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A New Graduate’s 5-year Growth Story

Time: 2022-12-05 hits: 2

Dream, Love, and Challenges Dream, accomplish herself, and Sinocare each other

“Employment is in itself a two-way street. The first job after graduation, very important though, cannot determine where your future career will go." Considering that "more tries, more possibilities", Hu Yangjun dropped off her CV to several companies when she graduated in 2016. Though a bioengineering graduate was she, she had more passion for market operation and event planning. All the positions she applied forweere basically about market promotion. Sinocare campus hire at that time did not offer such kind of marketing position but an R&D position that coincided with her major, and she decided to give it a try and take the written exam. Perhaps her persistence in clear self-cognition and her potential touched the interviewer. After the interview, HR found that she might be fit more for marketing than R&D. Subsequently she entered Sinocare in February 2017 and thenceforth had been working as a product manager there for five years depending on her passion for marketing though she wasn't so clear about what product manager did at the very beginning.

From her first project to date, all the projects she undertook were innovative products of Sinocare. That is to say, there was no reference for her to follow in product management, and she needed to start from scratch, explore and verify. For instance, her first project AGEscan (advanced glycosylation end products fluorescence detector) was a global pioneer. The projects serum creatinine and serum potassium she is following up on now also enjoy a blank market in China. And the multiple indicators solution she will undertake next will also be a brand-new concept. 

In the product definition stage, the product department mainly needs to define market demands, and then doing a market survey is a must. In the first three years at Sinocare, she often did OT until 9 to 10 p.m. That was not because she failed to complete work. Instead, she took advantage of her spare time to learn more about medical indicators related to diabetes and other chronic diseases, read books, and attend product manager training, to get herself more qualified for the post. “Nothing is more attractive than you love the post and what you do. I won’t feel tired even if OT.” That is the reason why she still keeps passionate about her job.   

Efforts, prove and turn herself into a butterfly

AGEscan was the first product Hu Yangjun undertook when she just entered Sinocare for only six months. Though a product specialist grown from a new graduate was she, she shared the responsibility of AGEscan product manager. She said, “As a new graduate that entered Sinocare for only 7 months, I started to undertake a product project independently, and I felt worried. I was willing to rise to theútdaging,and very thankful that my superior Mr. Liu Ping offered me such an opportunity; meanwhile, I worried much that I couldn’t manage it or live up to my superior’s expectation.”

Facing a brand-new product, unknown and necessarily challenging, to get familiar with the project, she started to spend much time learning, consulting other colleagues, and taking notes down. She straightforwardly asked for help with what she didn’t understand. “My superior Mr. Liu Ping, strong in his professional capacity, helped me with my work. I will also take the initiative to communicate my thoughts to him for better advice. More often than not, I need to think outside the box and work out a solution.”

On May 14, 2019, Sinocare's new POCT product — AGEscan (advanced glycosylation end products fluorescence detector) launched at the 81st China International Medical Equipment Fair (CMEF) in Shanghai. Hu Yangjun introduced at the new product launch, "AGEscan creates new access to whole-process management of diabetes, updating the traditional invasive blood sampling into a noninvasive, highly efficient, and convenient experience. You can follow up and manage your health process via the unprecedented noninvasive screening.”

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Hu Yangjun was introducing AGEscan Product at CMEF

For the AGEscan market launch, Hu Yangjun remains feeling impressive. “AGEscan market launch event was held at CMEF in Shanghai when it was also the first time for Sinocare to hold a product launch event at the fair. I was the product manager, and it was my first time launching a new product at such a big event. It was the market launch that more colleagues remember me.”  

CMEF was an event Sinocare invested in and was involved in the most each year, so everyone attached importance to that new product launch. Hu Yangjun prepared the presentation one month ahead of schedule and practiced it repeatedly, practicing her expression. During the fair, Hu Yangjun finished the introduction for three rounds of new product launches and an onsite dealer meeting. She won unanimous praise as the AGEscan market launch ended. As to how to practice expression, Hu Yangyjun said, “I’m sure to be nervous at first, especially speaking at some important company meetings. But when I do something, I am not sure about, I will make a lot of preparations in advance. I will also ask my superior to help to check beforehand. And as time goes by, you will be able to express yourself in a better way that others can understand.”

As for her growth, she said she could not do that without the opportunities and help Mr. Liu Ping offered. “Since I entered Sinocare, Mr. Liu Ping has been supervising me and giving me many opportunities for self-development. It was also his efforts to strive for the opportunity for my first independent project AGEscan. When I am not confident about the task, he will say, ‘Just do it. You can turn to me for help if any problems.' I appreciated his trust and help. And I will also not let him lose face.” However, trust is mutual. In another project — packaging material switchover, Hu Yangjun lived up to her superior and proved herself to others again.   

In 2018, the project “packaging material switchover” was to upgrade the company’s logo and comprehensively upgrade the packaging of all products to unite the product and brand image. This project involved 18 departments and covered 26 models and over 1,000 SKUs.

“The project packaging switchover was very challenging for me because I did not know about the process of packaging switchover at all! I remembered that a departmental manager questioned my competence to undertake this project at the project start meeting I convoked as the owner of this project.” Inevitably, she felt frustrated and ashamed, but later she adjusted her mental state soon. The other day she came to the manager who questioned her for help with combing the whole process of packaging switchover. The project successfully closed one and a half years later. She was finally recognized by that manager when the project was in operation.

The two big projects helped Hu Yangjun a lot. Now she has formed her mindset and style for being a product manager. As she gets more familiar with the management process, her work pressure gets less than in the beginning. But that doesn’t mean she will stay and enjoy the ease and comfortableness, turn slack, and she doesn’t like life without any changes. As she has opened her mind, she loves to embrace change and challenges with more interest and bravery.

Forecast, love, and care for future

“Being specialized is a necessity for a product manager. A product manager needs to dig in the deep end for the products and product lines he is responsible for.” This year the whole company is learning digitalization, intellectualization, and globalization. Hu Yangjun read the two books— How Chinese Enterprise Embrace Digital Transformation (《数智革新》) and Creatures Survive Generation after Generation (《万物生生》) and discussed how to apply the digital and intellectual technology in product management at the reading review weekly held by product department. Digital and intelligent technology has been gradually used in early screening for diabetes which Hu Yangjun undertakes. “At hospital physical examination centers, as a big channel to the group at high risk for diabetes, ubiquitously, the check items for glycometabolism screening are not comprehensive. There is no continuing health management service for diabetics after check. That failed to realize the early screening, diagnosis, and intervention. To improve this, Sinocare worked together with China Health Promotion Foundation to develop quality health management service packages for diabetes prevention and control, to propose standard and effective diabetes health management modes, and to implement integrated management via three parties including health management centers, community medical institutions, and home users, forming a standard, closed-loop process for early screening, risk assessment, intervention management. At the same time, Sinocare set up a diabetes health management information platform for data connectivity, offering basic data for offline health management services and a communication window for users and health managing professionals. Sinocares wants not only to sell AGEscan products but to enable hospital physical examination centers to offer highly efficient, targeted management to help those at high risk for diabetes and prediabetes with early screening, diagnosis, and intervention.

Sinocare has made significant efforts in its globalization, exploring the BGM market in Vietnam, acquiring Trividia Health Inc. and PTS Diagnostics, and global COVID-19 response in 2020, including R&D and overseas sales of COVID-19 antigen and antibody detection kits. The first order of AGEscan was sold at MEDICA in Germany last year. In the era of globalization, a product manager needs to be more acute about the international market to find the track and seize opportunities.

Among the projects Hu Yangjun undertook, AGEscan utilizes non-invasive screening to detect diabetes risks by detecting the accumulation of advanced glycosylation end products in the lens of the human eyes. It establishes a diabetes risk assessment model through the statistics of massive clinical big data to accurately predict the risk of future diabetes. “We have long been pursuing the customer-first principle, developing products by centering on user demands. Chronic diseases with no severe symptoms are easy to be neglected by most people, so we need to screen early, know the risks of diabetes in advance, to have intervention early to avoid the delay of diagnosis and development.

In the beginning, the founding of Sinocare is to popularize BGM in China and to fulfill the social responsibility to let BGM become affordable to Chinese diabetics. In terms of innovation, Sinocare is trying its best to lower costs while guaranteeing the precision of products. Sinocare is expanding R&D fields from BGM, diabetes, and related complications to other chronic diseases. She held that Sinocare would develop more innovative products with people’s increasing awareness of health. Sinocare will work towards the goal of being the leading digital diabetes management expert in China.

Happiness, from Sinocare

Since AGEscan launched in 2019, Hu Yangjun has been shuttling between 26 cities to support product promotion for half a year. In her spare time, her life is also becoming happier. She got married in November 2021. She has also struck a balance between her work and life. “It is important to have a complete weekend for rest because it can tune yourself back to the channel you like.” She often went to the company’s fitness room and had yoga classes. “Sinocare solves the difficulties in work and life for us, provides a platform for employees to work happily and develop healthily, and implements the culture of love in all aspects.” Said she.

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Hu Yangjun in daily life

Internally, Sinocare’s organizational structure has changed much over the past few years. From the market department at the beginning to today’s product department, from Sinocare inc. to Sinocare Health, all this shows the company is growing larger and better. Externally, Sinocare's products have developed from BGM-dominated to today's series — UA, blood fat, icare, and AGEscan. Centering on "China's Leading Diabetes Digital Management Expert and Global Leading Metabolic Disease Detection Expert", the company’s product line is improving and expanding. In terms of Sinocare's working environment, the canteen offers varieties of dishes, the corporate labor union offers welfare benefits and sets up a children's care center, etc. Hu Yangjun said in the five years she stayed with Sinocare, she achieved an increasing sense of happiness and hoped that she could stay with Sinocare five years after five years.