Line Stigen Raquet, an alumna from Keck Graduate Institute’s (KGI) first graduating Master of Business and Science class of 2002, is now CEO of Creoptix, a Switzerland-based company specializing in innovative bio-analytical instruments, effective January 1. She believes the company’s products, including its Wave Delta instruments, offer fantastic opportunities in drug discovery and pharmacology.
Raquet credits her education at KGI for providing her with an in-depth knowledge of the sciences, business acumen, and networking opportunities.
“The faculty was really excellent and all or most came out of the industry, which meant that how they taught their classes was highly applicable and gave me valuable insights into industry,” said Raquet.
Of particular value to her was working with Beckman Coulter for the capstone Team Master’s Project. The project taught her how to continue innovating and launching cutting-edge products once a company has made the transition from a startup to a mature company.
Raquet carried this knowledge into her career at molecular testing company Qiagen, where she worked for nine years and held several leadership positions in the sales and marketing departments. One of the keys to her successes, including building and leading the first regional marketing team in Asia, was understanding the value of communication and teamwork.
“What I learned is that it does not matter how good your product is, if you don’t have the right team,” Raquet said. “You need to truly understand why customers want to buy your product over competition. You have to really listen to your sales force and distill exactly what they need, motivate them to make them proud and not afraid of the competition, and give them the best tools and arguments to make the sale.”
In 2015, Raquet joined Mettler Toledo, a company specializing in precision lab equipment. In her four years with the company, she helped them transform an underperforming business unit, save millions of dollars through improved efficiency, and increase revenue growth three-fold.
One takeaway from this experience was the importance of offering a diverse range of products for customers across the financial spectrum and upgrading customers over time.
Raquet also learned that to build a sustainable business, it is important to focus not only on generating profits in the short-term but also on growing as a company.
“If you have growth, you can optimize your profit margin and create much more net profit over time, and not develop what I call ‘profit margin myopia,’ where managers polish their profit margins year-over-year but fail to reinvest in the business,” she said. “Because to grow, you need to invest, so one needs to find the balance of reinvesting into the business. Where there is growth, there will be profit.”
All of these lessons will serve Raquet well in her new position as CEO of Creoptix, equipping her for the challenges of helping the company to transition out of startup mode. She feels optimistic for this new phase of expansion.
“I can foresee the classic challenges such as being able to recruit and ramp up fast enough as we grow, hiring and retaining the best people in the industry, implementing processes, and scaling up operations across the globe to serve customers in all regions,” said Raquet. “In my eyes, these are the best challenges to have—to be part of a growing organization, and to be able to shape it and steward it to the next phase of commercial success.”