Set up 4 years ago, Jasminka Roth has found herself and the company she’s created, The Tao of Excellence, working at the cutting edge of the MedTech industry and in a way made possible by today’s technology.
Jasminka Roth talks to Henrietta Shirley about how she built a company from ethics, how small businesses can have an international team and why this is the time to forge a new era in medical device manufacturing.
What inspired you to set up the Tao of Excellence?
It came from managing quality departments and experiencing the daily challenges in a manufacturing environment. Working in that sector felt like being on a boat in a storm, you can’t see over the next wave, and although you gain experience each time, your vision is always limited by the height of the next wave.
I wanted to create a more strategic and tactical approach to manage the experience better and increase people’s performance. That combination of strategy—where do you want to go?—and tactics—what is the best way to get there?—allows me to see the bigger picture and see far beyond the “waves”.
How did you begin?
It was more straightforward than I’d imagined. I began by working as a specialist on different projects, and soon started to include a wider network of freelancers. They were close contacts and good friends I’d met over my career and they brought their own specialist and in-depth expertise, resources, and a really fresh perspective to projects I was working on. We still work with that network today.
What mattered to you the most when you set up the business?
Our values. I knew I wanted those to be the foundation of the company. To improve the lives of patients and their families, improve the lives of our customers and their families, and improve our own lives and those of our own families. Everything we do comes out of that—the work we do, our funding projects, our conduct and how we approach our customers. We want to make sure we’re contributing to a better world and working with those ethical principles in mind every day.
What interests you most about your work?
Working with such a talented group of people. Each person in our team at The Tao of Excellence brings a unique talent, a real passion and their own heart to their work. By evolving and engaging in new ideas we’ve been able to create of our new MedTech platform, which will launch this Autumn.
That platform has been specifically built for medical device manufactures. It’s designed as an accessible data analysis tool that can give to this industry accurate and completely fresh insight into the global market in order to create a competitive advantage for manufactures.
It also gives SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up the vast majority of manufactures in Europe—and certainly in Switzerland) the opportunity to become a world player. That platform means that SMEs could potentially export their product from their local region and distribute it internationally—which would improve the quality of lives, or even save lives, around the world. That is something I’m really passionate about.
What has been your most valuable lesson in recent years?
That has been two-fold. The first lesson would be collaboration. I’m really interested in the in between spaces between people. What we can do when we connect and work together. It’s deeply inspiring working with a network of people that are excited to share their ideas and feel that their ideas are welcome, and that as a company we want to improve, explore and innovate.
The second is that I’ve learnt to feel the value of things very closely. How much information is worth, how much collaboration, time and personal connection is worth. To balance ethical values with financial value and understand that you can convert values—in a forward-looking sense and in the way we’ve set up this company—into cash flow and economic value.
What is the greatest challenge you face?
From a technical perspective, the availability of data in the medical devices industry is a challenge—but, for me that’s the fun part. It’s incredibly exciting to explore and create in a sector that’s still relatively untouched by data and software—yet evolving its approach and demand fast—and to be able to have an impact by educating the industry about the data and technology that is available to them.
In reality, the most challenging part of my day-to-day is keeping up the human dimension in a company that lives—for a majority of the time at least—as a virtual space.
Our core team is international—it’s spread across Switzerland and includes people in London. I want people to feel that they are part of the company and are shaping its future together, and for each employee to broaden and deepen their own skill-set and continue to grow.
How are you approaching the extensive and on-going changes to regulations in the medical devices market?
We engage a lot and stay up-to-date. We research, follow articles, papers and politics, and we look for opportunities where we can exchange knowledge, such as attending presentations and taking part in conferences.
I see this time of uncertainty in the MedTech market as a really exciting time, a time that we can all constructively contribute to a better and safer future. Changes to regulations, such as the EU’s new Medical Device Regulation (MDR), has been the catalyst to the MedTech industry embracing digitalisation, new technology and IT applications. That transparency and connectivity brings us closer to patients—closer to quality assurance, market stability and patient safety.
It’s time, high-time that happened, and The Tao of Excellence happens to be equipped to do it. We have the experience and a diverse skill-set, and now—with the launch of our platform coming—we will be able to actively support and react to those regulatory changes faster and better than ever before.
For more information on how our services and technical solutions can support and improve your business, contact The Tao of Excellence or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news.
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