Spotlight on: Dario Di Fiore – International Area Manager
I’ve worked for nearly 40 years in distribution of medical laser products and since the late 1980s I mainly manage international markets.
Over the years I’ve worked with the largest Italian companies and since 2006 I’ve worked for DEKA, where I’m currently following the the markets of South America, Russia and some central Asian countries.
Last year was a strange year for everyone. In our case the pandemic slowed down our programmes, but regardless we were to achieve surprising results, which just last spring I would’ve never thought were possible.
We followed through with the programme for launching the new products of the Aesthetic Division – fundamental for further developing this market and to guarantee greater sales opportunities for our distributors in this highly competitive segment.
The Surgery Division was also created, a sector we anticipate will consolidate our presence with the introduction of the ultra new Smartxide2 Trio.
Let’s not forget that our history has been studded over the years by the introduction of new technologies and fields of application, enabling us to be a leader in the sector.
In a very complicated global scenario, we’ve reacted by staying the course; we’ve been creative and proactive, always assuring the production capacity and assistance to the entire network of distributors.
The market has been extremely varied because of the restrictions of the individual countries, some which slowed down, others stopping, but very many continued having a profitable commercial activity, in some cases achieving surprising results.
I can only but congratulate the activity done by our distributors, who in equally hard conditions forged ahead amid a thousand hardships, with online visits, social media, trainings, organising webinars, laying the groundwork, removing restrictions, to finalise the orders that later came in great number starting from the second half of 2020.
Used to visiting various countries continually, for me it was a unique experience working without traveling. Initially it really disoriented me, but even so allowed me to try new forms of communication and support for distributors, with whom our work never stopped, not even during full lockdown.
I organised and participated in online meetings, using all the platforms and instruments technology has put at our disposal to communicate remotely. I believe that, in many cases, we even more contact with distributors than during “normal” times.
Requests for support from distributors mainly regarded training of their sales force, but I also had many requests for online clinical training and assistance in commercial negotiations with customers, something I did with great pleasure, because I believe it’s crucial to maintain contact with the final user of our systems, understand their needs and to meet their expectations.
If the constant availability made relationships and communications flow, what I missed so much in the previous months was the empathy that arises from personal contact.
The cancellation of the international congresses and events forced us to keep our contacts with the market alive through numerous webinars, organised mainly during the first half of the year. These initially elicited great interest, but then the novelty wore off and since these events multiplied, we noticed a decrease in participants and then organisation of these virtual meetings trickled.
I believe the market is fully restarting, we can no longer talk about signs but of a process already started several months ago and now consolidating. So I have great expectations for this year which just started.
The recovery is evident in Brazil and in other South American countries and the same is happening in Russia, where soon registration of the Onda system will be achieved, allowing us to start selling this new apparatus in the country.
We’ll have to wait a little longer, but I believe that near mid year we’ll be able to resume working normally and especially traveling, everything will depend on the availability of vaccines and implementation of an effective vaccine campaign by all countries. Needless to say, as soon as I can get vaccinated, I will.
Lastly, I wanted to remark on how DEKA, along with the entire El.En. Group, figured out how to react to the difficulties of a unique year, without any history to learn from, where the planning and strategies underwent changes more so in how they were implemented than in substance.
I therefore wish to thank the El.En. Group for their exemplary behaviour during the pandemic with regard to employees and suppliers, but especially for the flexibility with distributors.
The key to winning this year has been the robustness of this company and its capacity to stay the course even under emergency conditions. I obviously cannot forget the precious work done by DEKA distributors: key partners and players that contributed to the success we achieved.