Philips builds regional competence

April 10, 1991

Philips Medical Systems International has opened a regional headquartersfor Southeast Asia in Bangkok, Thailand. The existing PhilipsMedical organization in Thailand will be expanded to provide salesand customer support in the member countries of the

Philips Medical Systems International has opened a regional headquartersfor Southeast Asia in Bangkok, Thailand. The existing PhilipsMedical organization in Thailand will be expanded to provide salesand customer support in the member countries of the Associationof Southeast Asian Nations and other national markets in the region,said Hans van Bree, president and CEO.

The Bangkok regional center, which opened in February, replacesa regional management system based out of worldwide PMSI headquartersin Best, the Netherlands. Philips has set up similar regionalmedical systems organizations in the Middle East and Latin Americaover the past year, van Bree said.

"Our concept for worldwide sales is to combine countriesand create centers of competence, where knowledge essential tothe support of marketing can be shared," he told SCAN.

While countries outside of Europe, the U.S. and Japan amountto only about 20% of the global market for medical imaging systems,major vendors must invest in these regions to position themselvesfor greater demand many years in the future. Philips has no desire,for instance, to cede the Southeast Asia market to powerful Japanesemedical vendors like Toshiba, he said.

The Bangkok center should provide Philips with a logisticaladvantage over firms that base support for Southeast Asia in Japan.The distance from Tokyo to Bangkok is comparable to that betweenAmsterdam and New York, he noted. PMSI will continue to supportNorth Asian markets out of Japan.

Thailand was chosen as the base for regional headquarters becauseof its relatively large number of hospitals and radiologists andits fast growing economy. The country also offers special connectionsto emerging markets in the area, such as Vietnam, van Bree said.

Regional support centers allow PMSI to exert a greater presencein the area without having to assign modality specialists andother support personnel to each national market, he said.

PMSI annual sales amount to over 3 billion guilders (about$1.8 billion), or 15% to 20% of the worldwide medical imagingmarket, according to Philips' statistics.

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