Leading a Global Leader, with Pierre Billardon

Pierre Billardon

PODCAST EPISODE 294

Click here to watch the video version of this podcast.


Dutch Ophthalmic Research Center (DORC) is a world-leading retinal surgical instrument developer. Even so, CEO Pierre Billardon recognizes the company has a fair percentage of US market share to obtain.

To take the private equity-backed company through its next growth phase – the goal is to double its equity in three to five years – Pierre listened to DORC’s surgeon customers, strengthened the company’s team, and improved DORC’s internal and external communication.

While innovation remains a key driver for DORC, Pierre remains focused on developing practical solutions. One key example: DORC’s disposable flat vitrectomy lens, a favorite device of host Firas Rahhal, MD.

In this episode, Dr. Rahhal speaks with Pierre about the technology behind TissueBlue, the only Food and Drug Administration-approved selective stain for the internal limiting membrane (ILM), and why it’s superior to using indocyanine green off-label for ILM staining.

You’ll also discover:
• How Pierre’s success at HumanOptics, manufacturer of the CustomFlex artificial iris, has informed his position at DORC. CustomFlex is the first ophthalmic device to receive FDA Breakthrough Device designation.
• The engineering behind the EVA phacoemulsification/vitrectomy system and how it brings LED “light to the eye.”
• How Pierre plans to obtain and maintain market share in a competitive landscape and his vision for the future.
• Why he considers his current leadership role the “job of his dreams.”

Listen Now.

Transcript:

Firas Rahhal: Hello everybody, welcome back to the OIS Retina Podcast, Again, I’m Firas Rahhal, a member and a partner at the Retina Vitreous Associates in Los Angeles, and a partner at ExSight Ventures centered in New York City. I’m delighted to have as my guest today Pierre Billardon, who is the CEO of DORC or Dutch Ophthalmic as all of us in the retina business has known them for many years. Pierre comes to us; I believe from Paris. Thank you, Pierre, for joining us today.

Pierre Billardon: Thank you so much. Sure. I actually am sitting in my office in the neighborhood of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. I’m originally French. You’re right.

Firas Rahhal: Very good. I’m glad you’re in Rotterdam, I guess that makes more sense, given who you’re with now.

Pierre Billardon: Absolutely.

Firas Rahhal: Are you originally from France? Or Belgium? Or where are you originally?

Pierre Billardon: I’m originally from France. Yes, absolutely.

Firas Rahhal: And I want to review a little bit some of your previous positions, which gives rise to that history. And then how you came to be where you are. Now you were. And I’ll go in chronological order most recent, and then you can correct me if I’ve got any of this wrong. CEO of human optics between 2017 and 2020. Pierre was president of the Alcon labs in Paris from 2013 to 2016, President of Carl Zeiss, also in France 2010 to 2013. And Director General was the title I saw for Carl Zeiss Meditec. Also, same company, but different title 2005 to 2013. What can you tell us about these previous positions? What did you like or dislike, if you wish, you know, however, for you feel to talk about it? And then ultimately, maybe you can then tell us a little bit about the human optics program? Because I’m not as familiar with that one?

Pierre Billardon: Sure. Well, I think thank you very much as an end, before that, I spent 10 years with the Supervision and Novartis. So I saw you’ve been involved in the visit on development. And I’ve been the first to launch it in ’99 in Switzerland, about 18 months before others did. And that was my very first contact with retinal specialists. Judges for the anecdote, right. So no, look, you know, I was very fortunate because as you said, You know, I worked 30 years in the ophthalmic space, actually 20 years as executive worked with, you know, blue chip companies like Carl Zeiss, Alcon. So, you know, you’ll learn a lot with those, those big corporates. So, you know, certainly there are benchmarking, you know, the way you work, and I was also very fortunate to, you know, to work with great people have you know, I think there is a common thread to my background is that as far as I can remember, and since my very first job, it’s been about integrating new businesses, about managing change and about growing businesses, right, and building up leading teams. And if you’re asking me what I like, very much, I like very much here, of course, you remember the numbers in the great years, but what is most important is, you know, is, is the adventure with the people, you know, great people you’ve met, you’ll be customers, great surgeons, who became friend for South of them, right. And, and it’s about, you know, the way you’re working together, so that that’s really what I would say, and I’ve been constantly learning all around the way. And that’s also what is great is just that you’re learning all the time, whether you know, in situations that are tough sometimes, but you always learn it’s a little bit like surgery, right. Exactly. Yeah. So that’s it and what I what I didn’t like is, the end is, is to be part of those big, large corporate because they become very, very, very complex, self-centered organization where were, you know, I felt I wanted to do something more entrepreneurial. So that’s how I became CEO to HumanOptics, which is a small company, German company, I knew the shareholder and then he asked me to basically reposition the company and put it back on track, which I did. It’s well known for its specialized iOL in particular, the artificial Iris, that you might have heard of, in the United States, one of the big achievement I have is that I brought the artificial Iris together with a team to the FDA. And we’ve been the first ophthalmic device to get the breakthrough status from the FDA, which was a little bit of a poison gift because all of a sudden, you’ve got most of your family division of the FDA, which is working for you for less than six months, because it has to be less than six months to get the approval, and we were not FDA certified. So it’s been a great adventure. And we work on the CMS listing with a team so that, you know, the device would be reimbursed which it is now and it’s enjoying great, great success in the US. So it’s a bigger, it’s been a big success for us. And the other thing that I learned there at HumanOptics was China, where I had, you know, some experience in the past indirectly, but we did about a third of our business in China. So that’s also what I learned there. And then you know, we failed also the innovation portfolio, which were kind of weak when I joined, and we made it a better and attractive company so that it would be bought and acquired by Chinese strategic investors. So that.

Firas Rahhal: That product is very interesting. The artificial Iris I wasn’t aware of this, but I think one of my patients here in Los Angeles was one of the first to get it in the US. I think UCLA was one of the sites and trauma surgery on this patient repack, repair to retinal detachment and you know, remove the lens, and the virus was severely damaged. So we did some staging and I sent them to my friends at UCLA and he was one of the I think the first person in the trial he turned out very, very well this is basically very appreciative of your development, obviously that I’m glad to talk to you about that.

Pierre Billardon: Yeah, no, it’s great, great product and great surgeries are these are some of the most magnificent and complex surgeries I have seen in my career.

Firas Rahhal: Yeah, I agree. I agree. So how do you view these positions in the context of bringing you to your current position with DORC who of course all the retinas surgeons who are observing here today or we’re all very familiar with DORC for many many years, and maybe tell us a little bit history of DORC for those who aren’t as familiar.

Pierre Billardon: Yeah, okay. Yeah, well, you know, when I saw I got free from HumanOptics, I could have stayed the buyout, you know, would have liked me to stay there you know, got approached by DORC and I said that’s the job of my dreams and I’m still saying it so that’s the good news. I just love it but I always wanted to be an innovation driven company in ophthalmology because this is what I can and so when I was offer this job I was really extremely excited about it. So also so DORC is a global player in Retina so now it’s always been it’s it has started as a startup back in ’83 in Rotterdam was mainly then an instruments maker and developer right so this is this explains why we have in our genomes still innovation because this is what we’ve been born with collaborating with surgeons and developing products that they need and all through the years DORC has been really a leader in innovation in retinal surgery so we we’ve brought you know the lighting to the eyes so today in the US were the only we’re having the only lead system on the US market. We were the only one to have a dual mode pump in our either machine where we combine flow and vacuum technology. We were the first one to bring the two-dimensional care we brought we invented 27 gauge so DORC his 27 gauge and it’s by far the most performing product in the market today where we’ve got then we have evidence of that that we’ve got the best performance the eyes share in 27-gauge surgeries you know the VR dice which were well known for where we were well leaders in VR days. So we registered them in the US market with VisionBlue in cataract, but we’re also the one and only posterior dye approved by the FDA with TissueBlue that we launched the outbreak of COVID. And is a fantastic success. So we had to become much more digital like others. But this one is a clearer is a clear example of a great success stories with more than 30,000 surgeries done with TissueBlue today, right. And we launched it in April last year. So there are many, many other things, if you would look at the portfolio of that, that three innovation is what DORC, what the work is a Word doc is bad in the

Firas Rahhal: No question. I think they’ve always been viewed. And I’ve been practicing a long time as a company that’s innovative, but also has this appearance and correctly of really precision engineering, you know, the tools, the handheld instruments and so forth have always been super precise. And obviously have a great team of engineers. How many engineers do you have approximately now at DORC working on instruments and so forth?

Pierre Billardon: We have in purely in r&d, we have 15 engineers. So this is about 10%. This is more than what 10% of the workforce. And overall in DBS, we don’t just have engineers, we’ve got software engineers, and so on so forth, we’ve got more than 10% of our employees who are working in r&d. Absolutely.

Firas Rahhal: You been in the eye space a long time, you’re now the CEO of a surgical company, that a good one and a well-known one, a great one around the world. How do you view the role of the CEO? Specifically, you obviously gave a lot of thought to that entering the position. And maybe that’s changed as you’ve evolved the position? How do you view the role? And then I want to talk to you about one of the aspects you mentioned yourself focus on, you know, market share, obtaining, growing, maintaining market share in a competitive marketplace like this?

Pierre Billardon: Well, many questions in one question.

Firas Rahhal: It’s food for thought we could revisit some. Start with the CEO role, in the ophthalmic.

Pierre Billardon: Because I could read a book, I could write a book on it. But that was right to avoid that. Seriously. So you know the role of the CEO, you know, you were asking me what I learned that I had to, I had to learn from great, great CEOs, you know, including one of them being my mentor early on in my career. So you see, also, you know, the things that would you that are working well, or that you believe are not working well, that you wouldn’t like to do so? Well, that you don’t like, but I’ve put together with time kind of my leadership modal, so to speak, right. So I would give you the usual NBL answers. Like it depends, right? But I’ve got a consistent approach, right. So I think what is your, in any company I joined, I always applied the same method. And the common thread there is to build up, you know, a compelling vision, right? So that you will share with your teams and bring the guys together with you build up your own, challenge the strategy or put together a new strategy, you know, it happens, you have to start everything from scratch. And obviously, it all depends, you know, on what’s the status of the company. So if I take HumanOptics, it was much more like turnaround and realignment kind of status, what you needed to do and then you act in a different way. as to when you’re with the with a company like DORC, which has been pre COVID and also within COVID. But when I joined, you know, in the middle of COVID, pre-COVID, we’ve been very successful, like growing, you know, 9% year on you’re the past three years prior to COVID. So there you pay very much attention not to write the toy, as I always say, and you know, look at what you need to adapt, change. And that’s what you do. And then what’s super, super important as a CEO is that you make sure that you get all your organization aligned with your strategy, right. So you look at your systems, you look at your structure, our people work together, you know, what kind of team you want to have, where the gaps are, you look at your systems and you look at your culture, your people, you know, what you want to have, and how you know, because if you have a misalignment with all those elements in with a strategy, it’s the recipe for failure. On the other end, if you succeed on this, usually it works pretty well. So that’s, you know, the way I am working. And obviously, I’m, you know, I guess I’m part of the 20% of CEOs, you know, we delegate quite to large extent rights, I’m not a micromanager, as I always tell my guys a good reason for firing someone as a leader would be for me if he’s a micromanager. And you find that more and more, you know, it’s especially in big corporate institutions, which I feel it’s a disaster because it creates all sorts of negative spirals that bring the companies to big fails. So that doesn’t mean you should not be controlling, monitoring, you know, the plan that you’ve been putting together, according to the priorities that you’ve been putting together. That’s clear, but what you need is to have is to have people you know, executing and you know, being motivated and being engaged with a company, I think that that’s a key criteria. And, for that they you need to take responsibility, but they need to be allowed to take responsibility and accountability too. So again, I could speak for hours on the role of the CEO and leadership.

Firas Rahhal: I enjoyed hearing that. That’s very clear. And I was, I’m interested in your comments about the 20%, who don’t micromanage I didn’t realize that was the proportion. But as a managing partner of a pretty big medical firm, nothing like a huge company. The micromanagement is a problem. It’s hard for some of us who have a little bit of obsessive-compulsive natures, which is a lot of people who get far in this world sometimes to back off and not micromanage. It’s a human instinct, but I agree totally with you. You talked about the vision, the broader message, the mission, aligning the different parts of the company, I totally agree. And that’s brilliant. Did you have this notion, you said, this is the dream job? So heading into the job? Had you already a lot of preconceived ideas about what that message and mission was going to be for you? And your tenure? Or did that evolve after you arrived?

Pierre Billardon: Well, I would say, you know, when you get into a job, you know, you got the very famous first 90 days or 100, depends on the books you read, right? So but that’s about the first three months. So we’re, obviously, you know, you prepare yourself beforehand, you know, depending on what kind of documents you you’ve got beforehand, but basically, at the end of these 90 days, where you kind of audit the situation, you meet the people like I met more than 10% of the people we’ve got about 500 people at DORC, right, so, so I guess I made about 50 interviews when I joined, right, so you really gotta end in a very structured way. Right? So it’s not by accident, and just to say, Hello, so you just audit the situation and, and you know, what the, you get the sense of your priorities, you know, and then you build up your team and you build up your shoulder plan and then that’s how you get there. So yes, you would evolve and come coming with preconceived ideas is so that’s certainly not a good thing. Right, because we are reproducing what you’ve been doing before you could be doing making major, major fail around sub solve themselves. I would not advise this certainly not.

Firas Rahhal: I’m sure and I want to come back now to the, the market share question. One of the missions, I’m sure is market share driven, you have certain market share in the US certain market share in Europe. I know the US market pretty well; I don’t know the European market very well myself. You know, clearly you have competitors, Alcon has had a big market share in surgical ophthalmology in the US for as long as I’ve been in ophthalmologist and beyond. So how does that drive decision making for you? What, I don’t need you to be too specific, you know, trade secrets and so forth. But, you know, how does that shape strategy? How much of your time is spent on this strategic part of it regarding market share, let’s say particularly in the US, since a lot of our audiences US, although they’re also in Europe. What do you think about all this? How much of your time is spent on that and what kind of strategies does one as a CEO think about to build market share?

Pierre Billardon: Well, You know, well, the US example for DORC is a good example, right? Because in the US, we’ve got about twice as less market share as we have, you know, in the whole world. So you can look at it as the half empty glass or the half full, and we take it as the half full, because that means we’ve got a major growth opportunity in the US and we’re, we realized that long time ago. And for that big bed, so there as, as you said, you know, the market share growth is, is a key strategic goal. And the good news that we succeed in, we are succeeding into in doing this right, so we’re number two in terms of install base in the US market. So we’re progressing well. So how do we do that? Right? So, the first thing is that, in the US, if we look at the, the situation like, three, four years ago, and when I joined DORC, you know, I had very good friends Retina’s surgeons in the US. I, you know, I, we have conversations, right? So, you know, and what came out was, yeah, you know, what, you guys, you’ve got great products, great technology, but you’re never quite able to communicate in a way that you know, people in the US would really get in a simple easy way, what your technology can do. So I said, well, okay, I we’re kind of a little bit of ingenieur driven right. So, so, also in our communication, which we have changed. And then the thing was about, you know, the coverage of the market, right, so because as much as your technology can be leading and our technology is leading, by far in some areas, if you guys are not sure that we will provide the right service, you know, that you will build this kind of ecosystem where new surgeons or the hospitals or the purchasers the directors feel good with it and that you’re certain you’re going to get the right level of service. So that you will get all you will be able always to work so then that’s a problem, you can have the best technology, but the level of service super important. So what we’ve done is to strengthen our teams, strengthen our distribution. So now we’ve got 22 feel Bay sales and, and an application and technicians on the US market we’ve got a great coverage. We are also the only one to be fully dedicated to retina and you know, with what is specific to ophthalmologists, that is a niche, right and retina is a niche in the niche. So the level of understanding of this area is super important. So we’ve got a great team in the US that we’ve developed in size, but also in scales, right. And in the way we work in the organization. And that has proven to be very positive in the way we now bring our technology that is clearly differentiated from comparison, what we do also we work a lot on supporting on training and education. So we’ve placed our machine in seven out of the 10 top teaching institutions in the US so that’s I guess a great sign of trust for our technology, right that those great institution that have chosen us as an evidence you know, where one of our big wins was Johns Hopkins who’s chosen as their primary care suppliers so that that that that was really a big, big, big pride for us to have done that but we’ve established also the jumpstart retina fellow training modules, programs. So with some of your colleagues like close colleagues like Colin McCannel, MD and also Guarav Shah, MD and Ash Tewari, MD and Dean Elliot, MD. It’s so you know all that and we’ve worked specifically also increased that during COVID training webinars right which much better known and generate leads for our business. And again, you know, in the US, which is not just in the US, but in particular in the US the economies are very important. So what our technology also brings is that we reduce setup time in the OR, which is pretty important. We increase efficiencies. So if we look at all the innovations we’ve developed, that’s definitely what we also bring. So, yeah, so that’s what we do as an example in the US and that we’re, we’re accelerating, we’ve got a strategic initiative, which is called Gobi in the US. So more than that, on satellite.

Firas Rahhal:: You know, this is what golfers, and I totally applaud the strategy, what golfers call and I’m not a golfer, the long game, you know, you’re investing time and energy and, obviously, money into fellows and residents observing and using and training on your equipment. Hence, you know, Johns Hopkins in places like UCLA, who are huge institutions for training fellows and residents. And that really is the long game, and that’s the sustainable game. You are winning over. You know, one surgeon is always excellent, but winning over institutions that train future generations is the long game, and I give you a lot of credit, sometimes CEOs, by the nature of their position might see the short game more than the long game.

Pierre Billardon: There you go.

Firas Rahhal: Congratulations, let’s talk a little bit. In our minutes remaining here. You mentioned them, but maybe a little bit more about the technologies themselves. And I have a couple specifically that I know are evolving and important as part of your armamentarium, TissueBlue. And I’m familiar with it, and I do use it. And it’s an excellent staining for the ILM. Interestingly, some years ago, I tried one of the blues for ILM, when it was still well-off label here and just sort of experimental, and it wasn’t as good. I don’t know which one that was to be honest with you. But the current TissueBlue that you’re you have commercially available now is excellent. And I used it recently a number of times. How do you see that as becoming different You’re obviously succeeding with it, but differentiated from ICG? Is it mostly on safety? Is it on efficacy? What is the message with TissueBlue for ILM state?

Pierre Billardon: I spelt actually, right. So as we said, it’s the one and only FDA approved product. Right. So which, you know, for me, that, that means when you’re using it, you know, you’re not using off label product, which is always a problem nowadays, certainly, in a country like the US, right. But besides that, I think in terms of efficacy, you know, it’s formulated with polyethylene eye glycol, so which is which is, you know, an additive that, that makes the product much more than so it increased density, but also it brings it you know, it makes this cohesive bowl, you know, that goes and then spread as you’ve seen it as a surgeon, so that comes, you know, run the way the way we’ve formulated it. And that that’s a big advantage. So it’s also relatively low viscosity if you compare with ICG off the shelf preparation so it’s easier to use, and it has high density and it’s stable because the other ICG products are not stable. So this is really the big difference and yes ICG has a potential toxicity and that it has been you know, described in the literature. And of course, you know, as a farmer great product, you know, that means we’ve got obligations like doing post market surveillance, so it’s not just you know, the safety of today but it’s the safety of tomorrow as well that we bring with a farmer great product.

Firas Rahhal: Totally agree and the usage of this product is increasing I know in the US is increasing at a rate that you’re happy with so far, notwithstanding the limitations, the pandemic put on all companies, how are you happy with the growth rates so far?

Pierre Billardon: Oh yes, we’re extremely happy, as I said, you know, just for the US with, we’ve achieved here today develop, you know, 30,000 procedures, that with tissue blue again, we launched it back in April, really in the outbreak of COVID. And you know, with thanks to some of your colleagues, you know, we build up webinars in the US, you know, to really promote the product, train people on the product. And so that, you know, when the number of surgeries grew, so then the usage of TissueBlue grew, as well. So no, we’re really very happy with the development, and we’ve got 12 out of the top 13 US hospitals that are already using TissueBlue, which, again, neural correlates with what I said before, so. So it, we may say it’s a trusted product already.

Firas Rahhal: It’s a winner. Let’s talk about the eve of attracting the system. That’s obviously a big, big of great interest to you, the technology evolves gets better. Again, we spoke about the reputation earned by DORC for tremendous engineering, obviously, a lot of 1000s of man hours went into developing this device initially. When your Salesforce wants to go out and talk to surgeons about Leiva people who are using other products or considering opening a new center? What are the differentiating features, they like to talk about? What do they express is good reasons to choose the evo system versus some of the other ones?

Pierre Billardon: Pierre Billardon: Oh, has? So yeah, so no, look, I think the unique wall is not just the machine, as you know, right? It’s a full system with everything that goes together with it. So you know, obviously, when we talk about either we talk about fluidics. So that’s the first thing. And then it’s the combination of what our very specific pump is bringing to the fluidics performance is the TDC. So the dual cutter, anything illumination, so again, you know, we brought light into the eyes so and we’re the only one to have led in the to bring the LED illumination into the eye in the US. And then what you get is really an enhanced control as a surgeon. Right? So again, on the Carter, the TDC was we were the first one to introduce that five years ahead of competition back in 2014. Right, so just telling Do you know what this company is about. And it’s been used according to our own data, in over 80,000 surgeries so far with a great track record. And obviously, when you combine the cutter with the VTi that’s the name of our pump, which is offering vacuum and flow. So that’s where you get the full performance and benefit of this system with the flow rate that ensures stable expiration flow in veterus and BSS and that gives you know, and you’re the one to judge if you use a built-in mobile retina, this is also a win-win, right? So my first surgeries when I joined, there were pretty tough cases. And this is you know, the friend surgeon showed me see you know, see in this and when you go there and with a mobile retina how you know, how great it is to have such a control which is essential, right.

Firas Rahhal: Ultimately the as a surgeon and we all talk about this and we talk about it with the corporate folks too. With all the different bells and whistles that come on our very fancy and very elegant machines. The quality of the cutter still is 90% of the meaningful quality to the surgeon that description you just gave of how well you can shave over a mobile retina. Those basic points are really, from an efficiency and safety standpoint, those are the most important things. And I’m glad that you’re focusing on it, and your company does focus on it. And I hear that talk, and when the products being promoted, and I totally agree with that, and I think you’re focusing on the right, on the right parts of what means something to us in real practice every day, with both easy and tough cases. How much of the message when you’re trying to, I’m not asking you to be a salesman here, but you have a sales force who report to you at some point? How much of the message in flipping a client from products in Alcon or another company to your product? How much of that has to be economic? In the US versus say, other parts of the world? Or is it same everywhere?

Pierre Billardon: Well, I you know, it’s about the same everywhere, means, you know, all the countries you from China, to the US through to Europe, to government driven healthcare system, or purely private driven systems, you know, everybody’s facing the same situation, that you’ve got more and more patients that are getting older and older, and I’ve got more and more eye problems, you know, and other diseases, and nobody has got enough money ever to cover those costs. So economics are absolutely essential. But more than economics, it’s about you’re also what I call market access, which is, you know, what, what kind of value do you get for your money? And I think, you know, this is absolutely, critical. No part of our markets is tender driven. So we like public tender driven, so we’re always in competition with, you know, a big element on price on cost of procedures. But unfortunately, you’re about performance, which is which is important. So that’s the big challenge, right? It’s access to innovation for the patients, you’re in for the healthcare system, you know, that’s why we also work a lot. And it’s part of our strategy, you know, to always be better at what we’re doing. And you know, like, operational excellence is super important for us, in order to generate the margins that will allow us on the one hand to finance innovation and r&d. And on the other end to be competitive on the market, which we so far managed pretty well to do.

Firas Rahhal: Makes a lot of sense. I want to give a little plug to you and your company, one of my favorite, and I didn’t mention this to you before, but one of my favorite tools in all of ophthalmology is your disposable flat lens for pilot. I’m not kidding. It all of us value visualization tremendously in vitreoretinal surgery, it’s a particular area of interest to me, I really value the viewing system. And I still use the Avi Wide Field systems contact versus non-contact. I’m a pupil of Stanley Chang and I’ve never given that up and I won’t I really think the view is magnificent and for appealing. And ILM really the disposable flatlands from DORC is fantastic. And I’m glad that you and other companies still pay attention to these small details because they’re critical.

Pierre Billardon: And you have to use the ultra-appeal forceps with it and you will try it. Yeah.

Firas Rahhal: I’ll try. I have not used those. So I won’t. And I will try it. And I saw in my studies to prepare to talk to you the diagrams of that forceps. So I’m going to try it for sure. And I’ve been using the TissueBlue now. And I think so that combination is wonderful for peeling the ILM and we often make it look easy, but it’s a very challenging skill and learning how to do it properly is difficult and visualization is everything. Thanks for that lens. I was a big fan from day one. What about and we only have a couple minutes, but I want to hear about what do you think for the future? You know, broadly speaking, what are the directions for you personally within the company but really for the company overall in the coming two to three years new innovations marketing approach? What are your focus? What is your focus?

Pierre Billardon: Our focus is definitely growth right, so we’ve got a very we’re a private equity backed company. So I’m I forgot to say that but that’s pretty important. which is which is great news because we’ve got a unique shareholder. And then and who is really very much focused on growth, where we’ve got a great relationship, great collaboration together. So that makes things really very much fun. So, to your question, you know, we want basically to double equity within the coming for three to five years, right. So which is a challenge, but we’ve got a very solid basis, as you and me, we just discussed the key drivers there. It’s mainly organic. So we’re looking also at the inorganic growth, you know, to get what we don’t have, either, you know, technologies that we would like to have for the future, but also, you know, completing our portfolio when we had, you know, to prioritize on the new platform that we’re going to bring to the market early next year, end of this year, so where are we going to bring a new platform, there was significant innovation, so we’re ahead of competition. So we’re preparing that in the midterm, obviously, innovation will remain a key driver, one of the mandate I was given by my board, as a CEO, Europe, you need to listen to your board and work as a boss. I forgot to say that and communicate properly, which is the other piece of it. Yeah, so you know, the innovation is or the future, what’s the next step right in Retina’s surgery. So we’re looking at new approaches, new surgical approaches, but also new therapeutical approaches, like gene therapy, as you well know is becoming reality now. So we’re going to bring soon your subretinal injection modality with our machine which will be FDA approved. So we want to be in that game and continue in this direction. And we’re looking, you know at new technologies, artificial intelligence, you know, virtual reality, augmented reality, how it may contribute to the future, of retinal surgery and of the OR so well, so that’s what we’re looking, you know, around what we’re doing today, but obviously, continuing to work with the surgeons, to bring them what they don’t have, as you said, you know, it’s not just about fancy stuff, but it’s about the small instrument that is so useful and that you guys want one to have. So growth is clearly the focus continuing to keep the customer relationship specially in the US bring the US the voice of the US market and the US surgeons into DORC’s innovation is a key priority for me. Which is very, very important to us. And yeah, as I said continue to develop our teams and develop our markets with the two big priorities on US and China. But not only we’re strong in Japan as well. So we want to continue to grow there and in other in other markets. So very, very exciting. Very exciting future, as you can see, and I could speak about it for hours as your guest.

Firas Rahhal: Thanks very much Pierre, thanks for joining us. These are really interesting talking points. And yes, we can spend a lot of time and I’m sure you spend a lot of time will thinking about all this and obviously communicating all this to your teams who then go out and have to communicate the message and the mission to the rest of us in the community. I thank you for taking the time to speak with us and explain this and I congratulate you on your successes at DORC already but for future successes.

Pierre Billardon: Thank you so much. It’s been a great pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Firas Rahhal: My pleasure.

Pierre Billardon: Thank you

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Ehsan Sadri
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Firas Rahhal, MD
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