John Montanaro / Photo by Inigo Taylor

While not entirely a household name, locals in scientific fields and who work in technical industries are sure to have heard about Malta’s Evolve Ltd.

The highly specialised company provides custom-made solutions, from the provision of new medical lab supplies to specialist scientific equipment for pharmaceutical firms. Evolve is able to design, equip, train and/or maintain scientific labs and specialised equipment, meaning many of its staff complement are made up of highly trained scientists and technical experts.

Here, however, we take a look at the commercial side of the business, by getting to know the company’s newest Chief Commercial Officer, John Montanaro, who joined the company in July 2021.

Mr Montanaro is adept in the fields of sales, business development and recruitment, and also has extensive experience working in the telecommunications industry.

BusinessNow.mt sat down with the CCO to understand what his targets are within Evolve, what motivates him, and how he found himself working for the science-based organisation.

John Montanaro / Photo by Inigo Taylor

How did you first hear about Evolve, and what is it about your personal and professional history that attracted you to the highly technical company?

The first time I heard about Evolve was via a recruitment agency, as the company was not on my radar. I immediately started my research and was pleased to find a strong website and plenty of content online.

My background is commercial, and I am not a scientist in anyway shape or form, however I was intrigued by the nature of Evolve’s business. I was fascinated by the opportunity to make the world a better place through science.

How do you feel that your varied professional history, from working in telecommunications, to working with a recruitment firm and a commercial bank, helps you in your position as CCO with Evolve?

Sales is simple in theory: a client has a need, and you have a solution to fulfill that need, whilst focusing on delivering the best possible customer experience. I have found that no matter what industry you are working, the process is the same.

The key is to surround yourself with a complement of people who are knowledgeable and passionate about what they do and set up a strong support system that can enable your experts to deliver what they promise. This is a formula that transcends industry.

As a keen amateur actor and triathlete, do you find that any qualities required in both areas put you at an advantage in your professional life?  

Most definitely. Acting has helped me with my confidence, public speaking, and I have found it to be an excellent way to break the ice with clients who recognise you.

Sports has been part of who I am all my life. The discipline, the values, the resilience, the appreciation of winning and losing, not to mention the numerous amounts of business contacts have also served me very well in my professional life.

John Montanaro / Photo by Inigo Taylor

What are your key focus areas as CCO and are there any major milestones you hope to achieve?

My focus areas are two, delivering the best possible customer experience, at all touchpoints, and a focus on setting up the best team of knowledgeable experts that can add value, and use their expertise to create solutions for the benefit of the client and the country, especially when it comes to the health sector.

In terms of milestones, I hope that together with the team, I will be able to drive Evolve’s growth overseas.

Being in the science industry, the nature of Evolve’s work must be ever changing. As an individual, and as a team, how do you stay abreast of ongoing developments in the field?

Our experts are always in the field, working closely with clients who are always ahead of the curve when it comes to developments. It also helps that we represent some of the best scientific and medical brands in the world, who are on the cutting edge of technology, and we are consistently undergoing training to make sure we are up to date with current and future trends.

John Montanaro / Photo by Inigo Taylor

Facilitating a positive customer experience is an essential element in the operations of Evolve. How do you, as CCO, aim to exceed expectations in a consistent way?

Customer experience is the new currency and ensuring a positive customer experience is a top priority for us. Our aim is to make sure we deliver what we promise and when we promise. This may sound contradictory; however, the focus is to ensure we are meeting customer expectations consistently, and exceeding expectations whenever we can.

In our field the sales cycle is complex, however we have identified the key customer touchpoints in the cycle, and we are looking at ways to constantly improve the experience at these key moments of truth.

The goal is to provide the best value solution to end users. How does Evolve strive to do this, and to this end, how essential is the collaboration with suppliers and partners?

Being abreast of current trends in the industry, and understanding where we can add value, is crucial to ensure we create a sustainable business at Evolve. Having a great relationship with our supplier’s ensure we are always delivering the best solutions to meet our clients and end user’s needs, in the most effective way possible.

As for the company, are there plans in the pipeline for further growth at Evolve?

As our name states, we are constantly evolving, the company is fortunate enough to have had strong vision and strategic plans over the years which has helped us see constant year-on-year growth. The plan is to continue on this part, by strengthening our service and solutions locally, in order to grow our market share, as well as continuing to grow overseas through specific projects, primarily in sub–Saharan Africa.

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