THE NADI BLOG
WORKING TO PRESENT RESEARCH-DRIVEN KNOWLEDGE
Ms. Huang received her bachelor’s degree in life sciences in 1997 at National Tsing Hua University and later received a master’s in microbiology at the National Taiwan University two years later. A few years later, she moved to England and got a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Durham in 2003.
When she returned home, she began working as a specialist in medical sales at
Roche Pharmaceuticals and then moved on to working at a small startup called Pharma
Engine as its Manager in Business Development. After working there for a few months, she
went on to work at companies like Novartis, Merck, PM Gloves, and finally Apex Medical,
working in various positions like product manager, pricing manager, and commercial
All her experiences culminated her in receiving the position of director of global marketing of the Chinese Business Unit at PMGloves, a Taiwanese based company that makes disposable personal protective equipment like gloves, masks, hats, etc. Her duties included leading a marketing team in charge of managing various portfolios, registering medical devices, profit and loss statements, and more. After working there for almost two
years, she became Senior Director at Apex Medical for the regions of Asia including
Australia, east and south Asia.
Ms. Huang’s advice for getting an upper management job is to be patient and get
lots of experiences. She had such a wide diversity of experiences (7 or 8 jobs) before she
got to Apex Medical. With many different experiences, she was able to handle so much
more and draw from so many more experiences. Ms. Huang was inspired to be a leader by
her mother who was a university instructor. She was impressed by her mother’s ability to
command, teach, and inspire others and sought to do the same.
Although none of the people I interviewed for my leadership interviews would be able
to come to speak with the class, I am very sure that Mukesh Patel (MBS advisor and
Juicetank Founder) would love to come and speak in our class. I can also recommend
other leaders who may also be able to speak with the class. One of my mother’s
elementary school classmate, Alan Lin, is now Senior Director CMC Biologics at Celgene
who got a Master’s in Business Administration and Master’s in Science, so I can ask him he
wants to come give a talk if you want.
Key Leadership Insights
1) What advice do you have for a future leader in your field?
Get lots of experiences. I have had around 7 or 8 jobs before I got my current position at Apex. With so many different experiences, you will be able to do so much more and draw from so many more experiences. This will allow you to get ahead of the competitive and do your job very well.
2)What are three key challenges you face as a leader in the science / technology sector of business and how do you currently maneuver to lessen the impact or to negate the impact?
There are a lot of challenges in the future of medical device marketing. Technology is a big one not only in the products we make but the technology that we use. We have to stay on top of the new tech but also find the ones that best fit with our company and develop the skills needed to use these products. Automation is especially important that will help reduce costs and save a lot of time. Branding is also another challenge as we go on. There are so many companies in the world so we have to be unique in order to stand out. We not only have to think about brand design, but also the user experience and how people interact with us on various mediums (smartphone, TV, etc.). We want to tell them a story about our brand and communicate a steady message to our audience and doing so in the most effective way is always going to be a challenge. Finally, producing content that is engaging and interesting is another challenge. We want people to be able to engage with our company, subscribe to our newsletter, or talk about our company and if we don’t produce good content on a consistent basis, then we start to lose the engagement.
3) Where do you see your business growth coming in the next 3 – 5 years?
It is hard to say. At such a large company like Apex, there are many possible growths. I believe one of the most promising or potential growth is in negative-pressure wound therapy, a technique that uses a vacuum dressing to accelerate healing. And we definitely hope to expand the business to many more countries.
4) What attributes will be needed in the leaders in your company in the future and why?
Our “slogan” is honesty, professionalism, and innovation, so I’d say those are the most
important attributes. This is because we make medical devices, so they must always help
patients, not harm them. That’s why honesty and professionalism are so important. And
innovation/creativity in both technology and marketing is needed to move our company forward because without it, we will fall behind the competition.
How I got in contact with Ms. Huang:
I had always wanted to get in touch with a leader in a medical device company, so I
talked to my father who works as an MIS manager at Ikegami, a Japanese manufacturer of
television broadcasting equipment. Ikegami also makes medical devices like surgical
microscopes or endoscopes. During the summer, I got to tour their old office in Maywood, NJ and will be visiting their new office in Mahwah, NJ in the winter. While at their old office, I met some of their managers who talked about all their medical devices and showed me videos of some of them in action. One video I saw was about eye surgery linked here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjd0hZTmAiY (Warning: possible graphic content).
I also met the employees in marketing, accounting, storage, and sales department and
they explained to me what they did at the company. One marketing person who is also my
father’s good friend, Mr. Zhang, was very nice and talked to me about marketing strategies and web development. For this leadership interview, I contacted him as well as my father for any suggestions. My father did not know anybody besides his own superiors, but Mr. Zhang did know a person in Apex Medical who was Senior Director of their marketing department. It was Mr. Zhang who gave me the contact number to Ms. San-ting Huang.
I called Ms. Huang on September 5th who told me that she would be able to talk the next
day after work. She was very impressed by the Master’s degree in Business and Science that I was pursuing and said that she wished she could have gotten a degree like that. We had a very productive conversation about a variety of things – from marketing to advertising to leading a small team. I also had my mother help me with translating some of the Chinese words. As to the insights documents, Ms. Huang said to just refer to her as Interview 1 or 2.