, a British multinational consumer goods company. For over seven years, Kevin held positions across different functions and got the chance to work in China, Japan, Russia, the US, Nigeria, and Australia.
To Kevin, that experience gave him a lot of perspectives “in terms of the differences and also what’s similar, and what can be shared.” “From a cultural point of view, it’s really interesting for me to work and lead in all those different places.”
‘Fast-Moving Consumer Health’
Sanofi is one of the global consumer healthcare leaders by market share and when they started to bring in individuals who could introduce a consumer-focused approach to the pharmaceutical industry, Kevin moved to Sanofi.
In 2017, he joined Sanofi in Thailand as the sales director for CHC, covering Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar. Nearly two years later, he relocated to Turkey as the general manager for Sanofi’s CHC. Fast forward to today, Kevin is now based in Ho Chi Minh City, leading the CHC unit at Sanofi Vietnam and Cambodia.
Kevin shared that CHC is all about self-care. “When we talk consumer healthcare, it’s usually to do with over-the-counter medicines or nutrition and food supplement products.” They focus on programs to drive awareness that there are efficacious products available for people to be able to treat themselves — “serving healthier and fuller lives.”
Still very new in Vietnam, Kevin has already jumped on to some new and exciting projects at Sanofi. “In terms of what we do, we have some fantastic consumer brands here that we want to be very clear in terms of how we can bring a benefit to consumers’ lives here,” he began. “We are on a journey to create ‘Fast-Moving Consumer Health’ business and that’s something we’re passionate about leading and bringing to Vietnam and the world.”
Kevin revealed that it’s their ambition to become the leading “FMCH in the world and also for the world.” To him, both goals equally matter. Being the best in the world means providing innovative solutions for healthier and fuller lives, and recognizing that they have the opportunity and responsibility to make a difference for the world.
“The fast-moving part is us acknowledging and understanding that this part of healthcare can change quite rapidly,” he explained. “When you look at what’s happened in the pandemic over the past few years, people’s awareness of really needing to look after yourself and to prevent yourself from getting sick as opposed to treating yourself has been an enormous accelerator of change.”
When there’s a major world event, it boosts change and innovation follows. Kevin believes that the pandemic has hugely accelerated the awareness of self-care and prevention instead of treating. It’s huge for the world, and also in Vietnam, he said. Because of this, people are more willing now to invest in their health before they get to the point where they require treatment.
“When we say fast-moving, it is understanding that two or three years ago what may have been a consumer’s priority can change really quickly.”
At Sanofi Vietnam, with Kevin’s lead, they’re working on building a global and local organization that can respond to those changes instantaneously and bring innovative solutions to the consumers.
Sanofi is a familiar name in Vietnam. They have established a remarkable presence both offline and online. When asked to share the top FMCH brands and priorities of Sanofi Vietnam, Kevin mentioned a couple of areas they’re really supporting and broke them down into different categories:
- Digestive wellness
- Enterogermina - Sanofi Vietnam’s largest brand and one of the top five OTC (over the counter) brands in the country.
- Bone health
- Calcium Corbière - This product is produced here in Vietnam, providing healthier bones for people throughout their lives.
- Cosmetics brand
- Lactacyd - Feminine hygiene and baby care that’s also developed, manufactured and researched in the country.
- Energy multivitamin
- Pharmaton - Building immunity and one of the strong brands in Vietnam
Kevin added they support more products to make sure people are aware and have access to these products throughout the seasons. And going back to their mission of serving healthier and fuller lives.