From the 8 – 13 January 2023, Austell Pharmaceuticals’ Sales and Marketing department joined management at their annual conference. This year the destination selected for this prestigious event was the picturesque Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Every year, company founder and CEO, Suhail Gani together with Austell management selects a special venue to host their annual conference. Previous venues have included, local resorts, such as Champagne Sports Resort in Drakensburg and Sun City, and international venues in Brazil and Mauritius. This year the company spent a week in the beautiful Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur. “Choosing a different destination for the conference every year means that the team and I get to experience the different cultures and traditions of that country. Being exposed to different cultures, helps us to expand our own mindsets, which is essential for personal growth and development, one of the key focuses at Austell,” explains Gani.
This year, the conference ran over 7 days with over 90 Austell employees from the Sales and Marketing teams around South Africa attending the event. As a reward for their service to the company for over 10 years, two members of the general staff, Mohamed Irefaan Karodia and Shehnaz Mahomed were also given the opportunity to join the company at this prestigious event.
The week spent in Malaysia offered Austellians the perfect opportunity to experience the beautiful local culture while learning more about the Austell culture and each other. The event was officially opened with a keynote address from Gani, which included a review of the past year, and a look at what to expect from the company in the upcoming year. Sessions were also held throughout the conference to discuss the new projects and medications that the company will be rolling out over the next year.
The event also featured two big gala evenings aimed at celebrating Austell’s performance in the last year and honouring various members of the team. At the Marketing Awards Evening, 54 prizes were awarded to members of the marketing and sales team in appreciation of their hard work and commitment to the company in 2022. The Night of the Stars Gala Evening took place towards the end of the conference and included the announcement of the CEO Award as well as Sales Representatives of the Year. Each of the Sales Representative winners received a prize of an international trip for them and a partner for later in the year, while the CEO award winner received a cash prize.
A surprise announcement came on the third day of the conference when Gani together with Dr Judey Pretorius, Managing Director of Biomedical Emporium announced that the popular skincare brand Biomedical Emporium will be merging with Austell in 2023. “Why did we join forces? The Biomedical Emporium pharmaceutical, cosmetic and dermal biotechnology series expanded to such an extent that we had to obtain a powerful pharmaceutical workforce to assist with absorbing the workload of getting our phenomenal product series out to the rest of the world,” explained Dr Pretorius. Gani also expressed his enthusiasm over the merger, saying that this will further cement Austell as one of the fastest growing pharmaceuticals in the country. “We are really looking forward to this merger and welcoming Biomedical Emporium into the Austell fold. We are going to do great things together,” said Gani.
The Austell group that attended the conference also had plenty of time and opportunity to explore the amazing sites in Malaysia. The group visited the renowned Petronas Twin Towers (the tallest twin towers in the world) and the Batu Caves (three caves with shrines dedicated to various Hindu Gods). They also visited the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory and the National Mosque of Malaysia.
Connecting with their fellow team members was also an important aspect of the trip and therefore, there were many group activities that they engaged in during the trip, including fabric painting at the Jadi Batek handicraft centre. The Austellians also spent an evening dining at Atmosphere 360, the highest revolving restaurant in South-East Asia.
Overall, the conference was an experience of a lifetime that brought the entire Austell team closer together. We can’t wait to see what this new year brings, and where the destination of the next conference will be.