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Speaking Out: A talk with the President of Guldmann

Speaking Out: A talk with the President of Guldmann

As a new member of ADBC, Anders B. Drescher Jensen, President of Guldmann US/Canada, answered informal questions about his personal experience working in the medical device industry. He talked about working as a foreigner in the US, and why he has chosen to live in the culture and not with the culture. He also explained what he thinks about industry challenges ahead.

What is the most urgent challenge in your industry?

Dealing with the economic uncertainty of the health care system. With Obamacare a new system is being implemented and nobody is sure what will happen. The question is if broad medical insurance will remain affordable — and that means Guldmann’s customers sometimes are hesitant about making investments, and projects drag out – however, the market is still here!

What attracted you to your industry? 

I used to work for Linak, a supplier of parts for the medical device industry both in the US and Denmark, so I had experience and was happy to get the chance as President of Guldmann US in 1999. Much has changed since then, but I am fortunate that I get to work with developing technical devices helping caregivers.

Are there any movies about your work or industry that you would recommend?

“Patch Adams” from 1998 where Robin Williams starts treating people with laughter and ends up having a clinic. Like in the movie, there is an emotional reward when working with technical aids, but at the same time you see a lot of people both mentally and physically very bad off.

A figure in history you admire? 

Winston Churchill is a person I admire for his leading by inspiring. I might not necessarily agree with all he said, but I often use his quotes for setting the agenda at meetings. “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”.

Advice to newcomers to your profession?

You need to be ready to help people, but sometimes there are hard choices. When people ask for prize reductions or free products, because of their situation, you need to remember it is a business. When working as a foreigner in the US you also need to live in the culture and not only with the culture. You should accept the context and don’t preach, but it’s not always bad being foreign. You need to be remembered for something here and even if it’s for lack of language skills it might not be so bad.

What do you expect from ADBC membership?

A networking place where you know who to call if you run into issues. This is a group of people who have gone through many of the same things, and it’s a shame to see people failing where you yourself barely made it. For example, many struggle with reaching a broad US market – differentiating between distributors, sales reps, etc. This might be an interesting theme for a future ADBC event.