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An Interview with Fabrizio Marchesani, the new Commercial Director of Soleko IOL Division

The Soleko IOL Division team grows.

We are pleased to introduce the latest resource added to our team: It’s Fabrizio Marchesani, who took charge of the role of new Commercial Director in Soleko IOL Division, the branch of the company specialized in the production of artificial intra ocular lenses for the cataract surgical procedure.

Who is Fabrizio Marchesani? Roman by birth, and abruzzese by adoption, he has covered various roles in over thirty years of experience from Sales Specialist to Sales Manager and Surgical Trainer, in ophthalmological pharmaceutical and medical device companies of the Italian professional landscape (from Allergan today AbbVie to Alfa Intes-therapeutic industry).

His role will help to consolidate and develop the growing role that Soleko has gained over the years in the cataract surgery environment thanks to the development of Premium IOLs and customized toric IOLs, of growing value, in an area where the patient's expectations, in terms quality of vision, are always soaring.

We interviewed him to find out more about his goals, perspectives and the challenges that await him.


Q: Dr. Marchesani, what are the reasons that led you to join a company like Soleko?

A: In the last five years spent at Allergan Eye Care division, now part of AbbVie company, one of the first and innovative big-pharma companies in the world, I have contributed to the launch in Italy of a new medical device for minimally invasive glaucoma surgery.

Thanks to this experience, I discovered my attitude, my passion for the world of surgery and also the pleasure that came from starting quite a new business from scratch, as if it were a start-up, and seeing it grow and establish itself over the course of the time.

So when the Soleko opportunity knocked on my door, I immediately realized that it was the right place where I wanted to work. High quality products, a portfolio of IOLs of their own design and construction, made in Italy, innovative and customizable. I was very impressed to know about the pre and post sales service behind the prescription IOLs, supported and managed by real experts, well known in the world of cataract surgery, such as engineer Kawamukai. It was extremely useful for taking my business decision, knowing that in a perspective view, Soleko had previously assigned all strategic sectors to talented skilled professionals or young professionals with a great potential: design, production, marketing, customer service and logistics.

And for all this, I have to thank the CEO, Dr. Guido Carnacina, the engineer M. Kawamukai and all the people they introduced me to the company, for making me appreciate the know-how that Soleko had consolidated in over fifty years in ocular contactology, where it plays a leading role as the first Italian manufacturer since the ‘60s. In addition to how the IOL developed its own division thanks to this expertise, starting a new innovative production and personal design line of artificial Intra Ocular Lenses to reach the position it owns today.

I would add that, looking to the welcome received from the BoD, the Soleko Staff and the IOL Team, I believe that Soleko has all the aspects to be a stimulating working environment.


Q: What do you think will be the first and most important challenges you will face with in your new role?

A: One of the greatest difficulties of the present days is represented by the condition that has influenced every market from one year now: the COVID-19 pandemic.

Everywhere: public hospitals, private hospitals, but also many patients purposefully have postponed surgery, medical treatment, laboratory assays and more, because they are afraid of being infected. The facilities themselves are still managing the delays due to the first lockdown during the spring 2020 and, as far as we are concerned more closely, the waiting lists for cataract surgery procedures have also further lengthened.

That’s why I believe that we will have to stay very close to our main customers, our distributors, to support them and share the challenges of the market, and of course also to the cataract surgeons. We will also have to listen to the needs of their patients and support them with answers, provide solutions and services in order of satisfy them in achieving the expected results, in line with the quality of vision and Quality of Life (QoL), they would like after a modern cataract surgery procedure.


Q: What are your next goals?

A: Soleko has shown great skills in dealing with unpredictable situations. I was told that the resort to wage guarantee fund were not made, even in the most difficult moments (of the ongoing pandemic) and this is a something to be proud of.

These past few months have been used to proactively optimize production and inventory. Thanks to this management, when the flow of cataracts procedures in the operating rooms will be resumed, we will be ready to better satisfy the requests of our customers.

The same for the "Research & Development" team, which has used productively this amount of time, to devote itself to evaluating new products and new technical solutions to better address and solve the challenges that arise from customer and patient requests.

Finally, in the same period, the on boarding of a key professional back-up profile was completed, a specialist who would assist the charismatic Engineer Kawamukai in technical customer support of the surgeons custom IOL calculation.

The development of the new App IOL calculator, the result of a great know-how for the calculation and realization of prescription IOLs made simple, represents the activity that most distinguishes Soleko from its competitors in the wide scenario of IOL manufacturers. For this reason, having an additional professional resource fully dedicated to this function, will allow us to answer better and even more to the needs of our surgeons and patients.

Having said that, my first goal will be to integrate myself and get interaction with all these different company functions in order to be able to contribute to the growth of the IOL division.


Q: In your opinion, what are Soleko IOL Division's most important strengths today?

A: I strongly believe in the value of people. It must be emphasized that, as I already said, behind our app (Soleko IOL Calculator) there is the service of highly qualified professionals who are able to transform the mathematical-biometric data in a tailor-made refractive result in a unique way with the best technical experience gained over 40 years.

Thanks to this all, we can provide the production with biometric data further supported by clinical evidenced experience, which will give birth to a unique IOL of the highest quality.

And for the same reason, I believe it should once again be highlighted that our made in Italy production line directly takes care of all the steps of the manufacturing chain up to the packaged, sterilization process and ready to shipment product. It also sticks to the most rigorous quality standards, adopted by the certification authorities, and all this is possible just thanks to trained and now highly skilled professionals.

The intuition of a client, a surgeon, would hardly find answers from the big players on the market. In those realities it is difficult to know who can support them and invest time and resources even just to understand if it works or not, and  if it is possible to industrialize the process. The Soleko's engineers instead are also able to carry out this delicate task and in some cases the ideas have taken shape and substance.

Consistently to this vision, the sales team acts as a media of communication that conveys the needs of the surgeon-patient and distributors network to the various functions inside the company. Once again people are at the fulcrum of the processes.

So in the end, I would like Soleko's clients to make themselves conscious that their value for Soleko is the value of its Team, made of many different talented people. That’s why it is so unique and irreplaceable!


Q: How do you imagine the Soleko IOL Division of the future?

A: (he laughs) In the past I would have glossed over this question…

I have been in the company for a few days, listening and collecting the directions that will be given to me from many people in different roles of the company, and from many different points of view from collogues and customers. 

So, there is one thing that I can say, it expresses my aspirations, my needs: I imagine this company, SOLEKO IOL Division, in the near future even more visible in terms of market share, even more recognizable for the value of its IOLs, even more appreciated for the added value of its high professional profiles and for the quality of the sales and technical support service provided.