Experience with Rehab-Robotics

to Hazel, 
for the opportunity to serve and create a value

I left a company where was working for past 2 years and 8 months - Rehab-Robotics. With it I learned quite on developing medical device business worldwide, seen the world and gained experience by delivering results.

At the World Congress for NeuroRehabilitation, Philadelphia, May'16

The International Business Development 
My primary role was to find out distributor partners for the devices called Hand of Hope - surface electromyography robotic hand exoskeleton for post-stroke patients with upper limb disability

How do you establish a distribution network? Robert Barzelay hacked it well in his article Establishing a Distribution Network, I have done most of the things he recommends to do.

For example, utilizing Linkedin as a source to find a business partner. In some sense, I became a social media prostitute on Linkedin - by connecting with hundreds of unknown people who do business in various countries in the Middle East, EU and America. Once relevant person would add me to his network, I wouldn't hesitate to send following message:

Linkedin "cold" message 
And they would reply to me, not all, but out of 200 I would get the response from 5-10 people, who would tell me names of relevant companies, people, phone numbers, email addresses. I could easily spot and short-list right candidates in Bahrain or Chile within few days. I would create databases of the emails, few thousands of it and using Streak software send out customised and personalised messages to all of them. I would use three different email boxes to overcome a limit of 500 mails per day set by Google. I would learn to be really good in reaching out to strangers and staying in touch. All of my business partners would be with me on whatsapp, I would talk with them from my bed, when in gym, while hiking, when on the road, at 1AM, on Saturdays and Sundays. It was a great engagement. 

meeting delegation from Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) in Rehab-Robotics office, Hong Kong

Seen the World
In numbers (we as grown-ups like numbers) for business-related trips I have been to 25 countries: Brazil, the USA, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Austria, Ukraine, Greece, Russia, Israel, Kuwait, the UAE, Egypt, Turkey, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and even Ethiopia. 

visited countries countries /image by amcharts.com/

In addition to the list above, I had business engagement with people of another 30+ countries (at least to the level that I can email or call them for an advice or feedback - and I would hear them back), so based on people-experience, it look like this

countries, where I have connected with people /image by amcharts.com/

I have sold devices to Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Israel, Qatar, Japan, Kuwait, India..
At Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, among top hospitals in the USA 
Earlier this year I went to Dubai for ArabHealth exhibition. In addition of running the show, I also organized a half-day workshop, which was attended by distributor partners from 8 countries in the region. It was my first event of its kind and I am glad it went well and we had some sales after it. 

Hand of Hope workshop for business partners in the Middle East, Dubai, UAE, Jan 28th, '17
But it is not about the number of people I met or number of countries I've been, but the number of patients who ultimately could benefit from using the device and improving their mobility. 

Results Through The Experience
I would summarise my past 32 months experience with Rehab-Robotics Company in such bullet-point CV-result style:
  • Sales in 10+ countries  
  • Organised 15+ exhibitions, 4 workshops 
  • Conducted 7 in-country demo road shows and sales, clinical and technical trainings for all distributor partners 
  • Set up databases of distributor partners in 60+ countries with 3,000+ contacts 
  • Created and localized marketing materials (brochures, videos, summary of research papers) for 10+ countries 
  • Initiated and co-authored medical device’s tutorial for Sales Partners (text and video) 
  • Set up and supported social media channels, monthly newsletter 
  • Supported clinical trials at New York Presbyterian Hospital (aff. with Cornell and Colombia Universities) 
  • Contributed to company culture by organizing monthly birthday celebration for colleagues
All this experience was possible because of the people, with whom I have been working within the company. There were so many things on day-to-day operation, ups and downs, successes and failures, that we learned from together and grew. I want to say big THANKS to all my (ex)colleagues, who supported along the way and made this journey possible:

with colleagues, Sept'16


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