VernaPeople - Meet James Hardie

In this edition of VernaPeople, we introduce you to James Hardie. If you haven’t had the chance to meet him yet, now is your chance!

How long have you been at Vernacare and what does your role involve day to day?

I have been with the company for 13 years, during this time I have worked with both the UK and International Sales teams. My current position is International Key Account Director and I am responsible for managing three accounts within the Indian market, as well as looking after global sales for our ComfiTM range of tubular bandages and garments.

 

What’s your favourite part of your role?

I enjoy meeting and interacting with distributors from all over the world to support them in changing patient experiences. Since every market has unique needs and challenges, it is important that I work closely with our partners to understand these issues and help find solutions to overcome them.

It is great to know that as a result of this, our products are having a positive impact in more hospitals worldwide, enhancing dignity and reducing the risk of infection for patients.

 

What are the challenges?

The most challenging aspect of the role is the time it takes within new markets to raise awareness and educate end users on the benefits of the Vernacare system of disposable medical pulp and hospital macerators. In my markets, most people have only ever used reusable plastic toileting products so it can be challenging to change mindsets and raise awareness of the risks of cross infection using these methods.  

It is therefore crucial that the distributors I work with are equipped with all the necessary information and sales aids to help nurses and patients realise the obvious benefits of the Vernacare system. We regularly run training sessions and workshops with our partners to ensure we’re delivering a consistent message about the benefits to hospitals and aged care facilities.

 

What would you say are the most important skills you have to use day to day within your role at Vernacare?

Communication is a key skill and one that I believe is crucial in my role. It is important that I am communicating the demands of my markets back to my team internally, as well as communicating internal requirements out to our international network.

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It is great to know that as a result of this, our products are having a positive impact in more hospitals worldwide, enhancing dignity and reducing the risk of infection for patients.

What role did you start in and how did you get to where you are now?

I first joined Vernacare in 2006 as a Territory Manager, responsible for developing sales in Scotland. In 2008 I moved into the International division as a Business Development Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Australasia. I was given the opportunity to relocate to the United Arab Emirates in 2012 to take up the position of Regional Manager for the Middle East. I spent four years in Dubai developing sales for Vernacare products in the region. Due to the success of the Indian market, I was promoted to Regional Sales Director, managing the Middle East, Africa and India.

In 2016 I moved back to the UK and took up the position of International Projects Director. The role was focussed on project leadership of complex cross departmental projects both within and outside the business. Some of these projects included sourcing our new freight partner and managing international projects in countries such as Mexico and France.

In April this year my role changed to International Key Account Director, where I now focus primarily on the Indian market and also look after global sales for our ComfiTM range.

 

What’s your biggest achievement so far?

One of my biggest achievements in the role was launching Vernacare India from my base in Dubai. I identified business opportunities in the market, worked alongside the Department of International Trade and consequently appointed distributors in North, South and West India to support our ever-growing business. 

A personal achievement was winning the Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society Championship Knockout in 2018. The club is the fourth oldest in the world and the competition has been running for over 100 years, so it was a great achievement.

 

Where were you working before you came to Vernacare?

Prior to working at Vernacare I worked as a Hospital Sales Specialist at DEB Group, a company who specialise in skin care and hand hygiene solutions. I was responsible for selling their Cutan range of soaps, sanitisers and wipes into hospitals within the southwest of England and Wales.

 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I have a busy family life, my wife and I have 2 children - a 3-year-old daughter called Elena and a 4 month old baby boy called Jamie. We also have 2 havanese dogs called Jack and Arthur!

When I do get some spare time, I enjoy playing golf, watching rugby and fly fishing!

 

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?

If I wasn’t working at Vernacare I would be retired, living by a golf course in the south of Spain!

You can find out more about James on his LinkedIn page