Industry leading pharma services provider, Head of Business Development

The challenge.

A leading CDMO in the pharmaceutical industry was seeking a Head of Business Development for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. This vacancy would be responsible for expanding the company’s services into a new geographical territory and identifying new commercial business opportunities to grow the client’s market share within this region. The position is highly autonomous, reporting to the Chief Commercial Officer, and required the selected candidate to be able to recognise, analyze and commercialize new opportunities to sell pharma-related services within Asia. Proven leadership, stakeholder management, and strategic decision-making were also prerequisites to a successful hire.

The solution.

Chad Harrison International (CHI) conducted a retained search for a first-rate business developer with high visibility in the market, as well as broad customer knowledge and connections. The successful candidate also needed to be an exceptional business builder, who had evidence of leading rapid growth, to significant scale, of a CDMO or CRO business across APAC, and of establishing a high-performance sales team.

The search comprised market mapping to target companies across multiple countries within the region and drawing up a diverse pool of highly credible prospective candidates. Working in collaboration with the client’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), CHI identified a long list of suitable candidates. We then commenced a targeted headhunt on all preferred candidates based on credentials, salary requirements, and motivations. This created a shortlist comprising qualified and interested candidates.

CHI coordinated virtual interviews for the initial interview in a multi-stage hiring process. These were conducted via Microsoft Teams by the COO. The second stage was conducted by two peers within the business from other geographical territories. For the final interview, the client’s COO flew to Asia to conduct a face-to-face interview with the final two candidates who were required to present on their market/customer knowledge and ability to build out an international commercial function within the region.

The result.

Within four weeks of assignment commencement, CHI submitted a diverse shortlist of six candidates. Following interviews, an offer was made to the first-choice candidate who accepted after a total of eight weeks, with a start date agreed for three months later (in line with the individual’s notice period). CHI handled the offer presentation and negotiation stage to facilitate the smooth onboarding of the desired candidate. Their experience fit all the relevant skill sets our client required, as well as being an excellent cultural fit with the business.

This placement, amongst others, has led to a close-knit working relationship between CHI and the client. As such, we have since hired individuals reporting into the position detailed above and carried out extensive search assignments for the client across other regions, notably Europe and North America.