Interview with Simone Stoiber, Regional Marketing Director at Harro Höfliger

Harro Höfliger is a German company specialising in the development and manufacture of customer-specific production and packaging equipment. The firm is an esteemed development partner for pharmaceutical and medical companies and is a technology leader in dosing powder, even in the smallest of quantities and for the most delicate assembly processes.

Why did you choose to exhibit at CPhI South East Asia?

CPhI Worldwide in Europe has always been a successful show for our company, especially in Germany. However, three years ago our company started to target the South East Asian market, so we decided to participate in the 2018 edition of CPhI South East Asia in Jakarta. The show went well for us, and this year in Thailand we had another very successful show.


Were you already conducting business in Asia when you participated in the event?
Our company has been conducting business in a few Asian countries for a long time, such as China and India, but we had not done much business in South East Asia.


Was CPhI South East Asia your first experience doing business with the South East Asian Market?
No, but it was our first exhibition in the South East Asia region.


How is CPhI South East Asia different from CPhI Worldwide?
CPhI Worldwide is a bigger event, but at CPhI South East Asia the focus is on the Asian market and on connecting with Asian customers.As our company is based in Singapore, our focus is obviously on the Asian market.


How important is the South East Asia market to your business? Why?
South East Asia is definitely a growing market for us and it’s clear that companies here are following the trend of industrial automation. Our main focus is on the pharmaceutical and med tech industry, and Indonesia is our biggest market in South East Asia, followed by Malaysia and Thailand.


Do you foresee any type of innovation happening in South East Asia in the future?
I foresee innovation around automisation. Companies are more automatised nowadays, and our company offers small scale equipment for R&D purposes and semi-automatic equipment which provides the perfect entry mode with low risk and costs.


Would you support small batch production for Biopharmaceuticals?
Yes, we also have equipment for R&D and small batch sizes.


What was your main objective in participating in CPhI South East Asia?
Participating in CPhI South East Asia helped us network with key contacts and build brand awareness. At the last edition, the ratio between new and existing contacts was 70/30, which is quite high. Another positive point was that the costumers came from all over Asia, and not only from Thailand.


Do you have any suggestions or improvement points that you would like to share?
CPhI South East Asia was a really good event for our company, and we will be coming back next year with a bigger booth. We were pleased that our company won the award for the Most Attractive Booth this year!


What is the biggest challenge when conducting business in Asia?
There is a lot of knowledge transfer involved, as our customers are keen on learning more about the latest technologies and trends in the market. They may have an idea but not be sure about how to implement it, or they may lack experience. When it comes to new ideas and innovations, we don’t leave anything to chance. We work with our customers to ensure that we are always decisive, innovative, and a step ahead of the competition, even for niche products.


What are the differences you experience when conducting business in the ASEAN countries?
Cultural differences are always present – I noticed that people are more relationship-oriented in the ASEAN region compared with Germany.


Do you believe that the market is still led by the older companies and European companies?
I think so, yes. Of course, the local market has started to build their own machines. China is a good example of this, for instance.


Is there anything else that you would like to see at CPhI South East Asia?
It would be great if we could have free seminar lectures on the stage during the event.


Last year we had a change in the venue - what are your thoughts about this?
I think the venue and the location were great.