Airfreight Pharma 2023’s first panel event saw industry professionals discussing future strategic decision-making in pharma logistics, and what panellists learned from taking part in the Pharma Logistics Masterclass 2023.
Trevor Caswell (chairman, Pharma.Aero), Damien De Chillaz (CEO and founder, Katal X) and Fabrice Panza (manager of global cool chain solutions, Etihad Cargo) sat down with Fran Van Gelder of Pharma.Aero.
Here are the key points to take away from the discussion on the first day of the conference:
Damien De Chillaz, CEO and founder, Katal X
The supply chain CEO said, in review of the Masterclass, that it was a “friendly [and] open environment” and that “caring and sharing was one of the key taglines”.
“… It’s truly broad across the industry and that makes a big difference because you end up discussing the ground handlers’ airlines [and] airports at the frontier of our industry.
“… It’s mind opening, you open up your mind, just because you move away from home, spend five days [away] – and after five days you reopen up your heart and mind.”
De Chillaz added that he sees the Masterclass as a “sandbox” and an “incubator for ideas”: “So my tagline for that Masterclass was that quote from Edison which said ‘the difference between a vision and a hallucination is execution’.
“And I think here, at the Masterclass, you get the keys to really discuss what matters – and you get the commitment from leaders to take action on it. So I think it’s very action-orientated.”
Trevor Caswell, chairman, Pharma.Aero
Caswell, by contrast, described the Masterclass as like being back at university, which took him some adjustment.
He said: “I have to say being on a phone call with yourself and a couple of professors early in the morning is very interesting.
“The Masterclass has grown every year, I think … It’s a fine balance of bringing together the academic[s] and the industry but mostly bringing people out of their comfort zone.
“And when you hear of top-notch professors and sometimes world-renowned experts in the scientifics community where they spent their time during Covid in very top and important meetings talking about transportation models for their countries, and to the left of you and to the right of you, they’re saying ‘wow, I didn’t know that about the transportation industry’, and you have some of the smartest minds coming from the academic world saying ‘I didn’t know that, that’s very interesting’.
“And I’m sitting there thinking ‘how did you not know that?'”, he added.
The chairman described the experience as “overwhelming” but said that it was like taking an “intense management course” where people can speak freely and in a knowledgeable environment.
He added that the workshops reminded him of some of his university professors.