Andrzej Zylicz, Vice President of Business Development North America & Equity Partner

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PQE Group is a leading provider of quality solutions for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, with a global presence and expertise in various regulatory and compliance areas. The company is a women-owned Contract Quality Organization and Complete Quality Solution provider for GCP, GLP, GMP & GDP areas in the Life Sciences. PQE Group has a long history of supporting companies of all sizes and exceeding compliance standards. The company is dedicated to creating value for its customers by putting its multidisciplinary teams and knowledge at their service, allowing clients to achieve and maintain compliance with the latest regulations, and contributing to creating a safer medical device and pharmaceutical environment. With over 15,000 successful projects completed and 1400+ medical device and pharmaceutical clients served worldwide, PQE Group delivers turnkey quality solutions while focusing on exceptional cost-effectiveness and the highest quality of care. PQE Group specializes in areas including Regulatory Affairs and Strategy, Quality Compliance, Third Party Audits, Data Integrity Assurance, Digital Governance, Qualification and Engineering, and Laboratory Excellence. PQE’s global imprint allows for a “Glocal” approach which is focused on utilizing local support to achieve global success.

Reflect a bit on your career path up to this new position – how have your previous experiences at PQE Group and other organizations prior to PQE prepared you for this role?

I began my career in the life sciences sector in 2004 with a small company, ComplianceControl, which co-created the GAMP guide. I served as Business Development Manager for Central, Eastern and Western Europe as well as for the US before being named Vice President of its Polish branch and Business Development Manager for ComplianceControl globally, establishing its managing partner network in Europe, North America, and Asia to provide compliance and validation services along with specialized compliance management and regulatory intelligence software products to new and existing accounts within the life science industry. This experience led me, in 2009, to PQE Group, where I was responsible for its growth outside of Italy, offering services for Pharma/Medical Devices/Biotech verticals in fields of CSV, Engineering, Qualification & Validation, Lab Compliance, IT and Clinical Trials; my territory included Central and Eastern Europe, EU, and the Middle East. I was then named Global Sales Manager, responsible for new and existing business development worldwide, establishing collaborations and managing them with key global pharma companies on a global scale. I also directly managed startup operations in China and built a partnership network in the Middle East, the US, India, China, and Europe.

In 2013, I left PQE to join a small company that was taken over by IBM Watson Health as Business Development Director for key accounts throughout Europe.  I stayed with IBM until, in 2019, I returned to PQE Group. I learned a key lesson from that experience: I am far more motivated and impassioned when working with a company where we are in direct contact with C-level colleagues and can jointly strategize and conquer the market. And while PQE Group has grown dramatically in recent years and has clearly become a large consultancy organization, it has remained far more employee-oriented than a huge corporation, and at PQE, I can truly be involved in making positive changes while working with highly supportive colleagues and developing more personal connections. Last year, in 2022, I relocated to the US as PQE Group’s Vice President of Business Development in North America. My family and I are truly enjoying living in San Diego with its warmth, sunshine, friendly people, and exciting professional environment.

What’s the story of how you have grown your career within, and outside of, PQE? 

Throughout my career, I have hired and managed numerous people in sales and business development, which has added an entirely different dimension to my experiences; one which I find important and fulfilling. Something that helped me prepare for this is the fact that I have been incredibly fortunate to have had several great mentors throughout my career in life sciences. I learned so much in my early years with the small UK Company, which prepared me to then widen my horizons with PQE. I have had the enormous good fortune to work all around the world, to meet and work with people from many different cultures, and to learn so much about this critically important industry that saves lives every day.  I also had a tremendous life lesson from my experience working in Corporate America and how these huge organizations, as well as their employees, live and work. That experience offered me a great perspective in seeing how a company like PQE Group is the very best fit for me and my career – I learned how to adopt what is good for me and forget the challenges I’ve had in environments that do not allow me to be the best I can be. 

What are you most excited about in this role? What impact are you hoping to have in the next 6 months to a year?

I love people and I love to contribute, even in small ways, to the growth of a person as they establish and grow their career in Life Sciences. My lengthy experience in hiring, managing, developing, and guiding people from around the world has been exceptionally important to me, and as I now manage the sales and business development team in the US & Canada, I find it exciting to see these people grow and thrive and succeed. 

Of course, my clear mission is to grow business in North America and ensure that PQE is a ‘go-to’ GxP Compliance vendor on this side of the pond, in addition to its already well-established positive reputation in Europe and other countries.  We currently have seven offices in the US – in Rockville, Maryland, Chicago, Boston, San Diego, Buffalo, NY, and most recently, in Research Triangle, North Carolina — and we have very exciting expansion plans within North America as well as a new office we plan to open this summer in Montreal.

I was named a Partner with PQE Group in December, and it is very exciting to have the opportunity to learn from executive management the very high-level strategic direction we are taking and the larger impact it has and will continue to have, on the organization as a whole. It’s also exciting to hear, from the very senior-level people at PQE Group, the direction in which we are headed! 

How does this role challenge you and help you grow?

Current situations all around the world are indeed challenging – Covid, war, market disruptions, inflation, and more – we are not at all short of macro challenges. However, I find it exciting to develop ways in which we handle these challenges and learn from them to improve businesses, and societies, as a whole. 

PQE Group has been very successful. As we continue down our path, we must constantly adapt to an ever-changing marketplace; sometimes market changes can be advantageous. Currently, for example, while many consultancies and life science organizations are facing the need to reduce staff levels, we continue hiring – this is one of the best moments to partner with top talent in the industry. The great unmet medical needs that are occurring worldwide, particularly in less- and under-developed countries, provide opportunities for PQE Group to further its expansion into these markets. And sadly, there is a vast need for economic and social assistance around the world; this situation has provided opportunities for PQE to work with groups and organizations to provide socially responsible support to communities around the world. After all, it’s all about helping people and patients around the globe – that is what our industry, and PQE Group, is all about.