A company with Latvian nature at its heart – natural food supplements for health
Latvian pharmaceutical company Lotos Pharma offers natural food supplements and medicinal products produced in Latvia to improve health, strengthen immunity and well-being. You must admit that the best ingredients are those that have grown in our climes. In addition, it is very important now to strengthen the health, the power of thought and support of own people. The head of the company Kaspars Ivanovs emphasizes that by focusing on the right things, the crisis can serve as a favorable starting point for the future.
Start of the company
I am a doctor and I know what underlies common diseases. I joined the pharmaceutical business when it started to develop in Latvia, 25 years ago, but respect and knowledge of nature I got from my grandmother, who taught me a lot about medicinal plants. Already in the 4th grade I had collected 140 kg of medicinal plants – the room was chock-full. So, it seems that the path to what I am doing now has been clear and natural. My education, market knowledge and interest in nature have led me to establishment of the pharmaceutical company Lotos Pharma seven years ago, which develops and manufactures natural, easy-to-use, and effective products to improve and strengthen health.
Already in the 4th grade I had collected 140 kg of medicinal plants – the room was chock-full. So, it seems that the path to what I am doing now has been clear and natural.
The key to success
Compared to other companies, we have started operation relatively recently. Thus, we can see not only the successes of others, but also the failures. Our main distinction is that we provide new, conceptual, and scientifically based offer. We can quickly adapt to the market and its changes, that is much more difficult for large and old companies due to the big hierarchy. It is not a secret that you can buy products in pharmacies that are even more than 60 years old, but the only thing that has changed over the years is the packaging. I am convinced that any product can be made clearer, more understandable, and easier for the customer to use. For example, folic acid vitamin B, which is important for pregnant women and children, is a product of several generations and each of the following generations is better and better absorbed by the body. For the first generation, only 6% is absorbed by the body and almost 95% – for the fourth and fifth generation.
It is not a secret that you can buy products in pharmacies that are even more than 60 years old, but the only thing that has changed over the years is the packaging. I am convinced that any product can be made clearer, more understandable, and easier for the customer to use.
The customer does not always aware of this, but if you are a professional, then you need to develop products with better dosages, use and results. That is exactly what Lotos Pharma does! We produce products that are not yet on the market, and we develop them with the confidence that we are not copying the existing product. There are products on the market that require you to take six capsules a day, but you will agree that this is quite a lot. You should seek the ways to reduce this dose, and if you have found them, it is a great victory. Pharmacy is a highly regulated field, but at the same time it is incredibly open. Medical databases are constantly updated. Obviously, if I come up as a new company with a product that has been known for 50-60 years, then I will not have any added value. Therefore, we wish to develop modern and easy-to-use products to improve health.
Our main philosophy is not to copy other already existing products. Fair competition is very much needed because it provides incentive to move forward, to develop. In the new product development process, we cannot operate without cooperation not only within the company, but also with specialists outside – doctors, doctors’ associations, universities in Latvia and abroad. The accepted view has always been that we can do everything independently, but I think that moment is over. The winners are those who learn and find a way to work with experts in the field.
In the new product development process, we cannot operate without cooperation not only within the company, but also with specialists outside – doctors, doctors’ associations, universities in Latvia and abroad.
Pandemic and entrepreneurship
It may be a little easier for the pharmaceutical industry, as funds to improve health are currently in particular demand. The biggest challenge is communicating to develop new products. The highest safety system must be observed to continue production. We have reduced the number of people on site to ensure minimal contact, introducing shift work. More than 20 people work in the company, and all workers will keep their job at this time.
How to make the best out of the current situation?
You need to react quickly! For example, in case of our industry, scientists in America and Europe have already compiled active natural substances that do not promote the spread of the virus and reduce the first symptoms. We are currently researching how such product might look like, how to put all the active things in it to make it work. We want to be a company that looks not only at the times when everyone is fine, but also at the times when we need to create products that will help in any situation – whether it is a runny nose, a virus, or some stomach problems. If there are no technological problems, we can introduce a new product in three to six months. It can take years for large firms, but small ones have their advantages. We follow the current situation in the world, I believe that we will beat this virus soon, but we must expect that there will be others that will need solution.
Dare to take risks!
Learning and daring currently is very important. There have been crises and there will be both crises and non-standard situations, but without learning nothing new can be achieved. You must know technologies, follow their changes, dare to do things that others do not do. We are in an exceptionally good geopolitical position – the Scandinavians are right next to us, we know them, just as they know us. Nearby is Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union. And we all know what they are and what we can offer them. Asian countries are also remarkably close, and they are interested in us if we can show ourselves. We are competitive in the world, we must be able to show our products as without going beyond the borders of our country, we will never be a big company. We must strive for the world!
You need to invest to develop
Less than two years ago, we opened a new factory in Marupe. We continue to expand and introduce new technologies. The total planned investments are less than half a million euros. I believe that if you want to do it fast, well and quality, you must have good equipment. We are actively working to obtain various international certificates, which will allow us to expand exports. This year we have passed several inspections and have already received two quality certificates Codex GMP, which will allow us to sell in further markets, the ISO 22000 quality certificate has also been approved, which again opens other gates for export.
This year we have passed several inspections and have already received two quality certificates Codex GMP, which will allow us to sell in further markets, the ISO 22000 quality certificate has also been approved, which again opens other gates for export.
Thinking about the future
Often the main product testers are my family. And what I see is that the packaging we and other market players use is not environmentally friendly. I believe that if we take from nature, then we must give back to her. We are actively thinking about how to develop packaging that could be more environmentally friendly. We are currently working with a Swiss laboratory that has come a long way in producing environmentally friendly packaging – if we can buy decomposable plastics, we are already one step closer to nature.
I think we should learn to respect each other even more. I respect every colleague I work with, every partner and every customer who wants to choose our natural products to improve their health.. If we respect each other, it will be much easier and more productive for us to work. Let us smile and be happier, because we all know that smile prolongs life.