Ariel Sánchez Soldevila recently joined the Véto-pharma team as Europe Sales Manager last September. Born in the beautiful island of Cuba, he has been living in France for 18 years and has many years of experience in the veterinary and human pharmaceutical industry. We welcome him to the team, and asked him a few questions so you can get to know him as well.
Hello Ariel! Can you tell us more about your professional background and your experience in the pharmaceutical industry?
I was indeed born in Cuba where I spent a large part of my life. After a first professional experience as a full English teacher in a veterinary school in Cuba, I wanted to open up to the world and challenge myself. This led towards a food import/export business in Cuba.
When I arrived in France, where I came for personal reasons, an update was necessary in order to integrate many elements of modern business that, until then, were still unknown to me. It is for this reason that I was trained in international trade at the Clermont Ferrand’s Chamber of Commerce (city in the center of France) for eleven months, which also allowed me to improve myself in the language of Molière.
Shortly after, my professional career in France started by occupying Export Manager positions in the pharmaceutical industry, especially in animal health in the previous 3 years, which was quite a new world for me. My natural curiosity gave me the motivation I needed to discover new things. Thus, I had the pleasure of using French, Spanish, English and Portuguese languages to interact with several cultures which brought to me both amazing professional and personal experiences.
Were you already familiar with the beekeeping world? What motivated you to join the Véto-pharma team as Europe Sales Manager?
To tell you the truth, I am a big honey consumer, and beekeeping was a completely new subject to me. I could not imagine that there was a mite capable of parasitizing bees, and that beekeepers were forced to treat their hives to help them survive. As soon as this professional project was presented to me, I began to learn about bees and developped a particular sensitivity for them. So, It became important to me to discover the stages needed to make honey before it reaches our tables, to understand all the challenges that beekeepers have to face, and to work for the bees good health too.
Beyond the beekeeping subject, I have always loved meeting people from different cultures, which makes my job more interesting and rewarding. Having to adapt my work to the different practices of beekeepers in Europe is a real challenge since European beekeeping is very extensive, which brings me a tremendous motivation.
I am also very happy to join a new dynamic and close-knit team, and to start working with all of our business partners in Europe… remotely for the moment, due to COVID 19, but I hope that I will be able to go to meet them personally very soon.
You only recently started working at Véto-pharma, what makes this company so special in your opinion?
Seeing the company from the outside, I was curious to know how Véto-pharma had become an international reference in the fight against Varroa destructor.
I quickly realized that the company was based on a dynamic, passionate and dedicated team, with real expertise on this bee parasite. This is also reflected in the company’s investment, since Véto-pharma dedicate each year 8 % of its turnover to Research and Development. Véto-pharma also possesses (owns, has) 250 beehives for field trials, and is screening new molecules against the varroa… Great projects for the future!
What are the projects/missions you are most looking forward to working on, and why? What is the biggest challenge that awaits you, in your opinion?
The most interesting aspect, at first, will be the discovery of these cultures and beekeeping sectors that are all different from each other. The sectors are not structured in the same way, the beekeeping calendar is different, the products used also vary from one country to another… Therefore, there is a whole period of discovery and assimilation, which I think will also be a great challenge to begin!
Then, my job will be to properly identify the local needs in order to answer them in the best possible way, by providing both experience with our products, and also sharing knowledge through training and educational documents (on varroa mites and the Asian hornet, for example).
Ariel, thank you very much for sharing your experiences with us, and what motivated you to join the Véto-pharma team. We welcome you to the team!