Interview: “Continuous Education is a top priority for us, first proof is our new Training Centers”
DUBAI, UAE: After the inauguration of the FKG Dentaire Training Centre in November 2013, Dental Tribune Middle East & Africa caught up with Alexandre Mulhauser, Middle East & Africa Director. We visited Alexandre Mulhauser at the Training Centre in Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai.
Dental Tribune Middle East: Can you introduce us FKG Dentaire?
Alexandre Mulhauser: Founded in 1931 in the heart of the watch valley, FKG Dentaire is a Swiss company internationally renowned for its high quality products for dentists, Endodontists and laboratories. The Swiss High Tech company is led by two visionaries namely Jean Claude Rouiller (Chairman) and his son Thierry Rouiller (CEO), who have a mission to always push Endo forward for the benefit of both the dentists and patients. This has been made possible thanks to the creation of one of the most modern Endo factories as well as the close collaboration between the teams of Research & Development, Sales, Marketing and a team of General Practitioners and Endodontists globally.
FKG inaugurated its Regional Office and Training Centre around 6 months ago in Dubai. What were the reasons for this set up?
I joined the FKG team almost four years ago to build up a new strategy which was to develop FKG Dentaire in the Middle East and Africa Region. When I started this new challenge the FKG Dentaire name was known but the distribution network in the ME-A region was not operating properly with sales being below average compared to other regions. We are pleased to see that in a few years we were able to level up from the few countries where we were represented to over 30 countries today and we continue to increase monthly. This has been possible thanks to a new positioning, a complete reorganization of the distribution channels, selection and training of serious Distributors that share our vision of quality and the service to customers. It has been a success also thanks to the reactivity and flexibility of the structure and a fluidity of information together with fast decision processes with our CEO, Thierry Rouiller. Even with all the effort and dedication, we believed being in the core of this market and tightening the links with our customers will be the key to success. The decision was finalized in December 2012 and by June 2013 the subsidiary was created and we moved to Dubai.
Has the decision been good to choose UAE as your regional hub?
Companies that open a regional headquarter in the ME-A Region usually open it either in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon or United Arab Emirates. Due to the number of meetings we have around the region, installing the ME-A office less than 45 minutes road of two major airports (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) was the best choice to manage efficiently our travels. We decided to create the first MEA Endo Training Center owned by an Endo manufacturer and fully equipped with microscopes. The UAE training center receives groups from Middle East, Africa but also now India and is open to all other countries. Dentists who would like to come for a training do not have time to lose in connections between airports and these two hubs and their great number of connections are very useful for us to organize trainings. In addition, many love to travel to Dubai for the trainings while enjoying a visit to the Emirates. In all cases the decision has proved a perfect choice.
What are the plans for 2014 and the Training Centre?
FKG Dentaire is already collaborating with international speakers (Dr. Gilberto Debelian, Dr. Martin Trope, Dr. Bertrand Khayat and others). We are currently finalizing a team of highly skilled clinicians based in the ME-A Region passionate about FKG Instruments and ready to share their experiences and knowledge. Dentists are eager to test our technologies and we may increase the number of trainings in the UAE Office and around the ME-A Region. Regarding the training center, thanks to the growing number of top products in the FKG Dentaire range, along with partnerships with other companies we plan to also diversify the subjects. This might be linked with the organization of trainings with partners managing high level Continuous Education Programs. Depending on your level, your points of interests or the skills you want to improve you will have a portfolio of dates and subjects to choose from. Following the success of the last months we also plan to increase the size of the FKG UAE training center to answer to the demand. The FKG Dentaire ME-A team is growing and we plan to focus on emerging markets where FKG has had a very small presence until now but with high demand from dentists that have had the opportunity to try our range during international conferences or that could read evidence based articles about Race. The FKG ME-A Division is currently opening Pakistan and as of recent is also in charge of India, a great and exciting new challenge for us. On the product side, 2013 has been a great year for FKG Dentaire and we are accelerating in 2014 and 2015. We have developed a new generation of Endo Motor called Rooter together with dentists, Endodontists and a French partner. These motors are the first wireless motors to come with a detachable and sterilizable LED Light. Rooter is extremely well balanced for the comfort of the Dentists and the programmable speed ranges from 250 to 1200 RPM to fit with all of rotary files needed by clinicians. Rooter should be available in the coming weeks in our distribution network throughout the ME-A region. We are currently launching FKG Dentaire BT-Race (a new single use and sterile 3 files sequence with a revolutionary tip) and TotalFill BC Sealer, a user friendly Hydrophilic Bioceramic filler that has already a lot of articles stating its fantastic results. The TotalFill range is completed with TotalFill RRM putty (Bioceramic Root Repair Material). The FKG Dentaire team has been working hard on the different states of the Nickel Titanium, clinical tests results are beyond expectation so a lot of great things are ahead with the launch of a new product in the near future. It will be a new breakthrough in Endo.
How does FKG separate itself from its competitors?
The Swiss Venture Club awarded FKG ‘Western Switzerland Company of the Year 2012’, an award for the company’s dynamism, high product quality, and its continuing innovation. The Race files are a real revolution in the Endodontic world, these files are opposite to most of the products on the market and it does not screw thanks to an alternating cutting edge design. This allows the dentist to be more confident using a precise file which the dentist controls. It also features the SMD (SafetyMemoDisk), a patented daisy on all the instruments which is the only user friendly system allowing the clinicians to know exactly how many times a file has been used and help to monitor the file stress to reduce risk of file separation. FKG Dentaire has developed a sequence of scouting files years before any company on the market, the Scout RaCe 10.02 is still todays smallest rotary file and now a new generation of tips are available with six blades (Available on BT Race). It is able to drill and follow the way in the canals without stressing the root unlike big tapered files. FKG Dentaire is not led by marketing and sales figures but by passion of precision, quality and pride of happiness of dentists and patients.
How important is Continual Medical Education for FKG and its clients?
Continuous Education is a top priority for us, first proof is our Training Centers in UAE, Switzerland and Norway, the second is the organization of trainings with CME providers such as Centre For Advanced Professional Practices (CAPP) and partnerships with private and public hospitals and clinics asking us to train their teams all throughout the year. We have also recently announced the start of a partnership with the Dental College in Lebanon. Prof. Roger Rebeiz and his team will use the FKG Dentaire MEA Training Center in Dubai for its Educational Program.
Where do you see FKG in a year from today?
In the hands of all dentists and Endodontist wishing to share our vision of conservative and biological Endo.
What are some of the regional events you are attending with FKG?
In United Arab Emirates we are present in most of the important conferences in the region such as the Dental Facial Cosmetic Int’l Conference, AEEDC, APDC, and even the CAD/CAM & Digital Dentistry Int’l Conference through our distributor Dubai Medical Equipment. We have been really active at the Pan Arab Endo Conference in Lebanon this year bringing Dr. Gavin Williams, a very experienced South African Endodontist and Prof Roger Rebeiz, Lebanon who provided a live retreatment with FKG Files D-Race and iRace. We are also represented in most of the congress and shows in the region through our distributors and partners.
You are a member of MEMA Association, can you tell us about it?
MEMA (Middle East Managers Association) has been created few years ago in Lebanon. It gathers today over 70 Middle East Managers of Top Dental companies. The goal of this association is to grow the dental market through the network and expertise of this team of skilled professionals. I believe all dental industry Middle East managers that are not already part of MEMA should join; it is a very respectful and friendly environment with great perspectives.