Zenith’s 20th Anniversary – An Interview with CEO Joe Haugh

This year, Zenith Technologies is celebrating 20 years in business. Over that time, the company has delivered manufacturing software systems to the life science industry that make businesses compliant and competitive.

Zenith’s CEO Joe Haugh talks about what has driven the business’ success over the years and what the anniversary means to him.

What does the 20-year anniversary mean to you?

From a personal perspective, it’s fantastic to be the CEO of a company like Zenith. I’m very proud, we started off as an Irish company and have evolved into a global business in a relatively short period of time. The experience of doing that, and the opportunities it has presented along the way, have been amazing. I’ve travelled the world and met a lot of amazing people – collaborating with customers and driving the Zenith value is a big part of my role and it’s incredibly enjoyable.

The industry we’re working in is also incredible. I started my career in a plant making aluminium and I never thought I’d end up leading a company that does something that really makes a difference to people’s lives. The fact we have a part to play in bringing life-saving drugs to market and ultimately saving lives is a great motivation for me and the business.

What have been the highlights for you?

There’s been a few but the thing I’m most proud of has been our growth rates, we’ve grown 25-35% annually over the last couple of years.

Our performance during the recession was also a highlight. When we hit the crash in 2008, instead of the company declining when a lot of companies were struggling, we managed to stay stable before taking off again in 2011. We had built a very good foundation to maintain the business through that period and getting through that crash when pharmaceutical companies weren’t investing in technology was a great testament to everyone’s effort throughout the business.

What has driven Zenith’s success?

We started off as an integration company, but in 2005 we started making a shift towards being a more customer-centric business. Today Zenith is more of a service-based company, we’re more integrated into our customers’ operational environment through our managed services offering.

Having Brendan O’Regan, Zenith’s owner and chairman behind us every step of the way has also brought Zenith great strength, he is extremely influential and knowledgeable in the world of automation.

In 2017, Zenith was recognised as a Great Place to Work (GPTW), what is the company doing well in terms of employees?

We’ve experienced explosive growth in the last three years and we had a huge amount of people coming on board. We’ve done a lot of work to ensure we continue to be a good employer – we’re engaging with our employees better than ever and using their feedback to continue building a company that works for them. We know we still have some way to go but this is a great focus for 2018 and beyond.

What do you think the next 20-years will bring for Zenith?

Life sciences is a marvelous and exciting industry to be working in. If you were to go online and look at the people talking about the stock market, you wouldn’t go five-minutes without hearing about digital and automation.

That’s the future, and we’ve been doing that for 20 years. Some people think that after 20 years, you might be at the end of what you’re doing, but I think we’re at the beginning of digital and automation in this world. We’ve been doing it for a long time, so we’re positioned brilliantly – which is exciting for me and people throughout the business.

I’m excited by the direction the business is taking and looking forward to engaging with new and exciting challenges in the future.

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