In commemoration of Black History Month, we celebrate the contributions and profound experiences of employees who play a unique role in helping Flex create the extraordinary. We continue this celebration by sitting down with Emmanuel Achinivu, a Director of Business Development in Health Solutions based in London.
As someone who started as an engineer and then evolved his career into business development, Emmanuel sheds light on how he blends his technical knowledge with sales solutions, the ways COVID-19 has affected his role and the latest trends in the healthcare product and solutions space.
What are your responsibilities as a Director of Business Development in Health Solutions?
I am responsible for business development for new and existing accounts in the healthcare products and solutions space. Whether a customer manages a medical equipment and devices portfolio, or is focused on drug delivery or digital health solutions, my objective is to understand their commercial and technological needs in order to tailor the best mix of our solutions to help them achieve their goals.
For example, as I talk to stakeholders, whether they are in product development, engineering or procurement, I learn a customer’s pain point. Since I am originally an engineer by trade, I can have the necessary dialogue to understand their particular issues and start the problem-solving process.
And while my role is Europe-based, my responsibilities are global.
What do you mean by that?
Many of my customers have a worldwide presence and require the breadth and depth of solutions that Flex offers globally.
For example, I have a medical equipment customer who came to us with capability and capacity constraints as well as a desire to raise their bar around quality standards. We were able to offer them an advanced manufacturing solution in Tijuana, Mexico for their line of consumables. Our method would provide better outcomes and move them closer to their target market with a road map to yield them cost reductions over time.
Now, this same customer is interested in our Singapore site for medical device production. Singapore is a flagship site for the advanced capabilities required to manufacture devices with this high degree of complexity.
How has COVID-19 impacted your ability to do your job?
There are a number of ways my role has grown more adaptable. Pre-pandemic, I would often travel to customers, and they would frequently visit our sites. With those opportunities severely curtailed, we are leveraging the virtual tour component of our Customer Experience Centers (CXC).
The virtual CXC experience showcases our advanced manufacturing expertise and the latest technological innovations we employ. Customers virtually visit a site through video, partake in in-depth conversations with on-site personnel and review site-specific capabilities.
In fact, one such virtual tour was pivotal to the customer whom we are producing consumables for in Tijuana. We demonstrated how we could alleviate their pain points with our optimized manufacturing regimen at the site.
My role is to first understand a customer’s commercial and technological needs and then tailor the best mix of our solutions to help them achieve their goals.- Emmanuel Achinivu, Director of Business Development, Healthcare Solutions
Given that health solutions have never been more critical due to the pandemic, how have customers’ requirements shifted or changed?
Prior to the pandemic, many medical technology and device companies viewed outsourcing as a risk to their business. However, the pandemic has contributed to shortages in components as well as the rising costs of raw materials.
That is one reason we see some medical OEMs shifting from complex supply chains to vertically integrated manufacturing and supply chain partners like Flex. They recognize our supply chain strength. They understand we can help them reduce risk by partnering to build a more resilient supply chain.
Can you share some of your background and how you came to England?
I was born and raised in Nigeria. In 2002, as part of the Queen of England’s golden jubilee, scholarships were awarded to children from all commonwealth countries. I performed well on exams and earned one of the two scholarships for Nigeria to study in England. I went to a fantastic boarding school in the Lake District, which is in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
Although it was a big cultural shock at first, it turned out to be a great experience. I was exposed to people from very diverse backgrounds, and today I have friends all over the world as a result.
From there I attended The University of Manchester, where I earned my Master's in Material Science and Engineering. I have recently gone back to school and am now pursuing my MBA at Warwick Business School.
Lastly, what are some of your interests outside of work?
Fitness is a big passion of mine and I work out quite a bit. I am also very interested in financial education and literacy.
As a child, the concept of credit was not prevalent in Nigeria, so there is a steep learning curve for immigrants in England. That is why I want to help the next generation better understand saving, wealth creation and asset protection.
I was recently named the Black Flex Network chairperson for our EMEA region, and I have been working with some of Flex’s corporate finance team to develop financial literacy content for school-aged children to better prepare them for success.
I am also close with my parents and my siblings. I have a brother who is currently living with me as he finishes his university studies and my two sisters live in Nigeria, though one will soon be moving to Canada for a new job.