Health and wellness companies in Bogotá and Cundinamarca are well served

Built under the premise of being work spaces to strengthen the skills and abilities of companies and their human talent, adding value to their production chains to take advantage of and generate new market opportunities, the cluster initiatives in the Health, Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics and Wellness have been consolidated within the program led by the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce (CCB) for a decade thanks to the contribution and effort of its members and allies.

With initiatives such as training, spaces to promote their products and services, national and international events, projects and programs, among others, these initiatives have generated benefits that have had an impact on the transformation of the business fabric of the region, contributing to its growth, its economic development and the improvement of its business and labor dynamics.

These are some of the most relevant projects that during 10 years of work have been produced in each of these initiatives:

1. Cosmetics and Wellness
Juan Carlos González, Vice President of Competitiveness of the CCB, affirms that this cluster initiative arose after analyzing which were the sectors with high rates of employability, greater number of companies or business mass, presence of unions and entities, among other factors, and among They were cosmetics and wellness.

"We prioritized the cosmetics industry and started working on the construction of a cluster that would serve as a work space to promote the competitiveness of the sector," adds González.

This cluster links make-up, perfumery, hand and foot care, personal hygiene, body and facial treatments, hair products, shaving and depilatories, as well as companies providing beauty and wellness services, which were linked from the 2021.

The Cluster has a strategic focus on the production and marketing of cosmetics made from natural ingredients from Colombian biodiversity, to take advantage of the comparative advantage that we have as a country and turn it into a competitive advantage.

In order for companies in this sector to improve their national and international positioning, various strategies were used, including training companies in marketing strategies and making an exhaustive analysis of aspects such as brand values, differential positioning, slogans, portfolio and branding, among others.

The companies have taken advantage of their participation in promotional spaces such as 360º Beauty Expertise, fairs such as Health and Beauty and the alliances with Creceri, BlackSip and Mercado Libre for the sector's incursion into electronic commerce, as relationship platforms and connection with markets strategic for your business.

The cluster has also established alliances with key actors, such as those established with the Safe+ project of the United Nations Organization for Industrial Development (UNIDO), to strengthen the business and technical capacities of its members, and with research centers and the academy to generate projects that promote innovation and competitiveness.

This sector employs some 19,600 people in Bogotá and Cundinamarca in 12,190 active companies, of which 2,154 were created in 2021.

2. Health
This is one of the most strategic sectors within the cluster initiatives led by the CCB, not only because of its economic and business contribution, but also because of the importance that the products and services that originate in it have for the region.

The objective of its creation, says Vice President Juan Carlos González, was to "identify and address —through the articulation of relevant actors such as businessmen, universities and government— the main bottlenecks that limit the competitiveness of the health sector" to providers and buyers of health services, suppliers of inputs and technology and specialized services.

To accompany these companies, entities and institutions on the road to competitiveness and to close the gaps that allow them to advance along the path of quality, the initiative has fostered their access to markets and valuable health networks, establishing new business models and promoting efficiency in networks, logistics and user-centered management.

One notable initiative involved Knowledge Health, a regional management model for high-complexity specialty centers, which helped participants increase sales of new high-complexity specialty products or services in sophisticated clinical knowledge markets.

In addition, this model prioritized five subspecialties or therapeutic areas with high potential for the export of healthcare services and clinical research, and more than 100 companies in the cluster were trained in innovation issues and business models based on clinical knowledge, among Other actions.

Events such as the Regional Forum on Health Quality were held in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection; the World Pharmacovigilance Conference 2018; or the VIII Congress of Clinical Research in alliance with the Colombian Association of Clinical Research Centers (Acic), Avanzar and Afidro, among other activities such as forums, conferences, meetings and others.

Since last year we have been supporting the economic reactivation of companies and the incursion into the digital development of missionary processes, the Telehealth program at Your Reach was created and we gave it continuity this year with the Digital Transformation program of the Health Sector. The program is focused on creating a unique ecosystem where the digital needs of the IPS can be met in order to be covered by the existing digital platforms on the market, at the moment we have more than 2,200
benefited companies and with a map of HealthTech platforms of 120 startups and national enterprises.

3. Pharmacist
The activities of this cluster have focused on the production and marketing of excellent quality medicines, taking advantage of the existing business critical mass, the climate and the geographical location offered by Bogotá and Cundinamarca.

“This cluster has differentiated itself by having highly qualified human talent, by complying with high international standards of good manufacturing and manufacturing practices, by having clinical and pharmaceutical research centers with local drug development and innovation capacity, and by profiling itself as an exporter quality of medicines for both human and veterinary health”, says Juan Carlos González.

One of the goals for which it has been working is to obtain recognition for the development of pharmaceutical products with added value and for being an export leader compared to other Latin American countries. To achieve this, various projects have been implemented to improve local drug production capacities, the sophistication of product R&D&i units by attracting clinical research to the city, learning about the health registration approval process of medicines at an international level and fostering articulated work between unions, associations, academia and the regulatory body to guarantee the sustainability of companies.

One of these projects was the validation guide for industrial manufacturing processes for the pharmaceutical sector, prepared between 2019 and 2021, which benefited 19 manufacturing companies by offering them international consulting to comply with current regulations and implement the validation of high-level manufacturing processes. international standards. The project participants obtained more than 500 hours of training, advice and specialized technical support to meet the new WHO manufacturing requirements for the production of drugs with efficacy and quality.

Another relevant project was the "Strategic Regulatory Plan for Sanitary Registration and Internationalization for the Export of Pharmaceutical Products", executed between 2020 and 2022, with which 25 companies managed to reduce the technical regulatory barriers to the international homologation process and were trained in the adequate procedure for the sanitary registration of medicines in accordance with the requirements of international regulatory entities with the aim of reaching new markets such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, South Africa, Israel and Portugal.

The three Cluster Initiatives, led by the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, manage to transform the city and the region through strategic actions that contribute to economic development and the well-being of its citizens.