Students seek inspiration from Alvogen’s incredible $1bn journey

In August 2018, I was at Harvard, where I regularly speak to students. This time, I presented a Harvard Business School (HBS) case study, which documents the “dazzling Alvogen story of profitable and global growth.” It charts how we turned Alvogen into a one-billion-dollar business, just nine years after we started the journey. This was the third Harvard Business Case on my career with Alvogen and Actavis. Actavis and the Winning Formula was published in 2007 and Alvogen business case in 2012.

Among those in attendance were the Adidas global executive team and groups from the Harvard executive program Endeavor, which “equips entrepreneurs with the resources needed to succeed.”

The case study ‘Alvogen: Scaling Entrepreneurship’ provides young entrepreneurs with a framework to build their own successful business.

The study’s authors, Professor Isenberg, Professor William R. Kerr, and Alexis Brownell examined three key factors that have proved to be significant growth drivers for us at Alvogen: people, culture and systems.

The case study found that harnessing the power of an entrepreneurial culture, while simultaneously implementing effective systems designed to achieve optimal economy of scale, anything is possible.

It also demonstrates why company dynamics need to evolve from an agile startup to a scalable business, while still holding onto the drive, initiative and passion of the founding business leader.

Professor Isenberg urged entrepreneurs to sit up and take note of the case study: “The serial success that Wessman and his team have shown, first at Actavis and more recently at Alvogen, are stellar examples of how to challenge existing market and reach the top through vision, leadership, teamwork and agile but disciplined execution.”

He also noted that over a thousand students at HBS and other top business schools have been inspired by Alvogen to “achieve more for themselves than they ever thought possible.”

It was an honour to be given the opportunity to speak to so many students.

Róbert Wessman is Chairman & CEO at Alvogen, and founder and Chairman at Alvotech. “My mission is to improve people’s lives.”