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Rafael Chan Global Marketing Director, Glaucoma Alcon Laboratories, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "Rafael Chan Global Marketing Director, Glaucoma Alcon Laboratories, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rafael Chan Global Marketing Director, Glaucoma Alcon Laboratories, Inc.

2 Rafael Chan Global Marketing Director, Glaucoma Alcon Laboratories, Inc.

3 Prior to Japan………. Joined Alcon in June 2000 Brand Manager, Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) U.S. Surgical Division, Alcon Laboratories, Inc.

4 2003: The Need Historically, Alcon had been the dominant player in the Ophthalmic Surgical business in Japan, with #1 market share positions in the following areas: IOLs (AcrySof ® ) Cataract Equipment Vitreoretinal Equipment In 2001, a Japanese company (HOYA) launched their version of a small-incision IOL and rapidly gained market share

5 Market & Training Visit – October 2003

6 1 st 6 months Assess the team, make changes if necessary “Right people……right job” Get a full-time translator Fluent in English, of course Experience living in a “western” environment Meet customers Get in the field! What exactly are our Sales reps doing? What are they saying to create demand for our Brands?

7 “Gunslinger” vs. Godzilla

8 Things that worked in the US may not work in Japan…….

9 Internal Challenges “Here’s the plan……” “I’m going to make swift changes!” “This is what we’re going to do…..” Lots of head-nodding, but no comprehension You’re a short-timer, gaijin….and you’ll be gone in a few years This is Japan, we cannot do this

10 How do we gain alignment with the Head of Sales? Shogun: a hereditary military dictator in Japan Sales Sales Rep Marketing

11 Desired Goal Brand Sales Marketing R&D Manufacturing /QA


13 Step 1: Establishing “honne” Tatemae vs. Honne Tatemae – hearing what you want to hear; a façade Honne - Truth Frequent 1-1 meetings Shut up & listen

14 Step 2: Create Environment of Empowerment Challenge: Japanese are relatively risk-averse, especially those not in managerial roles Formation of “One Alcon” Teams Multi-department team focused on one business issue that affects everyone Team vs. “Silo” approach Get away from “it’s not my job” mentality

15 Step 3: Open Lines of Communication with Western colleagues Before: Typical interactions were visits to Japan 1-2x each year Japanese would show US visitors what they wanted to see “Everything looks great…..keep up the good work!!!” Need: Constant engagement My role was to “facilitate” dialogue so that Corporate could fully understand the issue

16 Step 4: Go for Singles & Doubles Go for “small” wins --- and celebrate small wins Success builds upon success

17 Step 5: Change is good! Performance based compensation Hire from outside if necessary People development – stretch assignments & tasks Create a learning environment Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks!

18 Step 6: Sales & Marketing are Peers Still a work in progress……. SalesMarketing


20 Customer is ICHIBAN (#1)

21 Nemawashi works in the Western World “The meeting before the meeting…….” Gain alignment with key stakeholders prior to the official meeting where decisions are made

22 Quality is of paramount importance The “cotton ball” experience What an American may not perceive as a quality issue, Japanese will!

23 Business Etiquette Use of Meishi (business cards) Dining with customers and business associates Avoid usage of “slang” words Careful in using jokes to break the ice

24 Not a matter of right & wrong… just different! Embrace differences Put yourself in their shoes Fugu = blowfish; containing a deadly poison in different parts of the body

25 Importance of Team

26 Patience!!!! Most Important Lesson from Japan


28 In Japan, customary for husband to work long hours Spouse responsible for taking care of the home Business trips during the week & sometimes over weekends

29 Make the Most of the Ex-Pat Experience Find time to travel & explore Try different things Meet others with similar circumstances

30 Summary Better sometimes to ask questions and listen Encourage the “meeting before the meeting” Embrace change / embrace differences If given the opportunity, make the most of an ex-pat experience

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