Spotted in an orange section booth at the Buy Korea 2009 Autumn floor stood a buyer with a positive aura. He had just finished meeting his first seller on the morning of September 17. Many hopes and opportunities were floating in the air at the site, so we caught one of them to learn what the brand-new concept of the business meeting, Buy Korea 2009 is all about. Our real orientation of Buy Korea 2009 began with the cooperation of a Peruvian pharmaceutical company named Ilender Corporation Laboratories Americanos. Ilender created branches in nine other countries within twenty years of the company's thirty year history: Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, Guatemala, and Mexico.
"We are here to discover new products that are protected by patents. We are highly interested in importing those and selling them in Peru. Registering patent pharmaceutical products in Peru is quite a challenging process due to the time, effort, and paperwork it requires. But we go through this step to introduce new products to doctors. Once we get the products to the doctors, we sell them to the pharmacists so that the newly perscribed medicines will be available for the patients," said Mario Mongilardi Fuchs of Ilender Corp. Laboratories Americanos.
A second buyer meeting began just then with a swap of business cards between the representatives of Ilender and Yuhan corporations. During the briefing about Yuhan Corporation, Fuchs was fully engaged. He said, "This is great. Your company has products with patents, which raises the value of the products due to the protection. And that is exactly what I'm looking for." Fuchs was also excited to learn that 57% of Yuhan Corporations' sales were ETC products. ETC products refer to the drugs that can only be perscribed by doctors.
"In Peru, we have institutional markets like the Ministry of Health and Social Security. The government holds 1 tender per year. Out of 600 bidding products from different suppliers, only 1 pair wins. This business represents 85% of turnover from tender since a winning here means the winner as the only supplier for 18 months!" Fuchs explained. "Then there are private markets, which count only as 15% for turnover. We decided to split the risk by securing strong products for private markets. That is why we are looking for brand genetics."
Ilender Corp. made US$12 million in Peru only last year. As a group, the sales turnover for 2008 was US$50 million. Yuhan Corporation suggested the product Newfactan as the product to launch in the private market in Peru. Yuhan already registered this pulmonary surfactant preparation medicine to Peru in 2007, yet no great outcome of sales has been happening over the years due to the challenge in communication between Yuhan Corp. and a Korean trader. Fuchs showed a high interest in learning about the potential of this product in the private markets of Peru and stated its capability to work with this product once the research is done.
The next product of Yuhan Corporation was an acid pump antagonist called Revane. "This is the type of product I am looking for. A majority of men in Peru suffer from stomach-related illness because such pain is due to the stress every man faces. I have high faith in this product and Yuhan should definately check the products' availability," said Fuchs.
"Buy Korea 2009 allowed us to met a first class company like this. There is no way I could reach them without the support of KOTRA," said Mario Mongilardi Fuchs.
From Myungmoon Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.'s hormones to Yuhan Corporation's acid pump antagonists, Fuchs a very positive reaction to the meetings. More meetings ahead only suggested more possibilities for purchase as Fuchs concluded, "We are not planning to limit the number of companies in terms of purchasing. As long as we feel a high confidence of the product, we will purchase as many kinds as we need from different companies." Joining one of Ilender Corporation's buyer meetings proved one thing about the Buy Korea 2009: both buyers and sellers have long been awaiting for such a catalytic event, and it came to them as their wish even before Christmas.