'NZ has to keep punching above its weight': New contract manufacturer GM eyes 'huge global opportunities'

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The firm has pharmaceutical-grade facilities in Auckland and Sydney.
The firm has pharmaceutical-grade facilities in Auckland and Sydney.
New Zealand contract manufacturer GMP Pharmaceuticals has appointed a new general manager, who is targeting product innovation and new delivery systems to drive sales growth.

Rowland Ong has held senior management and consulting roles within New Zealand's complementary medicines and health supplement industry for over a decade, and previously worked with GMP on a consultancy basis.

Speaking to us on a recent trip to New Zealand, he said the firm would be pursuing an ambitious strategy for growth.

"I think everyone at GMP will tell you I have some very grand plans, not all of which I can go into too much detail about yet. 

Rowland Ong2
Rowland Ong

"The challenge for us is that there are a lot of of contract manufacturers, so the big question is how do we maintain a point of difference so these partnerships can grow?"

He said a key priority was to increase and speed up new offerings on the market.

"We are really pushing our guys to become a lot quicker with new delivery systems and we are looking closely at the emerging trends.

"One major focus will be around products for kids. Every time we speak with our partners in South East Asia and China and ask them what their priority is, they always say it's products for kids."

Scope for growth

The firm has pharmaceutical grade facilities at two Auckland sites and in Sydney. They are licensed by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration), Medsafe (New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority).

Ong added there was considerable scope for growth at the firm's newest site in Auckland, which is currently running at around 20% capacity.

"This is giving us a great opportunity to go into other categories and explore new packaging formats," ​he added.

"For several years, New Zealand operators have been punching above their weight, but now we not only need to sustain it, but also find the next big thing. We know the demand is there, and the opportunities are huge."

His views were echoed by Karl Ye, GMP Group chairman.

"Mr Ong's appointment to the general manager role is pivotal for enabling GMP Pharmaceuticals to extend our current capabilities, implement our strategy, and further strengthen our relationship with health and food supplement markets in Australasia, Asia and beyond,"​ he added.

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