Interview with Jonas Liljedal, Bonvisi’s Head of Sales and Marketing

Jonas Liljedal has been with Bonvisi since August 2021. He has spent the last 15 years on the business-driving side and international sales positions in the MedTech industry. Experience ranges from small start-up companies through stock exchange listed companies to global corporations.

What are your goals as Head of Sales and Marketing at Bonvisi?

The ultimate goal is to replace gravity in urology! Current practice in many hospitals is to deliver fluid irrigation during urology using gravity as to deliver the flow. The major downside of this is that any increase in fluid flow rate necessarily requires an increase in fluid pressure and pressure represents a significant clinical risk to patients. This is particularly the case when operating in the kidney to treat renal stones. Our technology allows the surgeon to separate flow and pressure. A higher rate of flow can be achieved, bringing the benefit of improved visibility, with no increase in pressure. This delivers a significant increase in patient safety, improved surgical outcomes and reduced complications. Our ultimate goal is to establish our technology as the gold standard in transurethral urology surgery, starting in the Nordics and Europe.

What is your evaluation of Q4?

I joined the company in August 2021, so Q4 was my first full quarter. Q4 went very well in terms that we were able to deliver the number of systems we had in our budget. It was notable that as soon as the COVID-restrictions decreased, we immediately saw a significant boost in customer activities and sales.

How many systems are currently on the market, and where are they installed?

We currently have systems installed in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, and Germany. In addition, we have distributors in seven more markets in Europe and the Middle East with demo-systems in place. They are preparing to kick off their sales activities when the Covid situation improves.

All in all, I am happy to say that we now have experience from more than 10,000 procedures done with ENDO P. The feedback that we have from the market is very positive and we are continuing to learn by experience as we grow.

What have we learned with regards to pressure-controlled fluid management?

We have had several meetings with international clinical key opinion leaders that tell us: “Doing clinical studies with this product on upper urinary stone patients will be very interesting. If we, with a pressure-controlled system, can reduce the number of patients with post op renal pain or even with post op breakthrough infections caused by an increased, uncontrolled cavity pressure. We have a something that we need to tell all urologists worldwide and present these studies at the major urology congresses.”

What sell-focused activities are being planned for Q1 and Q2?

2022 will be a year with a high level of activity. Initially, we will focus on establishing the new Nordic sales organization, and to increase our customer interaction even more. Simultaneously, all our distributors are planning activities on their respective markets. We will put high emphasis on customer presence and market presence during 2022, meaning that our growing salesforce will be in operating theatres, and attending local and international tradeshows as much as we possibly can. One major event during 2022 is the EAU Congress (European Association of Urologists) in Amsterdam. This has been a victim of the Covid situation, but the organisers are confident that it will go ahead later this year. Rest assured that we will be there where we will be exhibiting in booth G53. Come and visit us there!

What are the structural changes to the sales organisation for the Nordic markets?

There have been significant changes. In the Nordics we have made the decision to discontinue selling via distributors and to go direct. This is something that has been requested and welcomed by our customers in the Nordics. To me this was a logical step since we call the Nordics our Home Market, and to claim any market your home, you need to be in direct contact with your customers. This gives our customers in the Nordics a more direct contact with us as a manufacturer, and it gives us the possibility of more frequent interaction with the customers. This in turn will give us a lot more opportunities to take part in all the clinical expertise that is out there among our customers, and it will help us to improve, both in the Nordics and on other markets. To get this going we need to have more boots on the ground, and we have already started to search for the right candidates.

What are the challenges ahead?

The obvious thing is the global COVID situation and how that develops on our respective markets. We still have access to our customers in large parts, but the challenge is rather the reduced activity that our customers sometimes will have because of quarantine rules. Surgeries are sometimes cancelled and there is a shortage of staff from time to time. However, we will not let this stop us, especially when we saw during the short window of lessened restrictions in Q4 2021 how much interest there actually is on the specific issues that we address with our system. We will also launch a totally new technology into the endoscopy market, sales of “change of behavior” is and will always be a challenge. But the feedback we have so far from both existing and potential users is good, and we believe that we can install the systems according to our budget plans.

What are the long-term and short-term prospects?

One thing I quickly learned when joining the company a few months ago, is that the main challenge is not to create an interest for the product. The interest amongst clinicians is already there as the benefits that we offer in terms of patient safety and OR efficiency are well recognised. With that in mind, adding the increased awareness in cavity pressure control that ENDO P enables, I can see that the future, both long and short term, is very appealing.

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