Steffen Hovard, President & Senior Vice President
Coloplast — Urology and Gynaecology
1. Briefly tell us a little bit about your organization and your role within it. (Background, products, services, customers that you serve – your general responsibility)
Coloplast develops products and services that make life easier for people with very personal and private medical conditions. Working closely with the people who use our products, we create solutions that are sensitive to their special needs. We call this intimate healthcare. Our business includes Ostomy Care, Continence Care, Urology Care, and Wound & Skin Care. We operate globally—with our North American headquarters in Minneapolis—and employee more than 10,000 people.
I am responsible for our Urology Care business area. In Urology Care, we strive to set the standard for listening and responding to our customer’s needs. Around the world, patient needs are the same and our urologist and gynecologist customers benefit from a strong, global Urology Care partner. We are committed to providing worldwide solutions beneficial to our customers and their patients.
2. What is the biggest challenge your company faces today?
Because most Coloplast products are reimbursed, healthcare budgets being under pressure is a challenge. We need to provide clinical evidence for the benefits of our high-end solutions.
3. What do you predict will be the biggest surprise in the next five years that our industry is not yet anticipating?
Overall, I would say that our industry is fairly stable. We have started to react to the fact that the end-user of Coloplast’s products is having a bigger “say” in their medical solutions as they gain greater access to healthcare information and become more engaged in seek for the best solution. We will never become a “consumer company”, but within five years we can foresee evolving into a “healthcare consumer company.”
4. What do you consider to be the advantages of operating your business in Minnesota’s Medical Alley?
We are proud to be a part of the med tech community in Minnesota’s Medical Alley. It is a hub of innovation, providing a connected community of industry leaders and a world-class talent pool of medical professionals to drive our industry and business forward. In addition, it provides unique and beneficial opportunities for the entire Coloplast organization to network with other medical device professionals, and gain access to relevant training, research and analysis from the MMA staff.
5. What are the top three skills you consider the most important to be an effective leader?
Ambitious, direction-setting, and open and honest in his feedback.