Pharmacolog's new COO on the company's growth journey

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This blog post is based on an article published by Biostock in Swedish on Feb 2nd, 2022.

2021 can essentially be described as a breakthrough year for Uppsala company Pharmacolog. At the turn of the year, medical device veteran Lars Gusch joined as the new COO in order to build the company’s service offering and prepare for continued growth. BioStock sat down for a chat with Gusch, to find out more about his background and how he sees the journey that the company is facing.

Medical technology company Pharmacolog develops products for quality control of pharmaceutical preparations in healthcare. The systems make it easier for healthcare professionals who prepare injected medicines by making it possible to verify the content of the preparation quickly and accurately. Much of the company’s business over the years has been focused on getting the products out on the market and highlighting how the solutions meet customer needs.

Building structure for growth

After last year’s sales success, particularly with the WasteLog system, it is time to look at the next challenge in company building, to meet customer expectations. This is the work that Lars Gusch will lead.

Previously, Pharmacolog’s challenge was to establish the method. Now the demand grows and we deliver. The challenge ahead will be to meet customers’ expectations in terms of structure, processes and service,” says Lars Gusch.

With roots in Germany and educated in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering at Ilmenau, Germany, Lars began his career at the medical technology company BrainLab. He worked in suppport for many years, building the company’s Nordic support and aftermarket operations. In 2002, he moved to Sweden, where he has remained.

“I was drawn to Sweden because my father was often here in his role as a cross-country skiing coach. I spent some time here when I studied and liked the culture and open society. When I got the opportunity to move here for work, I took it right away.”

Contributes with helicopter perspective

After building up the Nordic service business at BrainLab, Lars moved on to Nucletron, which was later acquired by Swedish radiotherapy company Elekta. He became more and more involved in the interaction between sales, customer support and product development and over time he came to lead the work at the company’s development hub in Uppsala. When Lars is asked what he brings from his many years at BrainLab and Elekta, he highlights the many points of contact as a strength.

“I think I’m pretty good at having a helicopter perspective and thinking from multiple directions. What do different stakeholders want and what do they expect? And how do you translate all of this into the culture and structure of a company?”

These are qualities that fit well in the phase that Pharmacolog is in now. For those who have followed the company’s journey for a few years, Lars Gusch is not a completely unfamiliar name. For almost two years, he was involved in building the quality work required to sell the products in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements. When he returns after a session at the cardiac diagnostics company Coala Life, focus will be on ensuring that the company can truly deliver on the promises it has made to its new customers.

We are seeing increased demands from authorities around the world that hospitals should have control of their medicines, and that is where Pharmacolog's products fit in perfectly. Now we need structure to be able to handle our rapid volume growth and structure, I am good at. I like my Excel sheets.

Transparency is important

But it’s not just structure that will be important for the company in the future. Lars is also responsible for building the service part of the business and in addition, he takes care of the supply chain. And when asked how a company makes sure to be able to offer outstanding service, he replies:

“What is typical of me in all positions that I have had is that you have to be clear and transparent in what you do and deliver high quality. You also need to be quick and responsive. But above all, you must be transparent with all parties involved.”

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