Global growth: Why your life science business should expand internationally (and how to do it)


Global growth means expanding your business operations into new and potentially untapped international markets, allowing you to reach more people with your products and services. Another reason many businesses expand internationally is to diversify the company and protect it from market conditions in a single geographic area. Global growth presents many opportunities and challenges for businesses, particularly in a regulated industry such as life sciences, so there are many things to consider before setting your business in a foreign country. 


Being a global entity and launching into new markets has many advantages, and if successful can greatly boost a company’s growth and give them a unique competitive edge:

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Greater reach

Having a presence in an international market can help you to reach more people. For life science companies, expanding internationally means you can help more patients access your lifesaving and life-changing treatments and medical tools, greatly improving global health.

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Improved access to talent

Being in a new market allows you to access a new talent pool with diverse skillsets, varied cultural backgrounds, and invaluable knowledge of the local market. This can be particularly beneficial if your domestic market is short of good talent.

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Access to new facilities

International expansion can also help you to gain access to new technologies, innovative facilities and industry ecosystems which may significantly benefit your business operations.

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Diversifying company markets

Operating in more than just your domestic market can offer your organisation greater financial stability.

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Greater brand awareness

Operating in a new market gives you the chance to strengthen and build new brand awareness, recognition and loyalty.

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Investment opportunities

Many government bodies will offer investment incentives for businesses wanting to grow in their country which could help you produce innovative and advanced therapies and devices quicker.


Although expanding globally offers huge gains and rewards, there are often a number of challenges and hurdles that a business may face alongside the normal growing pains of scaling up:

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Cultural differences

All markets have different business environments. This can impact the way your HR team needs to operate, how you build relationships with local partners, and how you market your products. Your business and its offerings will need to appeal to the local demographic, overcome language barriers, and embrace cultural differences. 

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Compliance and regulatory issues

For life science companies, setting up in a new locale will mean different tax codes, business regulations, and product standards. This may mean changing the packaging for your treatments, putting the instructions in a different language or giving different dosage recommendations, etc.

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Lack of brand awareness

It can take years of hard work to establish a good reputation for your brand. However, being well established in one part of the world doesn't mean people elsewhere will know who you are or what you stand for. Being new to a market may mean you struggle to appeal to the local population and to attract employees as an unknown brand.

Where should you expand internationally?

Expanding into a new market can seem like an exciting prospect for any growing business, but how do you decide which market is best for your company?

Identify whether you want to expand into Europe, set up an affiliate in Asia, build a new site in North America, or explore another region. Many markets within these territories will present exciting and prosperous opportunities, but before reaching a decision you must weigh up the pros and cons of each. It’s important to remember that each country — even within the same region — is different so you may need to adjust approach. For example, Europe is a very diverse region, with an abundance of attractive markets, but just because you have a good knowledge of Germany do not assume that this also applies to the Netherlands.

Webinar replay: Expand into Europe - Grow your life science business globally

Watch the replay of our live webinar where our expert panel discussed everything you need to consider when expanding your life science business into countries in Europe.

Webinar replay: Expand into APAC - Grow your life science business globally

Watch the recording from our live event where our panel of industry experts discussed the challenges you may face when expanding your company into the Asia Pacific region.


Before you can put the wheels into motion, you must thoroughly consider if expanding internationally is the best option for your company. You should carry out extensive research, speak to local market experts, get your financials in order and consider the logistics before you decide where will be best for your growing company.

Once you have a solid gobal expansion strategy in place, you will want to think about hiring the right people for your team, setting up your operations and building out your company culture. Getting help from vendors can help you to mitigate potential risks and navigate specific market nuances.

It’s important to be prepared for bumps in the road that will inevitability occur, for this, it’s vital to be adaptable and respond quickly.

Interested in learning more about how to expand your business internationally? 

Check out our Global Expansion Guidebook where we provide specialist insight and advice from industry experts on what it takes to thrive in an overseas market.

Expand your business globally

What makes Proclinical Global Growth Partners?

At Proclinical, we are Global Growth Partners in life sciences. We help individuals, teams, and whole organizations grow so they can innovate the next generation of medical advancements and deliver their Pharma/Biotech and MedTech products and services across the world for more patients. 

Whether you are looking bring in new skillsets from abroad or expanding into a new territory, our global team can extend your reach in the search for talent and help you mobilize the right people to where they are needed most.

Global Growth Case Studies


Proclinical's international office locations

With specialist teams in every corner of the globe, we provide a suite of solutions to help your business grow, from direct hire and contingent staffing, to executive search, managed workforce solutions, and consulting services – all tailored to your needs.

Our global network

screened and qualified life sciences professionals on our database

life sciences recruitment consultants specializing in a niche function

professional life sciences hiring projects successfully completed

life science professionals in our extended global network

languages spoken by our team members globally

years' exclusively operating as a life sciences recruitment partner

Our international team and services

People naturally warm better to those who speak their own language and understand differences across cultures, locations, and local legalities. With offices in 15+ of the world’s most exciting life science and technology hubs, and a wide range of languages spoken by our diverse team of recruitment consultants, we can support you in finding and engaging talent wherever you are, and wherever you aim to be. 

Other ways we can support your business internationally include:

  • Video interviewing
  • Local assessment centres
  • Local compensation benchmarking
  • Candidate relocation support
  • Talent market mapping
  • Site and talent evaluation
  • Support with local legislation
  • EVP and employer branding

International licences and accreditations

Proclinical's international licences and accreditations

Need help hiring internationally? 

Get in touch with our expert team to find out more about how we can help your team grow.

Need help hiring? Contact us.