Eppendorf, a multinational life science company based in Germany, is renowned for systems in laboratories worldwide.
The company provides a wide range of products and services required for running a laboratory, from consumables, such as pipettes, separation, and instrumentation equipment, to bioprocess and workflow solutions.
As part of efforts to reinforce its global presence, Eppendorf is strengthening its influence in the Asian Pacific (APAC) market.
Korea Biomedical Review met with Eppendorf Co-CEO Eva van Pelt to discuss the company’s business strategies in the APAC region, including Korea.
Question: Eppendorf has recently been increasing its presence in the APAC region. How important is the APAC region for Eppendorf, and why?
Answer: Asia is a key region for sustainable success for the company. Eppendorf has made continuous efforts to continue its growth ever since it entered the Asian market.
To this end, several important steps have been undertaken to continue the successful course and implement measures to ensure future growth in the APAC and Africa region (APA).
The company has realigned the entire organizational structure in the region by dividing the Asian market into two groups – China and Asia – to ensure maximum customer centricity in 2018.
The past four years have proved that the company’s decision was correct, as our business is constantly growing in the APA and China.
In 2021, Asia contributed almost 30 percent of Eppendorf’s total revenue (APA 15.7 percent and China 14 percent), which is an impressive development, demonstrating the strength and relevance of the market.
Q: Are there any recent or future investment plans in APA and China?
A: To foster further development and ensure sustainable growth, Eppendorf is investing disproportionately in the expansion of its global locations, particularly in Asia.
The company recently established a new subsidiary in Singapore on Aug. 1, including an impressive service location for calibrations, a demo laboratory as well as a customer experience space.
Other investments include moving the Korean branch’s head office to a new and larger office and continuously expanding the company’s size in Shanghai, China.
The company also plans to open another office in India and expand calibration facilities in Chennai, India.
Apart from creating even more proximity with our customers through new locations and services, Eppendorf also places special importance on the topic of safe and secure delivery, which is why we have either built new or expanded warehouse locations in Seoul, Shanghai, and Singapore.
The company is also seeking business opportunities, such as the acquisition of Asian companies.
The acquisition of Koki Holdings, a Japanese-based centrifuge business company, in 2020 marked a targeted step to expand Eppendorf’s centrifuge business and solidified its position as one of the world’s leading makers of high-end centrifuges.
Q: Korea seems to be a crucial country for the company’s future business plans in APA. What do you think is the biggest factor that allowed you to grow in Korea, and which characteristics of the Korean market made this possible?
A: The Eppendorf brand and our products enjoy a high level of acceptance in South Korea as our premium quality promise makes us unique.
As soon as Eppendorf entered the market with its subsidiary, demand for our products grew continuously.
In 2018, Eppendorf’s calibration laboratory in Seoul received full International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification.
As Korea is one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing markets, it fits with how Eppendorf does business. Our approach is characterized by the ability to adapt successfully to ever-changing market conditions, which is only possible due to our strictly customer-centric mindset.
Being a German company and a proverbial “hidden global champion” with very high brand recognition and reputation in the market is certainly beneficial for us.
Korean customers have very high expectations in terms of quality, performance, and reliability – and we have been successful because we always strive hard to live up to these expectations and to provide true value to Eppendorf users beyond the brand name and price tag.
This, and the dynamism and customer focus of our employees – both in Korea and across the globe, has enabled us to grow consistently above market rate.
The company expects great development for its product group in 2023 and is generally looking forward to our continued path in Korea.
Q: What makes Eppendorf different from its competitors in Korea?
A: Service is what makes Eppendorf unique compared to our competitors.
The company’s service team has always been the one with the highest headcount in the organization. We currently have a fast-growing pipette calibration and repair business, which we run with a dedicated team in high throughput out of our Korean main office in Seoul.
Our service teams in Seoul and regional areas provide advanced options such as preventive maintenance, verification and mapping services, and warranty and repair service.
Q: Moving away from the company’s business interest in APA and China, the company seems to put a lot of focus on sustainability. Why is this so?
A: Sustainability is important not only to our customers but also to Eppendorf as a company.
Being aware of its contribution and responsibility towards society and the environment Eppendorf recently announced its ambitious sustainability strategy, setting the clear target of becoming climate-neutral by 2028.
To achieve this goal, Eppendorf has anchored the core topic of sustainability as an essential aspect of its corporate strategy.
Our strategies include switching to renewable energy sources at all global sites, raising climate standards for new buildings, optimizing Eppendorf’s energy efficiency in existing buildings, reducing the volume of air freight use, establishing a climate-neutral vehicle fleet, and promoting environmentally friendly travel.