neubourg healthcare Inc.
Serious about foot care
Business View Magazine interviews representatives of neubourg healthcare Inc. for our focus on Technology & Innovation in North American Healthcare
Foot care is one of the most essential, yet least attended to, aspects of healthcare. For most people, their feet only become a focal point when a serious issue arises. neubourg healthcare Inc., a revolutionary foot care technology company, is challenging this flawed perspective. Originally from Germany, the company is expanding into North America with an innovative suite of foot care products and technologies that they believe can significantly impact foot health care in the region.
Leading the charge is founder and managing partner Dr. Thomas Neubourg, alongside co-founder and co-managing partner Michael Löfvall. The duo has positioned the company to unlock the North American market’s potential, something they believe will give millions access to its breakthrough foot care products and technologies. While the coronavirus pandemic has slowed down these ambitious plans, the company sees this not just as a temporary setback but also an opportunity to rebuild and reengineer their business plan in a way that leverages technology and capitalizes on the emerging post-pandemic business environment.
Neubourg’s story begins in Emsdetten, Germany, in 1998, when the elder Neubourg, Fritz Neubourg, had the vision to create foam creams for foot care. He founded Allpresan® GmbH to market this revolutionary product in Germany and throughout Europe. Dr. Thomas Neubourg, the younger family member, soon joined the company and eventually became the sole managing partner in 2016 when Fritz Neubourg retired.
“Besides growing the local business, I was also focused on growing our international business,” says Dr. Neubourg. Around four years after taking over the business, the company partnered with Michael Löfvall’s company, which had developed a revolutionary foot care product called Onyfix®. “We decided to partner on our first international venture in Canada, neubourg healthcare, and jointly market our main products,” Dr. Neubourg adds, “which was a great fit because our products were complimentary and had compatible business models.”
Today, neubourg manufactures and distributes three product lines in North America: two medical-grade lines of skincare products that fall under the brand names Podoexpert by Allpremed® and hand expert by Allpremed®, and nail repair technologies under the brand name Onyfix®. “Our products are revolutionary,” says Manny Moniz, Director of Emerging Technologies, “and can have a huge impact in our target markets with the right awareness and education.”
neubourg’s products, manufactured in Germany and Canada, are backed by publications in peer-reviewed journals, a factor Moniz believes is driving the rapid adoption of the company’s products. He reports, “neubourg has published a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled publication on one of our technologies that is playing a significant role in our rollout. When physicians read our scientific research findings, they tend to come on board because our products are evidence-based.”
Because of the revolutionary nature of its products and technologies, the company has adopted an education-first approach. Moniz explains, “Our market entry strategy uses educators, primarily healthcare practitioners such as nurses specializing in foot care, to teach and certify clinicians or clinics on how to use our products before they gain access to them – to ensure proper application. We also have a distribution network that sells directly to wholesalers across Canada and the US who in turn supply clinics based on the certifications that they have received from our educators.”
neubourg’s corporate structure consists of the European parent company headquartered in Germany, neubourg skin care GmbH & Co. KG, and the North American entity, neubourg healthcare Inc., based in Toronto, Canada. In Germany, the company currently employs around 50, whose focus is the German and European markets. In North America, the core team comprises 28 executives and educators, besides 22 distribution partners across Canada and the United States. The company is banking on a network of partners to rapidly roll out its products and services across North America and other target markets. However, with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down travel, the company has had to embrace a new approach to engaging with partners and customers.
“Originally, we planned physical, hands-on certification classes, but when everything was locked down due to the pandemic, we had to improvise,” shares Moniz. “We decided to use online webinars that we are now confident are effectively delivering our educational materials online. We are also leveraging interactive online social events in partnership with opinion leaders. Our inaugural event, dubbed NHC & Friends Socials, was a huge success. Since foot care clinics were classified as non-essential services and therefore closed, the online event provided an avenue for various healthcare professionals to connect with our lineup of opinion leaders in the healthcare industry. Some of the topics covered included trending issues like managing diabetes and nutrition during a pandemic and how to stay connected to customers during closures.”
The company’s response to a rapidly changing business environment is underpinned by its leadership’s willingness to adapt. “Initially, we would travel to train educators and provide them a first-hand experience of our products,” says Dr. Neubourg. “Now, we are reinventing our business model into a more modern customer-centric model, borrowing a leaf from the consumer retail industry that has trailblazed an online-first business model.”
While neubourg has a good handle on internal adaptation, the company sees the general public’s perception of foot care as another significant opportunity. Moniz admits, “Most people disregard foot health care until a severe problem occurs. However, foot care is more important than most people believe because the feet are the foundation of the body. For example, improved foot posture can help treat chronic back pain while enhanced general foot care can help detect other chronic conditions like vascular disease, vision problems, diabetes, and neurological conditions.” The company is using its education-first approach to tackle these issues, leveraging its network of educators alongside its scientific research publications to build awareness around neubourg products and general foot care.
Looking forward, neubourg healthcare is planning to continue building upon the current awareness momentum that they have gained. “These are times of uncertainty, and our strategies have to change as we navigate a post-coronavirus business landscape,” says Moniz. “Our current focus is to continue building awareness, to both the general public as well as practitioners, around our distinctive technologies, including patented formulations that work uniquely.” For example, the company is promoting its Onyfix line of products and technologies as a safe and affordable alternative to home remedies and surgery.
“Our goal and vision are that all our products, from our line of foam creams Allpresan, Allpremed, and Podoexpert to our Onyfix nail correction systems, will become the medical skin and foot care industry’s standard,” asserts Dr. Neubourg. “We want to be a preferred partner for healthcare professionals based on our innovative, evidence-based products.” He is, however, quick to admit that this not just a two- or five-year plan, but a long-term plan that the company is committed to pursuing across its target markets and with its partners.
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