2023/05/15 - Press
Virbac Spain: 40 years of commitment
Founded in 1983, Virbac Spain, one of the Group's oldest subsidiaries, celebrated 40 years of commitment to animal health on 11 May.
The story of our subsidiary Virbac Spain is a beautiful one, created in "commando" mode one morning in June 1983 by veterinary doctor Pierre-Richard Dick. A simple "Don't go up the stairs, we'll meet at the airport at 10:15" was enough for Henri Manrique, Dr. Dick's right-hand man at the time, to take the plane to Barcelona instead of walking through the door of his office in Carros that day. A week later, Virbac Spain was born!
This anniversary is also an opportunity to look back on four decades of a success story.
A subsidiary in constant evolution
Before the creation of this subsidiary in 1983, we were present in this territory through a local distributor. From the outset, the Spanish team focused on the companion animals and farm animals segments, which represented 71% and 29% respectively of the subsidiary's turnover in 2022. Today, 30 Virbac sales representatives travel the roads of Spain and cover 100% of the territory's needs thanks to a large network of distributors.
Thanks to the commitment of our teams, Virbac Spain will achieve a turnover of €36 million in 2022 and will thus become the 7th largest player in the Spanish animal health market*. Within the Group, Virbac Spain is ranked 9th worldwide (4th in Europe) thanks to our two key branches: vaccines (Bovigen® and Canigen® in the lead) and nutrition with our specialised Veterinary HPM® food range for cats and dogs.
A strong DNA
The geographical proximity with the company's headquarters has enabled us to quickly build a subsidiary that is 100% aligned with the Group's values and culture, in particular our local roots and our ability to support our customers on the ground.
Our Spanish subsidiary regularly participates in the sector's main congresses but also creates its own events to support the training of veterinarians and maintain close contact with them. The marketing team is also very involved locally and works hand in hand with vets by sponsoring some of their key events. The added value of Virbac Spain? Its niche areas of expertise, such as reproduction, which are neglected by other players in the animal health market. Thanks to its agility and ability to adapt quickly to meet the needs of its customers, Virbac Spain has a relationship of trust with its partners.
This year, the Spanish market is looking forward to the launch of two highly innovative flagship products: Movoflex® Soft Chews, a new innovative complementary food combining five ingredients, including eggshell membrane, for a complete action that significantly contributes to improving the animal's mobility, and Cortotic®, a new advanced solution for dogs.
The subsidiary's ambition is to offer the most complete range of solutions dedicated to the health and well-being of animals while facing the many changes in this sector: new trends in consumer habits, concentration of clinics and distributors, and recent legislative changes affecting the use and marketing of medicines.
A great place to work
Pilar Molina joined the Group as a salesperson almost 30 years ago and became the Director of Virbac Spain in 2022. Prior to that, she held various positions within the subsidiary, which today give her an excellent knowledge of the Group's challenges, the Spanish market and a very strong link with the teams.
In the latest Great Place to Work survey, conducted in 2021 among all the subsidiary's employees, Virbac Spain obtained a satisfaction index of 82%. A strong increase compared to 2018 when the index was 68%! This remarkable development is due to the involvement of the teams. After each survey, GPTW workshops are organised in which working groups exchange on the experience of employees. These workshops help to identify action plans to be implemented for each of the priority areas defined (Well-being at work, Recognition, Safety culture and participative management, etc.). Numerous internal initiatives have been deployed for several years: family day, workshop on emotional intelligence, coaching programme, etc.
Pilar Molina, General Manager of Virbac Spain: "In line with our improvement approach and in order to encourage cross-functional collaboration, we are developing participative and inspiring leadership through the Otto Walter programme for managers. As talent development is one of our priorities, we have also set up several other learning actions: a specific long-term training plan for the sales force, courses at leading business schools on digital marketing, personalised coaching, etc. The aim of this investment? To develop skills and nurture the initiatives and motivation of the teams."
The subsidiary's anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate, with all the employees, 40 years of a beautiful story where the human and animal welfare are at the heart of our concerns and our success.