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Country Manager Recruitment for a European Medical Device Company in Japan

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A leading European Medical Device company was hiring a Country Manager for its operations in Japan. The primary focus was on managing a challenging distributor relationship and evaluating the market for potential alternative distributor options.


Our client, a prominent European Medical Device company, had established a strong presence in the global market. With a growing portfolio of innovative medical devices, the company had identified Japan as a key market for expansion. At that time, the company operated through a distributor in Japan, but challenges with the existing distributor relationship had prompted the need for a dedicated Country Manager.

Key Challenges

Challenging Distributor Relationship: The selected Country Manager would be tasked with managing a distributor known for presenting occasional difficulties. Understanding and navigating the dynamics of this relationship would be crucial for success.

Market Evaluations

The Country Manager would need to conduct a comprehensive market analysis to identify potential alternatives to the existing distributor. This included assessing the competitive landscape, regulatory environment, and market trends to make informed recommendations.

Cultural Adaptability

Japan had a unique business culture that demanded a high level of cultural adaptability. The ideal candidate had to be capable of bridging the cultural gap between the European company and the Japanese market.

Strategic Decision-Making

The Country Manager would play a pivotal role in shaping the company's strategy in Japan. This involved identifying growth opportunities, developing strategic partnerships, and ensuring the overall success of the company in the Japanese market.

Scope of Work

The selected Country Manager would report directly to the company’s headquarters in Germany, operating as a standalone position in Japan. The key responsibilities included:

  • Relationship Management: Develop and maintain a positive and productive relationship with the current distributor, addressing challenges and ensuring alignment with the company’s goals.
  • Market Analysis: Conduct a thorough market analysis, including competitor assessments and regulatory landscape evaluations, to identify potential alternative distributor options.
  • Strategic Planning: Collaborate with the German headquarters to develop and implement strategic plans for the Japanese market, ensuring alignment with global corporate objectives.
  • Market Mapping: Leveraging our extensive network and industry knowledge, we conducted a comprehensive market analysis to identify potential candidates with experience in distributor management in Medical Device industry within Japan. Our map identified a candidate pool of 145 individuals across the therapeutic areas covered by the client.
  • Candidate Assessment: Potential candidates were rigorously assessed based on their leadership skills and distributor management experience in the medical device industry. From the original 145 on the target list, we prioritized 30 as stand outs. From this group we shortlisted 15 candidates. After consultation with the client, 6 resumes were sent, 4 were chosen to meet and have been interviewed.
  • Performance Monitoring: Regularly monitor and evaluate the performance of distributors, implementing corrective actions when necessary to optimize market penetration and sales.


The successful recruitment and onboarding of a highly qualified Country Manager empowered our client to navigate the complexities of the Japanese market, effectively manage distributor relationships, and drive strategic growth initiatives. This case study aimed to provide insights into the challenges faced by the company and the strategic approach taken to address them, ultimately contributing to the overall success of the European Medical Device company in Japan.

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