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Last night Accreate hosted 8 leaders from the life sciences industry in the first of our ‘Accreate Invites’ series. It was a brilliant evening held in Dun’s Library at the Royal College of Physicians on Kildare Street. Luis Rojas, Head of Operations & Strategy with Zoetis Inc. led the discussion as he gave a brilliant insight into the animal health business and the opportunities and challenges encountered when building in emerging markets.

Zoetis has been a great success story, both as a case study for a successful company spin out and IPO (In 2013 they spun out of Pfizer) and also in terms of Ireland’s ability to attract the right businesses and foreign direct investment. Zoetis runs much of its international operations from their office in Cherrywood, Dublin. They have committed hugely, with many of their senior leaders having relocated here on medium and long term assignments. Having worked in many countries and by nature of his role, travelling extensively, it was heartening to hear how fond he was of the emerald isle. Zoetis has thrived here and attracted brilliant senior talent, they’ve even recently purchased the former MSD plant in Rathdrum. His family have also been welcomed and have settled very well here. Continued investment, likely far more than Zoetis had initially planned is not the result of Ireland simply doing a great sell to attract them in the first place, but having the ability to follow through and deliver on the promises we gave when Zoetis sought a new European home.

It was equally interesting to hear some of the group’s experiences in living and working abroad, the huge differences between various markets and how tradition and custom play such an important role in entering a new market. Although this didn’t come as a surprise, what did was the sheer depth and breadth of experience across so many countries and continents contained within such a small gathering. It’s remarkable to see just how truly global Ireland and it’s people have become since endeavouring to build our mighty small open economy.

Hearing Luis speak and interact with the group gave me pride in being Irish. Proud of the quality of the leaders we are fortunate to have in the life science industry here, proud that we can attract successful, vibrant companies to our shores that contribute significantly to the wellbeing and health of people and animals at every corner of the globe. But most importantly, proud that we still haven’t lost our touch when it comes to the fáilte roimh Ghaeilge!

Articles by Caroline Baldwin