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Samir Patel, Global Sales Director

What are your main responsibilities?

Meeting Global Sales and GM targets for BR brands. Being an Ambassador for Baker and Baker Ruskinn including sales, sales training, and generally monitoring all aspects of our Partners’ performance. On many occasions I I feel I am a Physoxia Evangelist.

How did you get into the industry?

I started in the Clinical Diagnostics industry back in 1982 by joining Amersham, now part of GE Healthcare. Then worked with Kodak Clinical, J&J and finally Ortho. I moved to Biotrace International Plc in 1997, a UK Stock market listed company as Sales and Marketing Director. My focus has always been biotech/sales/marketing.

What did you do before this job?

I was a Sales and Marketing Director for a UK company called Biotrace International plc. Biotrace was a rapid hygiene testing company selling to the Food/Beverage, Pharmaceutical and Defense industries. We met Andrew in 2000 whilst negotiating some rapid color change technology for protein detection. Our relationship developed which led to an understanding of Ruskinn’s position in anaerobic microbiology, then its potential in Life Sciences Research. Biotrace acquired Ruskinn in 2002, and when Biotrace was sold to 3M in 2006, Andrew Skinn and I completed a management buy-out of Ruskinn Technology Ltd the same year.

What do you do in a typical day?

I have a “double” life. When I am at home, 50% of the time (on average) I start early, checking my emails for orders or technical help around 5:30am.

Then get to the gym between 6:00-7:00am to try and keep in some kind of shape. I’ll be back at my home desk for 07:45-08:00am and help with tenders, assisting with cut sheet content, trade show preparation and so on. It can be anytime when I finish, as our main business is in China, FE and EU it is important to have all the one to one telecons and Skype chats between 08:00-13:00 EST.

When travelling to our markets, the dynamic is different. I have to be up early to be ready to travel from hotel to the first customer anytime from 07:00am, finishing the day after typically 3 meetings and lots of driving! Sometimes we are lucky enough to be dropped back at the hotel, if not we head off to a station or airport to travel to the next city!

Last year I made around 68 flights in total, covering 12 countries and travelled thousands of miles (excluding the flight to and from Canada).

What’s your most memorable or proudest moment?

Winning the order for Odense SCI-tive Quad was pretty special took 18 months from meeting them for the first time. Quad was discussed by the customer and turned into a viable product by our Dev team. The great selling skills of Svanholm helped by BR meant that we gained a £188K order, and pushed out Biospherix who virtually had the order confirmed.

Watching our China partner reach nearly £500K sales last year after being appointed back in 2012 is also a great cause for satisfaction.

What’s the best part of your job?

Working with our Research customers, many of whom have beyond Einstein brain power, (e.g. Ratcliffe, James, Katschinki, Bernaudin, and so many more Profs, with whom we are on first name terms). You have to listen carefully and new product ideas will come. If we can translate those into dependable product with a short time to market, we will never lose and sales will always increase.

What’s the worst part of your job?

Ups and downs of capital sales; you can work with customers, partners and fill in the tender specs carefully and sometimes you just don’t win the order! Luckily that does not happen too often.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in the industry?

Being a sales rep is a good starting point for many commercial avenues. I would say this is great basic training. Prepare hard for every sales visit, so that you can remain relaxed when you are in front of the customer.

How do you like to unwind?

Gym, reading, history and eating chocolate!

What career would you like if you weren’t doing this?

History lecturer in Medevil Studies or Ancient History.