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June 29, 2020

Q&A with Joe Phala – Biodx Sales Consultant

As soon as you start talking to Joe Phala, Sales Consultant at Biodx, you realise that his blood runs Biodx… He lives and breathes the Biodx philosophy and will happily explain to you not only why you should buy Biodx but what the consequences will be to you and the world if you don’t…

What was your background?

For 20 years Joe Phala was an integral part of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, from running the stores and keeping close track of the inventory to managing the warehousing and distribution –  mammoth tasks that he did with great pride. This experience as he explains, helped hone his skills in many areas of business from record keeping to human resources and especially communicating with his clients – the patients, nurses and medical staff.

He went on to work with the Gauteng Information Technology office for two years introducing a new technology system for barcoding within the health sector, which he points out is still being used today. His work representing procurement and problem solving within the hospital’s management forum also gave him invaluable experience.

And now with Covid-19 Joe has a firm eye on just well or not how hospitals are handling their infection control procedures.

I’m disappointed at how some hospitals are dealing with this. Just the other day I was able to walk into a hospital without anyone stopping me for either a screening or sanitising process. This is worrying as hospitals are at the centre of the pandemic. Naturally I contacted their infection control people and hopefully we can help.

What is your position and role at Biodx?

My position at Biodx is sales consultant but my job isn’t so much about sales as educating people around using products that are safe and not harmful to the environment. Most people just look at the bottom line, the budget, when deciding on a disinfectant. I try and educate them as to why using a product like Biodx isn’t just the right thing to do but the most effective and therefore financially sound – particularly during Covid-19 where infection control is such a big issue.

Looking back on your career to where you are now what has been the biggest shift in your thinking?

I’ve gradually, particularly through my long friendship with Burt Rodrigues, learnt the importance of healthy living and preserving the environment. I’m also far more aware that not every disinfectant and cleaning product is equal.

What drives you to bring Biodx to the world?

There’s never been a more important time to speak to people about Biodx. Covid-19 is on everyone’s lips these days and my job is to make sure people buy safe products that aren’t going to harm them or the environment. When Covid-19 is over we’re still going to be left with all the environmental problems that are growing daily.

Biodx is really going to change the world in terms of how we lead in the future, particularly since Covid-19 arrived. We need to change not only how we live but our way of thinking going forward.

What do you think you’ll do differently to bring Biodx to the world?

Another issue that’s been highlighted with Covid-19 is water or rather the lack of clean, plentiful water in so many parts of the country. If Biodx is given the opportunity they can help our mining industry to recycle their dirty water for re-use and reduce the dump dams created around mines.

This is an area where I hope to contribute to Biodx getting the support they need to continue going forward and increasing the scope of their research in the coming years. We keep hearing and reading about the various water issues in South Africa but little is being done to change these situations. Biodx has answers with its new technology and I want to reach the right people to hear these.

How important is the Biodx ethos to your everyday life?

This has rubbed off on my whole family. Just the other day my wife called me over in a food store to check out their new hand sanitiser before she used it. ‘Was it SABS approved’, she asked? Even though I spent so many years working in a hospital where keeping the hospital clean was part of my job, I’m now far more aware of the importance of proper regulation around these products and find myself regularly checking out labels on supermarket shelves.

I’ve learnt so much and am still learning every day and then taking that knowledge to help people look at life and business differently.

What does it mean to be part of the Biodx team?

We’re not a team, we’re a family, right down to every single member of staff and I’m really glad to be part of this family. It’s also wonderful right now to be part of a group that’s really making a difference around Covid-19.

When did you last go yesssss and why?

I started to go ‘yesssss’ 25 years ago when I became friends with Burt Rodrigues, when we would talk about business and later when he would teach me about his research and mentor me. I’ve always believed in him and today I believe we can change the world. He shared his vision with me then and today I’m part of making that vision happen – that makes me go yesssssss…