Careers at Roche
Roche’s mission is “Doing now what patients need next.” This is done by focusing on medical need, seeing the bigger picture, and through collaboration, diversity, efficiency, and innovation.
Roche is one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. It develops, produces, and distributes medicines and medical equipment, particularly diagnostic instruments and tests. Its main business segments are: pharmaceuticals and diagnostics.
- Pharmaceuticals – Roche invests significant amounts of resources into researching and developing medicines, particularly targeted treatments. It is the world’s largest biotechnology companies and has over 150 R&D partners worldwide, including Genentech and Ventana in the US and Chugai in Japan. This is its largest segment, contributing 78% of revenue.
- Diagnostics – Roche also focuses on in vitro diagnostics, designed to be performed on blood, tissue, or other bodily materials. Segments include Clinical chemistry & immunoassays, Hematology & hemostasis, Urin analysis, Molecular diagnostics, Tissue diagnostics, and Point-of-care diagnostics.
Through its focus on both diagnostics and pharmaceuticals, Roche intends to provide personalized healthcare options to patients around the world – it provides a diagnostic strategy for every medicine it develops.
Roche was founded on 01 October 1896 by Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, then 28 year old. It was then called F. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co, with its first factory in Grenzach, Germany. The company’s first product was Aiodin, an iodine based thyroid preparation. In 1898 it released Sirolin, a cough mixture that was sold for over 60 years.
In 1934, it produced Redoxon, the first synthetic Vitamin C product – Redoxon continues to be sold today. In the 1950s, in a bid to move away from the production of vitamins, Roche began investing heavily in pharmaceuticals research. In 1968, Roche sets up its diagnostics division.
The company expanded from the get go, having offices in Milan, New York, St. Petersburg, London, and others by 1914. In the 1980s the company began a massive series of acquisitions beginning with Biomedical Reference Laboratories in 1982. In the 1980s, Roche also undergoes a significant corporate restructuring, splitting its business into four core divisions - pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, vitamins and fine chemicals, and flavours and fragrances. It later divests itself of the latter two divisions in the 2000s, electing to focus on pharmaceuticals and diagnostics alone.
Benefits at Roche
Business model of Roche
Roche does not sell directly to retail customers, and has as its two main customer segments healthcare organisations and laboratories.
- Healthcare Organisations – Roche sells both its pharmaceutical and its diagnostic products to healthcare organisations, such as hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. These organisations have different purchasing profiles. For example, hospitals would usually purchase both medicines and complex diagnostic equipment, while pharmacies would purchase medicine and diagnostic equipment that is suitable for home use.
- Laboratories – Laboratories, particularly hospital and clinical laboratories, are key customers for Roche’s diagnostic division.
Aside from the above two customer segments, Roche also licences its products and technology to other biomedical firms. The income from royalties makes up less than 5% of total revenue.
Roche’s value proposition is that it researches and produces medicines and diagnostic equipment that is targeted at particular issues – these tools may not be available from other vendors.
Further, Roche is a trusted name in the industry, having been in business for over 100 years.
Roche sells directly to its institutional customers, employing teams of sales professionals to provide personalized service to healthcare institutions and professionals.
It also partners with local distributors to distribute products in regions where its sales presence is not significant.
Roche maintains its customer relationships using its dedicated sales teams, which are present in every region of operation.
Roche is the third largest biomedical company in the world, and enjoys the trust of healthcare institutions and regulators around the world (for example, the US FDA). It is thus able to maintain customer relationships by virtue of the trust that customers have with such an established brand.
Further, Roche manufactures unique, targeted products. In many instances, substitute products are not available. Customers are thus bound to purchase certain Roche products – this provides inertia that goes toward the purchase of other Roche products.
Roche’s key activity is the research, development, production, and sale of medicines and other biomedical compounds, and diagnostic equipment.
Key partners are involved in research, licensing, production, and sales. Of the four, research and development partners (e.g. AbbVie, Array Biopharma) form the most significant aspect of Roche’s business.
Roche manages over 200 partnerships worldwide and a third of their pharmaceutical sales are from partnered products.
Roche’s key resources are: its medicines and associated intellectual properties, its human capital in the form of researchers and industry experts, its property, plant, and equipment in the form of research laboratories, production sites, and infrastructure, and its goodwill.
Roche’s key costs are: cost of sales, marketing and distribution, and research and development.
Roche’s revenue comes from its two business segments – pharmaceuticals and diagnostics.
|Source of Revenue/Cost||Revenue (FY 2015, million CHF)||% of Total Revenue|
|Costs and Expenses||(36,582)||-76%|
Cost of sales
Marketing and distribution
Research and development
General and administration
info: Severin holds degrees in economics and law, and a doctorate in law from the University of Innsbruck. He has been with Roche since the start of his professional career as a Trainee in the Corporate Finance division of Roche Basel, in 1993.
info: Alan holds a doctorate from the University of Mannheim. Prior to joining Roche, he was the CFO of ThyssenKrupp. He was also the President of Continental Tire of North America, and the CEO of Continental AG.
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