This recent editorial appeared in SelectScience® on November 2, 2016.
The Phenomenex Story Part 3: The Secrets Behind the Success of Phenomenex
Fasha Mahjoor is the CEO of global separations company, Phenomenex. SelectScience® spoke to Fasha to ask him about the secrets to his success. Here are his top five tips:
1. Stay focused
“I’ve seen many companies over the last 35 years lose focus by trying to be everything to everybody. When you try to spread your expertise too thinly, in too many areas, you inevitably lose focus. It’s true that Phenomenex has diversified, but at our core we are still very much a chromatography consumables company. For example, over the years we have had opportunities to go into instrumentation, but we decided to remain focused on our consumable business. Keeping our focus has allowed us to be the absolute experts in our field, enabling us to continue to serve our customers in the best way that we can.”
2. Understand your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses
“When you understand your competitor’s main strengths and weaknesses, you know where to concentrate your efforts. Understanding the weaknesses in other businesses, allows you to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes. Similarly, you can learn from the strengths of others to continue to improve. For example, in the early days we were trying to compete against some very large, well established companies. I noticed that every competitor was trying to focus on the prime geographical areas of growth (e.g. New Jersey, New York, Illinois and California). But no one was concentrating on the states of Dakota, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah etc. These states were much quieter, however we focused our efforts on those areas and we were welcomed by the scientists there. So while the competition was too busy killing themselves in more lucrative states we quickly and easily entered and took majority market share. While the market size was very small in these states, it added up to a very large sum which gave us a lot of revenue and the financial foundation for growth in more competitive states. These customers are still very important to us and we continue to serve and support them to this day.”