So I’ve just returned from an exhausting but a fantastic week in Paris. The beautiful French capital played host to this year’s CPhI exhibition and whilst I didn’t get to take advantage of the cultural and architectural wonders that the city has to offer, I have to say that I came away with a real feeling of optimism (accompanied by a pair of very sore feet of course).
Admittedly, the fact that the event coincided with Paris Fashion Week and the Paris Motor Show, made public transport a bit of a challenge but, on the up side, it meant that we got to spot some famous faces and, much to the delight of my male colleagues, the occasional female model gliding about town.
There seemed to be a real buzz around the show, more so than last year I felt. In fact, the meeting organizers announced a 24% growth in number of exhibitors over 2009, making the event the largest it has ever been in its 10-year history.
The noises that we were hearing were very promising; companies are talking of pipeline innovations, new investments and some, believe it or not, expansion! If I were forced to come up with a list of buzz words that could define the new strategies for companies operating in the ingredients and contract services sectors, based on this week’s exhibition, I would include:
- service offering expansion
- rebranding and reinvention
- supply chain integrity
- emerging markets
- high potency APIs
- oral dosage innovations
- drug delivery
- lifecycle management
I guess most would not be surprised by my choice of words, and whilst we all acknowledge that companies have been forced to alter their business strategies in order to grow or even survive, it was nice to hear that those companies are going against the stereotypical behavior that has defined the pharma/biopharma industries for so many years — conservative, traditional. They are adapting… fast. Sure, it is probably more out of necessity than choice, but the optimism for change seemed genuine.
I would like to thank all of those people that took the time to speak with my colleagues and I at the event; it was a real pleasure. I look forward to working with you and to continue reporting on the trends in your market that will define the future of this complex and exciting industry.