Costa Rica is the second largest exporting country of medical devices on the continent, so the leading producer in heart valves is going to put one of its factories here.
We talked about this with Joshua Campos, Manager of Edwards Costa Rica, who is thrilled with the talent of the citizens and the security of the country to do business.
Why is a mega company focused on Costa Rica, being such a small country?
The short answer is human talent. It should be understood that the product being developed is meant to save lives and that is very special. The company did a study of various countries of the world and realized that Costa Rica has the expertise that they need, its people are well educated, and there is a commitment toward specialized manufacturing as well as quality.
What does the company do?
Edwards is a company that dedicates itself to the manufacturing of medical devices and the product they want to develop is one that saves the life of patients, it is a device that, once implanted, stays in the heart. Since 1958, the company has been focused on health, mainly cardiovascular, in the sense that they make devices that replace the valves of the heart and monitor blood pressure.
What will be manufactured in the factory here?
The product that they want to manufacture in Costa Rica is very specialized, it is a part of the process, the final product will be done in other laboratories. The heart has four valves and many times, over the years, they no longer open and close as they should. It is in these failures that the Edwards’ product enters. You do not need heart surgery in which the sternum has to be fully opened. In 48 hours, many patients who are treated with our products are already recovering in their homes.
What will be the investment, and what ideas do they have for future growth?
The plans and expectations are high, as they want to make this an operation that positively impacts their business. The initial investment is $10 million, which includes the first phase of development of the industrial park The Lima. They hope that by the end of 2017, they can complete the building and no longer have to rent which they will have to do to start.
They are the number one producer of valves in the world, so they see Costa Rica as a part of their growth. They will start with 150 employees this year, and by 2017, they hope to double that. However, the most important thing is that in the future, depending on results, the plans are for expansion.
What should people have that go to work at Edwards?
All you really need is commitment, knowing that the final product will reach a patient who relied on Edwards to receive a better quality of life. Costa Rica has spent several years working with medical devices so that is another reason. It would help the company significantly to get resources from those with nearly 30 years of experience, which Costa Ricans have in the production of medical devices.
The company will provide training, qualifying its personnel to give them more quality. There will be several places that one can take their resume. One of them is in the municipality of Cartago, the Case de la Convivencia, and they have a website (sucarreraedwards.com) where one can go to.
Why did they choose the area of Cartago?
Everything is a question of talent. The studies have shown that there are great opportunities in Cartago, there is experience, there are universities that can help them to train employees. They even made an alliance with the Universidad Americana to train their staff while they develop their manufacturing plant.