Stepping inside the shoes of an entrepreneur is breathtaking. Understanding the efforts put in can take a deep toll and inspire millions.
Scouting the globe, digging up the roadblocks, ushering in a solution, and disrupting the market may look like twirling the industry in and out and is exactly the stature of a resilient and standout leader.
One such disruptor in the nutraceutical niche in the Australian pharmaceutical market is William Tang.
As the Managing director of Ferngrove Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty. Ltd.—William has made it to the top of the leader board and transformed the nutraceutical market with agile development and an inclusive approach.
Established in 1996 and a member of FPA Group, William’s company has attained a wide array of success in the global manufacturing market and is the leading player in the manufacturing of Australian brands. As a manufacturer. FPA is known for its more than 500 formulae, the company has been in the global spotlight since its TGA license in 2008.
We, at Insights Care, crossed path with William to know more about his leadership skills and the transformation that he has brought to the global nutraceutical market.
Below are the interview highlights.
William, briefly us about yourself and tell us your source of inspiration for venturing into the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical niche?
I was originally born in Liao Ning Province and moved to Australia in 1989. I had jumped around from multiple jobs in many different and contrasting industries, but never felt like I was being challenged enough, so I decided to give the Pharmaceutical industry a shot. One thing I will say is that the Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical industry is exceptionally challenging and always pushes you to learn and retain more information than you ever thought you could.
Kindly briefly tell us about Ferngrove Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty. Ltd.
When I first got into this industry in 1990, I initially owned a Raw Material Supply Business in 2003. However, due to an economic decline, I faced many challenges and I realised I had to make a tough choice, give a different industry a shot, or stay in the industry I could see myself building something splendiferous. From there, I sold my Raw Material Supply Business and I bought the Chester Hill Factory and opened Ferngrove Pharmaceuticals, finally getting our TGA License in 2008 meant we could manufacture more products than we can count.
William, please elaborate upon your journey as the Managing Director at FPA Group.
I won’t lie to you, being Managing Director at FPA Group, it’s challenging. There are always new ideas to develop, new plans to be made for the future, and always problems, no matter how hard you try. Just because it’s challenging, doesn’t mean I regret it. I have an amazing staff who make it that much easier for me to focus on the future.
Tell us about the core values on which FPA Group is built and what is the mission of the organization.
FPA Group was built on the foundation that everybody deserves quality products at an affordable price. My staff works hard to ensure that the customers are happy. We are making their product ideas and dreams a reality after all, so their happiness and satisfaction should always come first. FPA Group works hard to give our customers the shortest lead times.
Tell us about the products and unique benefits provided by FPA Groups under your leadership.
FPA Group spent years bringing to the Australian Market an all-vegan Soft Gel Capsule, which is halal certified, meaning we have a dosage form no matter religion, health conditions, or lifestyle.
Can you elaborate on the emerging trends of the new generation, and how do you plan to fulfill the ever-evolving needs of the Nutraceutical sector by integrating these emerging trends?
One emerging trend we see at the moment is the increase in demand for health care gummies, which we are about to fulfill. This year, we purchased our first gummy manufacturing machine, with hopes of having the first successful trial run completed in early 2023. To fulfill the ever-changing needs of the younger generations, we are keeping a close eye on what’s trending, but also keeping track of what customers need from us.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced and the most important lessons you have learned in your professional journey so far?
One of the biggest challenges that have affected us -like many other companies- is the economy. During the financial crisis of 2008, I nearly lost my business. I could see the end of Ferngrove Pharmaceuticals, this company that I had worked so hard to build up, was about to come crashing down. But you cannot have the dark, without a little light. With patience, that’s what we found, a light that would carry us to where we are now. From this economic struggle (and recently Covid 19), I have learnt that to succeed in this industry, you need to be innovative, constantly changing to suit the needs of the customers, and always think of new solutions to the problems nobody else can dream of solving.
What advice would you like to give to the budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the nutraceutical niche?
The future is still bright, just because it seems like you’re on a downward spiral, doesn’t mean it’s forever. Life is all about the balance between good and bad, they cannot exist without each other. One thing that is important in this industry is trust, you need to trust in the people you employ, I cannot stress it enough, trust is important to success. Another word of advice would be perseverance, during Covid 19, while some oof our customers boomed with an increase in immunity supplements, others struggled to make ends meet, yet they kept going because we all knew that this would come to an end eventually. As humans, we have evolved to survive, and that is something you need to keep doing to succeed in this industry. Your business needs to evolve with the times, and adapt to the market’s needs.
How do you envision scaling your organization’s services and operations in 2022 and beyond?
To expand my repertoire of services, I am currently looking at a new water-based liquid machine to add to our oil based liquid capabilities. This new water-based liquid capability means we will be able to manufacture naturally nutritional drinks with no added preservatives, to maximize the function and application of the active ingredients.
Where do you see yourself in the future, and how do you envision eventually scaling your successful journey in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sector?
In the future, I see myself exactly where I am now. Happy, healthy, and Managing Director of the FPA Group. Just because I want these things, doesn’t mean I don’t have big plans. I obviously want to buy more facilities to expand our capabilities and daily output, but in 10 years, I am hoping to open a logistics center and to build a plant for manufacturing probiotics. I would love to be able to complete the manufacturing chain, from Raw Material Manufacturing, to Distribution. Every idea I have enacted and planned for, are all to support and bolster our loyal and faithful customers, who, without them, Ferngrove Pharmaceuticals would not be here today.