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Forster Karl-Heinz

Could you sum up your career for us?

I started my apprenticeship as a utilities electrician at “Saint-Gobain Desjonquere” in Kipfenberg in 1984. After three and a half years of vocational training, I graduated and kept working there at our electrical workshop. In 1991/92 I successfully completed my Master electrician training in the city of Nuremberg, before returning to the electrical workshop of SGD Pharma in Kipfenberg. In 1996, I was appointed Project Leader for inspection machines, before taking up the position of Cold End Manager in 2003.

Could you describe your job in more detail?

In my position of Cold End Manager, I am accountable for 54 people, out of which, 24 works in the cleanroom, 8 in the packaging area and 22 in the resorting section or as forklift drivers.
From a technical standpoint, my tasks involved supervising and adjusting inspection equipment, as well as optimizing the Cold End automation processes. One of the key challenge is finding the right balance between increasing demands on quality and productivity. In order to fulfil both, a close collaboration is required between the Hot End, the Cold End and the Quality Department.

Are there any accomplishments that you are particularly proud of since joining SGD Pharma?

A key step during my work at Kipfenberg was achieving 100% automation in the Cold End across all production lines.
Every day, over 2 million bottles are packaged thanks to full-scale automation, either vacuum sealed or in multilayers.

Is there something that you appreciate about your work environment and would like to share?

During my 35 years at SGD Pharma, I've experienced many highs and very few lows.
The strength of our team comes from the many years of successful cooperation with experienced colleagues.

Amandine Noreval

Could you summarize up your career for us?

I took an initial “IT Support and Maintenance Manager” associate degree, followed by an undergraduate degree “Corporate Network Administration Manager”, and ended with a “Information Systems Manager” Master. This course of study, which included practical professional experience, enabled me to join SGD Pharma in 2009 where I started as an IT technician to become a network administrator 2 years later. After that, I was able to progress at SGD Pharma until I reached the position of France Industrial IT manager in 2016.

Could you describe your job in more detail?

Along with the CIO team, I am responsible for maintaining and developing the IT infrastructure (systems and networks) across all of SGD Pharma’s locations in France (SQLM, Sucy, SSV). I handle all industrial IT equipment, LAN networks, and wi-fi.

I act directly or through third-party companies to provide support to users on industrial applications and on computer equipment maintenance. I am the factories’ primary contact for implementation or conversion projects involving industrial computer equipment. My goal is to standardize all equipment across all SGD Pharma locations.

Are there any accomplishments that you are particularly proud of since joining SGD Pharma? 

My position brings me into contact with various departments, which gives me the opportunity to manage a wide variety of proj​ects.

Among some of the completed projects, there was one where I had to work closely with the Supply Chain to implement a pallet identification system. This system now allows us to track our pallets and escalate information directly into the SAP management software. 
More recently, I participated in the employee security improvement project. Since our industrial sites operate 24 hours a day, we have implemented a mobile device to enhance protection for our isolated workers. In the event of accident or loss of consciousness, the telephone automatically triggers an alert and ensures that emergency services arrive as quickly as possible. 

Is there something you appreciate about your work environment and would like to share?

What I really enjoy above all is interacting with users and being able to travel to the various sites. It’s rewarding to offer them my support every day. In addition, I am fortunate to be able to do my job at production sites, where I can observe the glass bottle production process up close, which makes for a unique work environment. 

Jeremy Gouama

Can you give us an outline of your career?

With master’s degree in logistics engineering, I spent over a decade working in various industries (automotive, cosmetics, packaging, etc.), where I had the opportunity to cover the whole spectrum of the supply chain. My past experiences have helped me develop the necessary skills for my current position, as the logistics Operations Manager for SGD Pharma, in Sucy-en-Brie. A position I have held since July 2015. Today I look after a team of 17 (2 supervisors and 15 forklift operators) involves with order picking, storing raw materials, shipping, etc.

Could you describe your role in a little more detail?

As the logistics Operations Manager, I handle the physical flows of our bottles and our customers complaints.You do not need to be a logistics expert, you just have to be pragmatic with a taste for operations. My job requires a lot of rigor because you have to be precise when it comes to logistic matters. You need to be organized and plan everything. I am always on the field and it is what makes my job fulfilling. People interaction is key, you need to show empathy and great adaption skills. I want to stay close to my teams and I am always looking at ways to improve their work conditions. Training and making sure that the safety rules are applied are also part of my duties.

Do you have any achievements that you are particularly proud of since joining SGD Pharma?

​I do have a hands-on management approach. Getting to know my team and understand their drivers, requires a lot of energy. For example, when an assignment does not work the way it should, I gather everybody, so we can talk about it and solve the issues together. The guys test what has been discussed and give me a regular feedback, then we adapt if it does not work. This method has proven to be successful in 2018. We managed to restructure the service but the job is not done yet. My biggest achievement is to keep get my teams improve and sharpen their skills​

Linzhang Yuan

Could you please describe your job in detail?

My main job is to assist the Batch & Furnace Manager to manage operations and maintenance of all equipment in batch and furnace, and to assist in hot repair and cold repair of refractories. I am responsible for weighing qualified raw materials and send it to the furnace silo according to the formulation requirements, including cullet recycling process.

The furnace department is responsible for the chemical reaction of the mixture, high temperature melting refining and homogenization, to provide a stable, high-quality glass liquid to the hot end workshop. I assist in the entire process to strictly follow the requirements of the glass melting process. I assist also in the replacement and repair of refractories, reducing the impact of worn refractories to extend the lifespan. I am responsible for testing the furnace and feeder temperature and gas smoke oxygen content, regularly report of Batch & Furnace production data to the Managers, in order to facilitate the manager to master and understand the production dynamics and make corresponding adjustments according to actual situation.

Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined the company?

I have been working for SGD Pharma for the last 27 years. I have strong feelings for the company. The plant was built in 1992 and I participated in the furnace overhaul in the 2000s. I then contributed and managed the furnace rebuilding in 2007 and 2015 as well as the partial rebuilding in 2018. I feel honoured and proud to have contributed to the growth and expansion of SGD Pharma.  

Is there anything specific that you like in your working environment that you would like to share?

I am particularly grateful that our company has provided more and more development opportunities for our employees in terms of professional improvement, operational skills and personal growth. I am also grateful of the trust from the management for the frontline technical team.

Sabrina Godquin

Could you sum up your career for us?

In order to become a laboratory technician, I obtained a Master’s degree in Materials Engineering right before starting at Saint-Gobain-Desjonquères in 2005 as a member of the R&D laboratory within the department of Service Expertise & Development Analysis. While I was responsible for breakage expertise, I also initiated the collaboration with the team at the test laboratory where production quality is monitored every day by assessing the chemical and physical properties of our products. In 2008, I began receiving more training and have been working for the pharmacy division since 2014.

Since the opening of our new plant in Saint-Quentin-la-Motte, I have been responsible for overseeing all of the analysis techniques we use.

Building on my wealth of technical experience and with the support of my colleagues and managers, I completed my university studies in 2017 alongside my work to graduate with a Master degree in Analysis, Chemistry and Spectrochemistry.

Could you describe your job in more detail?

Lab coats, spectrometers, microscopes, beakers... There is so much equipment and so many materials which are part of the appraisals I carry out every day to support all of SGD Pharma’s factories and the regulatory affairs and R&D divisions.

Precision, trustworthiness, tenacity and regulatory compliance are paramount for this role. In the pharmaceutical industry, more than anywhere else, quality is a crucial factor. This is why we must continue to come up with new analytical approaches which I am responsible for developing and monitoring.

Are there any accomplishments that you are particularly proud of since joining SGD Pharma?

Following the launch of a new x-ray fluorescence spectrometer in 2018, the chemical analysis of all glass produced by SGD Pharma was transferred to the R&D Laboratory. I carried out the performance qualification for the machine and approved the analysis methods used to test the glasses and the raw materials. This work is still ongoing for some of the raw materials we use.

Is there something in particular that you appreciate about your work environment and would like to share?

The most important aspect of my job is the ability to work as a team, to communicate and to share your findings. The laboratory works in collaboration with quality and production teams every single day in order to identify problem areas and find solutions. This is vital for ensuring that we progress in the same direction and that we capitalize on our shared expertise every day to provide the company with increasingly competent technical support.

Amit Varma

Can you summarize your career?

I am mechanical Engineer, and I started my career with Shewta Print Pack Pvt. Ltd. as a Graduate Engineer Trainee.

In 2003, I joined Klasspack, which is a leading glass container manufacturer, now known as Borosil Klasspack, as a Production Engineer. This was my introduction to the glass industry.  
This is where I have learnt for the next 10 years about the glass forming and the business as a whole. I got promoted several times to reach the position of plant head in 2014.

I am one of the very few managers who can actually set a forming machine, which is why I have hands-on approach on the product quality and can mentor young engineers and setters by example.
With my experience and skills, it was imperative that I join the best. With the rise of SGD Pharma in India and its global credentials, I was eager to work with this company, which I did in 2016 as the Manager of production for unit 3.

Can you describe your role in a little more detail?

My mission consists of managing the Unit 3 (Semi-automatic machines) and developing a team that could eventually run the now modern Unit 5 (fully automatic machines). To this end, we train setters, supervisors and machine operators.

There were also machine upgrades that were undertaken to bring them to the level of quality that is internationally recognized.

Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined SGD Pharma?

Besides the many machine and process improvements, moving the Unit 3 offline process to a fully online Unit 5, and ramping it up to the full potential of the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) by having sustained yield management has been the biggest achievement in SGD Pharma India or my whole career so far. It was a green field project, and to engineer it from the start and make it run has been sheer hard work for my team and myself, but also extremely satisfying.

However, half of the upgrades are yet to be done as we must complete phase 2 with additional machines, and implement the second level of automation to enhance safety and efficiency.

Is there something that you particularly enjoy about your work environment and that you would like to share?

I really appreciate the strong safety culture of SGD Pharma. Upper management commitment to workplace safety helps workers take it more seriously and translates into a safer work environment for everyone. Also, the freedom to express and interact with leadership team and contribute directly at policy level, makes me feel responsible and brings a sense of ownership.  

Agathe Simon

Could you sum up your career for us?

After obtaining my master’s degree in Human Resources, I joined SGD Pharma in 2016 as an HR assistant at our production facility in Saint-Quentin-la-Motte. This was a great opportunity for me because the factory had only just been opened. This meant I was able to become immersed in the world of the exquisite material that is glass.

Could you describe your job in more detail?

The success of SGD Pharma clearly lies in the quality of our vials  but also in the quality of the people who make it. Managing contracts, looking out for talented people , negotiating salaries, managing HR projects... that’s my job. 

There’s the talent we have working for us, and the talent waiting to be recruited. My job also involves developing the skills of our staff by offering a number of training courses. My aim is to ensure  that everyone is able to thrive at SGD Pharma and of course achieving the goals set by the company.   

Most importantly, the job requires a passion for human interaction. A desire to understand how each individual works  and what their motivations are in order to help the business progress and evolve.  This human connection is exactly what makes my job and my daily routine so exciting. 

Are there any accomplishments that you are particularly proud of since joining SGD Pharma?

The achievement which I am most proud of is the development of different trainings as well as my involvement in optimising the training schedule used at the factory. 

The world of glass includes skills​ that are sometimes very physical but above all, highly technical and which require a high level of skill, mainly due to the high temperatures at which molten glass is handled. So you can’t help but feel proud to see how our glassmakers pass on their expertise and to be able to support the employees as they continue to build on their skills. 
This phenomenon is a perfect example of my aim of knowing how to “ensure that each individual remains motivated to do his/her very best”. 

Is there something in particular that you appreciate about your work environment and would like to share?

SGD Pharma is a company that is going places, one that is consistently evolving. As an HR assistant, I am responsible for ensuring the smooth running of business processes and my aim is to guide our business partners towards finding their best voice. I am always available and happy to answer any questions our employees may have.  At our production facility in Saint-Quentin-la-Motte, we see ourselves as one big family more than anything else. Every individual is approachable at all times and the hierarchical model is not the defining concept in how we interact with one another. 

I also enjoy the avant-garde and forward-thinking culture which the company embraces. This ethos places particular importance on employee security, continuous improvement and innovation, all of which contribute to an extremely pleasant work environment.

Caroline Bourgoin

Could you sum up your career for us?

After completing my BTS (Associate Degree) as a trilingual assistant, I began as an executive assistant then quickly began to transition into sales assistant roles in various sectors of industry (auditing, tableware, children's nutrition).
In 2011, I joined SGD Pharma as a Sales Assistant for France. Two years later, I transferred into the role of Sales Manager for Central Europe then for Northern Europe.
In 2017, I became Regional Sales Manager, joining the SGD Pharma team at the office in New York, USA.

Could you describe your job in more detail?

I'm responsible for the sales and commercial development in the USA and Canada.
Since mid-2018, I have also assumed responsibility for customer services. We work together to improve our processes with the aim of guaranteeing our clients the best possible service.

Our region is undergoing a huge growth, it's important that this is well organised in order to support and sustain our development. ​

Are there any accomplishments that you are particularly proud of since joining SGD Pharma?

At SGD Pharma, I have had the opportunity to work in many roles, across several regions and to be involved in numerous projects. One of the challenges has been adapting to the different issues and problems associated with each service and each geographical region.
If I had to mention just one project, it would be the management of our range of baby bottles. I was a assistant in the sales department and product manager for this product range. The portfolio was interesting but rather complicated as it combined the challenges of both glassware and decor.

 This portfolio required a great deal of coordination with planning teams, with which we set up monthly reviews to help us anticipate future requirements, as well as the teams from sales and marketing.​

Is there something that you appreciate about your work environment and would like to share?

The first thing that comes to mind are the colleagues who I have worked with since I started working at SGD Pharma. Working as part of a team is a great motivation. I really enjoy having contact with people from different departments, being able to exchange experiences and always learning new things. It's also rewarding to work in a multicultural setting.​

Guillaume Vavrille

Can you sum up your career path for us?

After having obtained my BTS (Vocational Training Certificate) in plastics and composites, I naturally turned towards the sector of plastics technology where I built up my knowledge for two years. Following that, in 2003 I joined the factory SGD Pharma plant of Sucy-en-Brie as “development” Head of Section. 

For nearly a year and a half I had the opportunity to complete a training programme, with the team of the heads of sections, going through the different production sectors. 
In 2005 I was allocated the first machine as permanent head of section, and then my sector was extended to two machines. Since 2015 I have occupied the position of Hot End Process Improvement Technician. 

Could you describe your role in a little more detail?

In collaboration with the hot end peripheral services (moulding, IS,...) and the production team, my mission consists of assessing the functioning of our hot end installations, and analysing recurring technical malfunctions at process level.  From there, I am able to define the operating instructions needed for the implementation, in complete security, of the processes that improve the performances of our installations and needed for the correct execution of the work.
This is expressed, among other things, by modifications of tooling or by optimising the moulds and machines. Lastly, I assist the heads of sections in the improvement and optimisation of the performances of their sectors.
Exchange and communication are paramount in my work. The greatest challenge is to stay constantly up-to-date with the technological advances in the domain. 

Are there productions of which you are particularly proud since you joined SGD Pharma?

The world of glass and the professions that comprise it are exciting. The glass manufacture process is part of the heavy industry and requires experience, rigour and passion. The processes are long and, once completed, the developments and creations bring a certain degree of pride and satisfaction.

In the last three years we have worked in particular on a process that optimises the cooling of the moulds. Vertiflow mould cooling – a solution of ventilation through the moulds, on the Bottero machines – is a long-term team effort that we are all proud of!

Is there something in particular that you appreciate in your working environment and would like to share with us?

I think that the technicality and the know-how that the profession of Process Improvement Technician requires are fascinating. 
I appreciate the team work with the employees of the plant and outside of it, the ongoing challenges that are involved in the production sector, and the day-to-day variety of the job. 

Mac Song

Can you give us your background?

Following my graduation with a major in Accounting, I started my career in 2002, working for a European tooling corporation. After 3 years, I joined a UK chemical group, Texon, where I was in charge of their financial analysis before working for an American manufacturing group, Leggett & Platt, where I managed the financial department of their Foshan plant. I then joined SGD Pharma Asia Pacific in 2008 as Controlling Manager and was promoted to Financial Controller in 2010.

Can you describe your job in more detail?

I supervise two functional teams, the accounting and cost controlling ones. The accounting team is in charge of keeping the books, making sure that we are compliant with the Chinese guidelines at all time. They are also responsible for the reporting to the SGD Pharma Group. My role is to ensure that we meet and exceed all global and local tax rules. 
I manage the controlling team, working with cross functional teams to help drive SGD Pharma Asia Pacific’s productivity and to identify cost saving opportunities.
I also help management with the decision-making process by performing analysis.

Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined the company?

Like most companies, we face new challenges every year and with our strong commitment and sense of responsibilities, our teamwork overcomes these challenges.

As an example, with the support of local and global teams, we managed to switch from a high interest rate with a local bank loan to intercompany debt with SGD Group in 2012. It allowed us to reduce the interest rate significantly and greatly improved the cash flow for the Zhanjiang plant.

Is there anything specific that you like in your working environment that you would like to share?

I appreciate that there are increasing opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. It is a result of training and the trust from SGD Pharma upper management. As a team, it allows up to have a higher sense of responsibility and have a direct impact on improving the financial health of SGD Pharma Asia Pacific.

This empowered environment is very rewarding and motivating.

Alexa Richard

Could you sum up your career for us?

I completed a two-year master’s degree in the International Development of SMEs and SMIs. I joined Embelia – previously VG Emballage – in 2012 as Area Sales Manager, before becoming the Director of Export Services four years ago. 

Attracted by companies specialising in technical products, I have had the chance to learn from different roles over the course of my career, for example in floor coverings and non-woven polypropylene fabrics, both in France and abroad.  ​​

Could you describe your job in more detail?

I have a number of varied tasks including managing export services and a part of the client portfolio. I’m responsible for seeing through the growth strategy of the established export, managing the teams, the products, the development of international marketing, the numerous projects and sometimes difficult times too...

I also deal with clients/sales leads: key accounts, agents/suppliers, as well as some small organisations. I go on regular trips to our clients and sales leads, and take part in many exhibitions.

Are there any accomplishments that you are particularly proud of since joining Embelia?

I enjoy growing my teams. I support them both in-house and outside of work, and provide them with guidance in their decisions for carrying out our projects and reaching our goals. Apart from that, I enjoy implementing projects and restructuring export service offering. You need to be multilingual and multicultural, which is now the case for my team. 

Our team consists of various profiles – some who are experienced and some who have joined us more recently, bringing a fresh outlook along with them. This balance is what helps the unit function.

In 2017, we invoiced clients based in 50 different countries, and, together, have managed to reach a 20% increase in sales as of 2014.

Is there something in particular that you appreciate in your work environment and would like to share?

I appreciate the multitude of tasks and the contacts. My work is full of interactions for other people, both within the company and outside of it. We rub shoulders with people in varied positions and of different nationalities. I find it exciting to have to factor in the various time zones, i.e. Asia in the morning and then America in the early afternoon, all punctuated by our requests from Europe and Africa. 

It means we need to use common sense, a strong ability to adapt and responsiveness in dealing with the unexpected. At Embelia, no two days are the same.

Abdel Kerkadene

Can you summarize your career path?

I began my career at SGD Pharma in August 1995. At that time, I joined the company as a temp in cold end, within production. With training from Gilles Barret, my first team leader, I quickly learned the important aspects of the glass industry, appreciation of a job well-done and the benefits of working as a team.

In the seven years that followed, several opportunities presented themselves which allowed me to focus on new roles such as Annealing Controller, Quality Controller, and Product Controller before becoming Deputy Team Leader.

I became warehouseman in 2002. From that point, my duties continued to evolve and I undertook the roles of Packaging Manager, General Warehouse Manager and Procurement Manager before finally accepting the position of Site Purchasing Manager, which I have held since August 2009.​

Can you describe your role in a little more detail?

My main focus in the role of Site Purchasing Manager is to respond in the most efficient way possible to the needs of my principal internal client, namely the Production Team. Being able to react quickly is the main strength of the service we offer, which constitutes a fundamental link in the successful management of our factory.

My goal is to find the best balance between quality and price whilst keeping to deadlines and budgets. With my team, comprising four people, we are responsible for performance and service contracts, supplier audits, complaints, managing changes in our orders and consumption as well as putting tenders together.

Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined SGD Pharma?

With 20 years' experience working for the company, my proudest accomplishment is what we achieved together as a team.

First, the standardization of our products in 2004 which enabled us to reduce the amount of stock we hold by 3.5 times.

Then, the installation in 2013 of five automatic teller machines for Personal Protection Equipment at our Sucy-en-Brie factory. Our team was the first at SGD Pharma to implement this system which has helped us reduce costs by about 20% by enabling the distribution of personal protection equipment to our workers, before the start of each shift.

Later, through continuous improvement of our SAP system, we became the first site to submit digital orders. These improvements enabled us to save time, to be more responsive to our suppliers and to eliminate a number of administrative tasks.

Is there something that you particularly enjoy about your work environment and that you would like to share?​

As simple and obvious as it may seem - the human element - working together as part of a team and being able to help one another.
At SGD Pharma, everyone strives to share their know-how at all levels and as a proverb that I like to quote says "Alone, one goes faster, but together we travel further".

Nishant Desai

Can you summarize your career?

Upon graduating with a diploma in chemistry and receiving my MBA, I began my career as a Medical Sales Representative at Wockhardt Pharmaceuticals (Pharmaceutical company based in Bombay, India). This experience allowed me to grasp an understanding in anatomy, psychology and medical treatments for the human body.

Afterwards, I pursued my career as a Technical and Business Development Manager for SCHOTT. My time at SCHOTT gave me an opportunity to meet with numerous pharmaceutical executives and understand their various technical constraints when it came to glass and its interactions with different products.
After additional experiences in Sales working for international glass manufacturers, I joined SGD Pharma India in 2016 as Sales and Marketing Director.
I consider my strengths to be a combination of my initial studies in Organic Chemistry and my previous experiences in sales of pharmaceutical products.

Can you describe your role in a little more detail?

In my role as Director of Sales for SGD Pharma India and with the support of my teams, I am also a Key Account Manager for the Indian division of a Pharmaceutical Laboratory who is global leader on the market. My responsibilities also include the imports of glass vials produced in our European plants, the export of glass vials produced locally in Vemula and lastly I manage domestic sales for the Indian Province of Gujarat.

​​Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined SGD Pharma?​

 ​Since 2016, my teams and I have successfully developed 6 new vials at our plant in Vemula for new medical launches at one of our clients who is a global leader in the pharmaceutical industry. I value these collaborations as likewise to SGD Pharma, this Pharma market leader always places the patient at the center of its decisions.

Is there something that you particularly enjoy about your work environment and that you would like to share?

The commitments of the teams at every level and with respect to our company guidelines provides fulfilling experiences. Each one of us feel accountable for our actions and this translates to high team morale and a strong team spirit. I strongly believe that the cohesion within our teams is the driver for our substantial growth these last five years.

Nathalie Aubrejat

Can you summarize your career?

I joined SGD in 2002 as a receptionist, while supporting the Human Resources department. Thereafter, I accepted in 2008 a new role as Human Resources Assistant in addition to my original duties.
In 2014, the year our new plant at Saint-Quentin-la-Motte was built, I was offered the position of Executive Assistant, a position I have been delighted to fill since the site opened.

Can you describe your role in a little more detail?

Assigned to the Management of the site at Saint-Quentin-la-Motte, I handle all of the everyday business related to managerial tasks. My main tasks include: administrative duties, diary management, travel arrangements, meeting preparations, taking notes and putting together reports, preparing and following up on projects, internal/external communication … to sum up, my job is to lighten management’s load and create value to each action.

As the point of contact for many interlocutors, my tasks are varied and I face new challenges on a regular basis.  My work requires responsiveness, organizational skills and a lot of versatility.

Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined SGD Pharma?

When our new factory was built at Saint-Quentin-la-Motte, I participated to events planning, preparing materials and logistics for a variety of events, ceremonies and inaugurations.
In collaboration with IT, I also contributed to implementing a new software for interactive communication in the form of dynamic display, to offer homogeneous and consistent on site communication.

Is there something that you particularly enjoy about your work environment and that you would like to share?

The profession of Executive Assistant requires the ability to listen and understand in order to adapt to different tasks and different interlocutors.
Working with the Management team, I have the opportunity to offer them my assistance and support in their daily business, something I truly appreciate. I am also still lucky enough to be in contact with all of the staff at the plant, as those relationships are important to me.

Every day is unique and I continue to learn and improve as I perform my duties.

After 16 years at SGD Pharma, I am proud of my journey and of the promotions I have been offered. I have continually been surrounded with professional, motivating and kind people who have helped me to improve and to excel.

Claus Meilinger

Can you summarize your career?

I started my business career with an apprenticeship as an Industrial Clerk. Shortly after, I obtained a scholarship for one year in the exchange program of the US Congress and the German Bundestag. Within this program, I spent 3 months in a college in Oklahoma. Being back from the US, I made my Abitur and studied Business Management at the university and graduated with a MBA. Over a period of 10 years, I worked for two different dairy companies, first as an Export Manager and later on as Export Director.

In 2005, I joined SGD Kipfenberg as a Sales Manager where I was mainly responsible for products from our local plant which I sold on the German and Austrian markets. Two years later, I became also the KAM for Bayer, Novartis and Baxter.

Since 2012 I have been the Sales and Supply Chain Director for the German plant as well as a member of the local board of Directors of SGD Pharma Kipfenberg.

Can you describe your role in a little more detail?

As the Sales Director for the DACH zone (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) I work with a team of 6 persons in Sales and Marketing. We cover about 120 customers with a turnover of approx. 52 M. € Together with our GM, Bernd Schulda, who held my function until 2012, we manage 8 Key Accounts of SGD Pharma. Bernd is responsible for 3 accounts and 5 are in my portfolio. An additional 2 Key Account customers are managed within my team. Additionally, I cover Marketing activities together with Ruth Hase. Concerning my Supply Chain team, we are made up of 14 people and are broken down in 3 different divisions (production planning, warehousing and shipping department).

With the responsibility for sales and supply chain, I hold a very unique position within SGD. I like to work in both sectors, but I have to admit that during my professional live so far, my main focus was always the sales.

Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined SGD Pharma?

If I look at all the positive results we have achieved all together, it would not be fair to pick out a particular one and put it on top. All in all, I have never regretted to join the teams of SGD Pharma.

Is there something in particular that you enjoy about your work environment and that you would like to share?

I like to work with my teams and all other colleagues of SGD Pharma. We are all working together in a very cooperative spirit, which I have never experienced with any of my former companies. If we look at all the success stories that we reached over the last decades, I think the great advantage of our plant is the knowhow of our people in all different areas.

We not only have a very good relationship within the company, but we also keep close contacts with our customers. In the annual rating by our clients, we regularly achieve top results. I’m very proud to lead such a successful a team.

Vincenza Zakarian

Can you summarise your career?

After training as a Trilingual Executive Assistant (FR, IT, EN) in Paris, I chose to join an SME working in textile import/export. I was lucky enough to gain some all-round experience through the diverse positions that I held within this company. Initially hired as an Executive Assistant in purchasing, I then moved to accounting before turning to export sales, a department that did not previously exist, that I built from A to Z.

Over the following years, I held various sales positions in different companies in a wide range of sectors such as sprinkler manufacturing, sails for boats and luxury fabric.
In 1998, I joined the Saint-Gobain group as an export sales rep for the sale of bottles worldwide. I held this position until 2005, the year in which I joined SGD as a Pharmacy Supply Planner. I have been in this position for 13 years now...

Can you describe your role in a little more detail?

It is true that the profession of Supply Planner is not very well-known. To briefly summarise it, I act as the interface between production, sales administration and the logistics chain.

Specifically, my role is to plan the production of Type 2 and 3 yellow glass depending on the volume and specifications of the orders received at our plant in Sucy-En-Brie. This schedule allows us to establish production lines, taking into account the different constraints, such as quality, cost, time frame ... that need to be taken into consideration. 

Obviously, I am in constant contact with our sales team in order to better respond to better meet their demands.

Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined SGD Pharma?

Actually, what is so exciting about my line of work is that every day brings new challenges and constraints. I have learned, over time, to easily accept starting all over again with something we may sometimes have taken hours to set up, and to do it always with the same purpose - to satisfy our customers.

I can say that I am proud of my responsiveness in meeting the challenges that I encounter on a daily basis. 

Is there something in particular that you enjoy about your work environment and that you would like to share?

At SGD Pharma, we all work well together with mutual understanding. I am based at the headquarters in Puteaux and I get on well with both the colleagues with whom I share my daily life and the teams based at the production site in Sucy-En-Brie. We all work together hand in hand and are all moving in the same direction.

Marie-Christine Revereau

Can you give us your background?

I graduated in accounting at New York’s Queens College and I joined, in 1999, Saint Gobain group.

I started with administrative responsibilities before replacing the financial controller and also taking care of some human resources (payroll etc) tasks. In 2007, SGD North America was created after Saint Gobain sold its glass subsidiary to a investment fund and my role was more focused on unpaid receivables collection. With a new shareholder’s arrival in 2010, some strategic change took place and, in 2016, the activities related to beauty and pharmacy were split and each entity had full autonomy. This is when I joined SGD Pharma and was appointed Controller of the NY sales office which employs eleven people and covering North, South and Central America regions.

Can you describe your job in more detail?

Actually I have a double role, Controller and Office Manager.

As a Controller, I’m charge of the NY office accountancy but also of the management of the administrative aspects (payroll management, health insurances, pension private schemes etc) for all the employees and also of the building management issues. It is a position very much focused on finance and administration but it is very varied since we are a small office and we need to be multi task!

Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined the company?

I’ve been in the group for the past 18 years so I’ve been through many changes both on the capitalistic side or the size of the company and the tasks I was assigned to. The change related to the cosmetic and pharmaceutical activities’ split that took place in 2016 was a major one because it meant to set up new agreements and contracts with all suppliers and service providers (health insurers, retirement plans providers, the building managers etc) with an office that was smaller than before. I had to renegotiate various services with all our partners in a rather short time. 

Is there anything specific that you like in your working environment that you would like to share?

What I like is to be part of a leader company with a global reputation but in a human scale office benefitting from a friendly atmosphere but also autonomy. We are lucky to have a local management that is able to pass on its enthusiasm to the teams and this is very appreciable, especially when you are in an dozen people’s office!

Chunyan Zheng

Can you tell us a bit more about your background and what you did before your current role at SGD Pharma? 

After I graduated in China in Mechanic and in Project Management in France, I started working in a French company based in China in the eyeglass sector as Sales Technical Support. 
I joined SGD Pharma in 2010 in charge of quality and decoration development. I was given, a year later, an additional responsibility and became Decoration Manager and, in 2012, was promoted New Product Development Manager. In 2015 I became R&D Director since our strategy in Asia shifted towards more innovation. Since this year I am also Commercial Director for the Asia Pacific region.

How would you describe your current job and your different responsibilities?

As SGD Pharma Commercial Director, I am in charge of developing the whole Asia Pacific region. I manage a sales team of 28 employees including sales, marketing and administrative staff and we have a network of agents and distributors across 15 countries in the vast market of Asia. We operate in three different markets - pharmaceutical, beauty and health care - and each market has a dedicated sales team. To allow me to dedicate myself fully towards this activity, a new R&D Manager will take over this role after a phase of well-managed transition.

Is there something specific (projects, assignments, challenges) that you achieved and are particularly proud of since you joined the company? 

I am fortunate to have had many exciting challenges since I joined SGD Pharma.  I’m particularly proud of the New Product Development department’s creation which became our R&D department. The diversity of countries and markets coupled with an ambitious Business Plan will need high flexibility, agility and faculty of adaptation. I am proud to have been chosen as the Commercial Director for the Asia Pacific zone.

Is there something particularly that you appreciate in your work and/or working environment?

I appreciate to work with my team and also with my manager who supported my confidence and helped me to improve and grow professionally and personally.

Aline Duval

Can you tell us about your background?

After a training in mechanics, I started working, in 1992, in the plant where I am today but did not belong to SGD Group yet. Hired as a sorting operator, I was promoted team leader and became, a couple of years later, Health and Safety Manager (EHS). In this context, I followed a certifying training to upgrade my expertise in this sector. Meanwhile the plant became a subsidiary of SGD group and, in 2014, I was appointed Perfumery Production Manager. After the split of the two activities - pharmaceutical and cosmetics - SSV was dedicated to the pharmaceutical bottles and, since 2016 I’m an in charge of the whole site.

Could you describe your current role in more detail?

My role is really multitask since I am in charge of ensuring that the sorting quality is excellent with specific objectives but I am also very much involved in the human resources management since the activity of our site is essentially manual and done by a majority of women.

Work conditions and well-being at work are very important for our site’s productivity to be good.
All my previous positions are helping me in my current role as it enables me to have a global vision and understand and manage all the aspects related to the employees’ work.

Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined SSV?

When I was Health and Safety Manager, I created a Unique Document mapping out all the plant’s potential risks and all the measures to implement in order to avoid or minimize the identified risks.
Also, when the plant switched from serving two divisions – perfumery and pharmacy – to being solely focused on pharmacy, I helped to this transition phase requiring sometimes to train the staff when needed.

Is there anything specific that you like in your working environment and that you would like to share?

In the company for more than twenty years, I had the opportunity to grow in my job and to be where I am now thanks to a range of factors: the training I received, the trust I was able to gain and the autonomy in my work. Today we really work in a ‘collaborative mode’ where the discussions are key in our site and I’m delighted of that because my role reflects fully this approach.

*SSV, a subsidiary of SGD Parma, is a French site dedicated to pharmaceutical bottles’ sorting 

Stéphanie-Claudel Bouvier

Can you give us your background?

After studying international trade in France, I did an internship in England in the transit sector before coming back to France and work for various companies (mobile phones, fashion, cosmetics…) as an export sales assistant. In 2002, I joined SGD Pharma as an export sales assistant to support sales in the Middle East and Africa region.

Could you describe your role in more detail?

My job evolved substantially since I joined SGD Pharma. On top of supporting the sales teams on different topics (transport, customs, contracts…), I take our clients on site when they come to audit our French and German plants. I also travel sometimes for client events (tradeshows, visits…) and attend actively to seminars organized for our agents in those countries. Since 2014, I also train sales assistants in China so that our procedures and service levels are consistent for our clients and prospects all over the world.

Are there some achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined SGD Pharma?

Among the challenges that I faced, one of the most interesting is to work for a region  where there is a strong competition of local low-cost players. The challenge is to convince our clients that SGD Pharma is a high quality supplier and a global reference in the market of pharmaceutical packaging. 
Another challenge that I was able to take up was to train sales assistants in China which has sometimes been complex because of the different culture and language but also very interesting.
This has enabled us to set up consistent process and also to share and to create links with people that we worked with but that we did not know...

Is there anything specifically that you appreciate in your work environment and that you would love to share?

What I appreciate most is the variety of my job as there is a lot of work upstream (prospects) and downstream (customers) and this enables me to connect with many departments both internally and externally. This creates a synergy and a dynamic that are really stimulating and a trusting environment that is very rewarding.

Michelle Liang

Can you give us some information about your background (studies and previous jobs) ?

After I graduated, in 2002, as a major in agriculture, I started working for various companies, mainly in charge of administration and office management. In 2006, I joined SGD Asia Pacific as a HR Supervisor until I got promoted Manager and Director in 2014.

Can you describe your current role in more detail?

As HR Director, I have to ensure that the strategic objectives of our group are achieved also in terms of skills, performance, corporate culture and many more fields as implementing training programs for the plant’s employees.

Are there specific achievements you are proud of since you joined SGD Pharma?

Since I joined, I am particularly proud to have implemented some management tools such as the Employee Behavior Handbook that help managers to drive their team. I also participated in a major project targeting employee’s turnover reduction rate which cut the rate of almost of 50% in four years. I’m also quite proud to work for the SGD Academy aimed at recruiting locally young talented people after graduation and train them for a 3 years period.

Is there something you particularly like in your company’s working environment and that you would like to share? 

SGD AP is a company that supports talents independently from your background either in education or your past experience. Even if I had no major experience in HR and was not totally English fluent, I was given the opportunity to learn, to train and grow both professionally and personally. I am now in the position of doing the same with talented young people and I find it incredibly rewarding. 

Emmanuel Lepitre

What is your background?

Following my graduation as an engineer, I started my career in 1993 working for a French automotive supplier in the Product Development division. After 3 years, I joined Saint Gobain Group where I was in charge of new products’ development for the perfumery glass bottles division. In 2001, I moved to the pharmaceutical business unit and, in 2005, I was promoted Quality Manager for the Mers plant. Following the group’s businesses split, I joined SGD Pharma team in the new plant at Saint Quentin La Motte in 2016.

Can you describe your role at SGD Pharma?

Managing a team of 12 people, I’m the plant Quality Manager and also in charge of Products Development. As Quality Manager, I need to ensure that quality achieved is the best possible on three different levels: the one obtained internally, the one provided to the client both in terms of products and services and the one linked to quality systems (audits, certifications…). On top of ensuring the plant quality, I am also part of a group defining the company’s global quality policy. 
As for Product Development, I am mainly in charge of the whole data management related to the products, the molds and new products’ development for the pharmaceutical industry.

Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of since you joined the firm?

Ensuring the production’s transfer from Mers to the new plant, a facility that was built within a year, respecting all technical, quality and Good Manufacturing Practices’ constraints was a real challenge. The objective was to avoid any disruption in the manufacturing process and satisfy our clients – more than 300 – by delivering excellent products during the transition period.

Are there any specific elements that you particularly appreciate in the SGD Pharma working environment?

The work environment is very international both internally thanks to all the employees coming from various continents and externally with worldwide clients so it is very enriching. Also, top management’s presence on the various industrial sites and therefore its accessibility makes communication easier and generates constructive discussions.

Stéphanie Dagostino

Could you give us some information about your background?

After graduating in a business school (Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris) in 2003, I joined Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) for eight years working as a consultant assisting companies’ financial departments. I joined SGD in 2011 as Accounting and Reporting Manager and after the split between the perfumery and the pharmacy businesses, I integrated SGD Pharma and also took over French accountancy and taxation responsibilities.

Can you describe us more specifically your current role at SGD Pharma?

Today I have a dual role with financial reporting and consolidation on one side and French accountancy and taxation on the other.
As for the reporting and consolidation are concerned, I manage the results’ analysis and aggregation of all subsidiaries in order to have a global vision of the group’s performance.
For the accountancy part of my job, I supervise a team in charge of all French entities’ accountancy. Finally, as for my taxation responsibilities, I have to ensure that all taxation rules are respected, that the information provided is reliable and I also need to coordinate some international taxations issues.

Are there any specific challenges that you took on since you joined and that you are particularly proud of ?

One of the challenges that I was given was to deliver financial accounts and statements to our investors only for the pharmaceutical business while the activities were not yet split. This phase of data research, analysis and compilation in a very short timing to prepare the split, was a real challenge.
Another achievement was my involvement to SGD Pharma’s project of the company’s sale to JIC, our new shareholder. I was in charge of preparing, coordinating and delivering all the financial information requested by the investors.

Is there one or various elements that you particularly appreciate in the working environment of SGD Pharma ?

Since my arrival at SGD five years ago, I took part in various projects and I appreciate this fast paced context which allows us not to settle too much in a routine mode. Projects involve various company’s departments and enhance team work which I really enjoy. Besides, I love to work in a multi -cultural environment even if it can sometimes be challenging.

Bihag Shah

Could you give us your background ?

After graduating in 2004 in production engineering, I spent various years working in Supply Chain & Purchasing and specifically 7 years with Schott Tubing Plant in India where I held different positions.I joined Cogent in 2014 and I’m currently following an executive MBA from the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad that should end this year.

Can you describe your role and main responsibilities?

I am responsible for SGD Pharma India Supply Chain Management & Purchasing activities managing a team of 17 employees for the Logistics and a team of 6 people for Purchasing. In both areas, I work closely with the local and head-quartered based management teams to ensure a strong with the global corporate strategy. I am now also the Asian Coordinator in the Global Purchasing team.

Are there some specific achievements that you want to share since you joined?

A first achievement was to organize the transformation and professionalization of our Supply Chain and Purchasing team. A second achievement has been my participation on a project to improve our cash flow management. The last achievement I would like to mention is a team one as we all participated in a project to successfully obtain the ISO 15378 certification for our plant and integrate SGD Pharma in 2015.

Is there something you particularly like in SGD Pharma’s working environment? 

It is rewarding to feel supported by the management and work in a multicultural environment and with cross functional teams. I also particularly appreciate the talents’ recognition policy and the opportunities for employee empowerment and individual development. 

Thomas Ostermeyer

What is your background and your current role at SGD Pharma?

After my studies in mechanical and process engineering, I started my carrier in the chemical industry. For many years, I worked for various companies as a plant engineer before developing skills in EHS. After exciting years striving for best practices within a global organized EHS team, my job focused mainly on energy and process safety management. One year ago, I joined SGD Pharma in Kipfenberg, responsible for EHS Management.

Are there any specific achievements you are particularly proud of since you joined?

In my role, I’m working mainly on health & safety aspects of the German plant and I’ve been challenging the organization to increase the communication process about safety issues. 
Plant site safety statistics are showing a better safety performance and I’m happy and proud to be a part of it!

Is there something you particularly like at SGD Pharma?

Organizational changes, like we currently experience at SGD Pharma, normally initiate opportunities for growth, not only in business, but also in skills, qualification and competencies. I look forward to these changes and the opportunities to share EHS experience throughout the group.

Lu Yaming

Can you sum up your experience and tell us about your current role at SDP Asia Pacific ?

I have over 30 years’ experience in the glass manufacturing industry and I joined the SGD AP in early 1980s. As you can imagine, I held different positions at SGD (worker, hot end technician, hot end Manager…) before being promoted Productivity Manager in 2011, my current position.

I strengthen my expertise also by spending some time at various SGD’s plants in Asia, Europe and USA  to improve my skills and learn everything about the bottle manufacturing process !

Currently, ’m in charge of the Productivity Department. My main responsibility is to assist the R&D department to develop the new bare glass bottles but, most importantly, I’m responsible to improve the production’s performance. Besides, I am also in charge of the glass bottle sampling, finding suitable solutions to the daily troubleshooting for major defects and of strategic planning.

Are there specific achievements you are proud of since you joined?

When I worked in the Hot End as a Manager, we were faced with a challenge linked to a strategic decision to shift from drinking bottles to healthcare and infusion bottles to focus our activity on the pharmaceutical industry. I had to lead my team to overcome many technical challenges and ensure the successful production of all these new products including a full sampling.

In 2015, I took the responsibility to set up new machines in order to get the production line ready to be used as soon as possible.

Scott Beals

Why SGD Pharma ?

SGD Pharma is a market leader in the pharmaceutical glass packaging arena and continues to invest in their manufacturing, quality, innovation and people. SGD Pharma is considered a premium brand in pharma packaging in the US, and it is allowing me to work with top pharma companies in the world, which in turn has been helping me grow professionally. 

What is your background and your current role at SGD Pharma?

My background is in Packaging Engineering and Material Sciences. Before joining SGD Pharma, I worked for a leading pharmaceutical company developing packaging to improve the product and consumer experience. For SGD Pharma, I am responsible for sales and new business development in North America.

Are there any specific achievements you are particularly proud of since you joined?

Since joining SGD Pharma in 2010, I am very proud of the business development and growth I have achieved for our North American business. 

Ravi Murthy

Can you tell us a bit about your background ?

After graduating as a chemical engineer in Mumbai University, I started my career as a quality consultant for various companies in the chemical and glass sectors including Onaway Glass and Nipro Tube Glass Containers where I stayed for 10 years covering various roles.

What is your role at SGD Pharma India ?

I joined SGD Pharma India in 2013 where I now supervise all glass conversion operations, the R&D department and all projects related to the plant. My main responsibility is to achieve the best quality for our products through regular benchmarks.

Are there any specific achievements at SGD Pharma India that you are proud and/or something you particularly like in SGD Pharma’s working environment ?

Increasing the glass vials’ neutrality by improving the forming process was a major challenge and I’m really happy we achieved it. I also worked on energy consumption’s reduction that we lowered of 30% by changing the utilities’ configuration and improving the OEE.

Great leadership, clear goals and senior management’s support on key projects are elements that I appreciate at SGD Pharma. They bring indeed a sense of confidence that encourages us in our work on a day to day basis but also in the long run.