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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Building Connective Tissue into Fine Chemical Markets

The industries dependent on manufacturing and acquiring fine chemicals – like pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, cosmetics, nutrition, and agriculture – have always been complex due to the nature of their work. Their strong reliance on distant starting material and chemical sources in our globally connected world has increasingly caused challenges associated with supply chain disruptions. Supply chains and manufacturers that support these industries are sometimes impacted by unpredictable and uncontrollable issues, like changes in regulation, increased demand, political disruption, or public health crises.

COVID-19 has accentuated these risks by demonstrating how surprisingly fragile critical supply chains can sometimes be. Responding to the pandemic and addressing key supply chain issues that risk business continuity has been the near-term focus of industry leaders. Long term, manufacturers and organisations within these industries will need vigilant tactical strategies to remain agile enough to pivot quickly and maintain their businesses, thereby protecting the integrity of global supply chains. Product developers often need support from their manufacturing partners to help navigate these financial and operational challenges. However, managing a network of manufacturers worldwide places a profound burden on product developers, especially if they lack inhouse regulatory and quality assurance know-how.

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Gilles Cottier, CEO at Aceto, brings more than 30 years of global leadership experience in life science, fine chemicals, and research chemicals. Most recently, he served as Head of Bioscience at Lonza. Previously, Gilles had held numerous positions of increasing responsibility at Sigma-Aldrich over nearly 30 years there, including his role as Executive Vice President and President of SAFC Business Unit.

Ed Roullard is a Senior Vice President at Aceto, overseeing supply chain, marketing, IT, and regulatory. He has over 25 years in the life science and fine chemicals industries, 20 of those with Sigma-Aldrich/Merck KGaA. Ed has held senior roles in marketing, sales, supply chain management, operations, process improvement, distributor management, and strategy in both Europe and the US.

Varun Vijay Rao joined Aceto in November 2020 and is based in Bangalore, India. He oversees Aceto procurement organisation, including sourcing offices in India and China. Varun comes to Aceto with a varied background including engineering, marketing, strategy, procurement, sales, and general business management for firms such as Cummins, ArvinMeritor, and Actuant in both the US and India. Prior to joining Aceto, he co-founded and directed Radeo Engineered Components.

Keith Wilkinson joined Aceto in 1990. He holds dual roles as President, North America and Senior Vice President of Specialties Chemicals business globally. His initial role at Aceto was Product Manager and over the years he has served in multiple roles of increasing responsibility. Since 2010, he has been involved in Aceto’s strategic push in the specialty chemical arena in Europe.
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