Interview with Jaime Israel Castro Palma03/02/2017 - Bart Van Acker, Founder/Managing Director at Quality by Design
2016 was the year of QbD’s first steps outside the Benelux, first with the creation of QbD Spain, together with Alicia Tébar (read the interview with Alicia here) and then with the creation of QbD Mexico, together with Jaime Castro. In the interview below, Jaime talks about his personal background and that of his company, the foundation of QbD Mexico and the Mexican market in general.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your professional background?
“As a QFB (chemical bio pharmacist), graduated from the National University of Mexico (UNAM), I have been working in consultancy for the pharmaceutical industry since 1999. I have focused on themes including validation, QMS, CSV and project management. During my career, I have helped and advised over 150 of the main pharma companies in Mexico. And during the last ten years, I have also given over fifty training courses in collaboration with other parties, including the Mexican Pharmaceutical Association and the National College of Pharmaceutical Chemists Biologists.”
What is it that attracts you to the life sciences industry?
“I’m passionate about validation and consulting. My job is the perfect example of being a ‘change agent’: through validation, we contribute to improving processes within companies and guarantee the quality of their products. Last but not least, it’s a highly ethical job where human health is at stake.”
In August 2016, you founded BPF. What kind of business is BPF?
“BPF stands for Best People For. Although it was only founded last year, most employees have been working together for a long time. Teamwork is one of our strengths. BPF employs around thirty enthusiasts dedicated to guide our customers in the optimal way to achieve Good Manufacturing Practices compliance.”
What are the biggest successes of BPF so far?
“Most of our employees have been working together for at least two, five or even ten years. Over time, we achieved extensive experience, that allows us to work for the main pharmaceutical, homeopathic, medical devices, veterinary, biological, biopharmaceutical, warehousing and logistics companies in Mexico. Some employees work on long term projects for companies including Boehringer Ingelheim, Maypo, Ulsatech, MSD, Pharmafrigo, Praxair and Shering Plough – in the field of ERP, computer system validation, equipment qualification or validation of complete plants. The good level of service combined with our very low staff turnover strengthens the customer’s confidence and tranquillity.”
How did you get in touch with one of your colleagues on the other side of the world: Quality by Design?
“It was Jose de Colsa who first contacted us at the beginning of last year. He was looking for a company in Mexico to expand the QbD business and set up a strategic collaboration to create a global company to serve the international pharma industry. QbD’s vision, values and principles were parallel to ours. Over time, we were able to lay the foundation of an actual collaboration.”
What was your first impression?
“In my opinion, the employees of a company reflect the management. The great enthusiasm of Bart, Albert, Martijn and others must indicate that the rest of the team has a very good leadership model to imitate and follow. When I visited Belgium last year, I experienced a good working atmosphere and a warm welcome. QbD seems to be a happy group of people who enjoy their work.”
Why are BPF and QbD the perfect match?
“Both companies are similar in many aspects. The nature of our work is based on the same principles: quality systems, regulations and the best service. We are both dedicated to bringing the best quality solutions to the industry. Together we can focus on doing the right things and achieving mutual benefits. We are able to reach global expansion of our businesses and optimise our services to serve clients even better.”
Last but not least, are there any professional differences between Mexico and Belgium?
“In my opinion, our European partners have a more pragmatic and preventive way of thinking, while in Mexico we are more used to working with unplanned eventualities and to being creative and ‘doing more with less’. But since both BPF and QbD have similar values and principles, and are focused on employees as the backbone of the organisation, I believe in the great possibilities of this collaboration.”
- Jaime Israel Castro Palma – Director General BPF