Paulo, Leader, Global Commercial Development & Lifecycle Innovation (CDLCI), Ruminants, Equine and Precision Livestock Farming, has always had a close connection to animals. Growing up on a farm in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, he filled his days training dogs, riding horses and herding cattle. "I noticed from an early age that animals have a strong connection with me. I could understand when an animal was in pain or ill because I learned to read their body language. I invested time to learn how to work with cattle in a gentle way by observing their behavior, using intuition, and a healthy dose of trial and error." he said. Paulo's affinity for animals, paired with a love of books and science, made pursuing a career as a veterinarian an obvious choice.
Working Hand-in-Hand with Customers
Paulo focused on helping customers long before he joined Zoetis, where Customer Obsession is part of our DNA. He entered veterinary school determined to approach cattlemen differently than the exchanges he’d experienced on local farms. Growing up, he noted that in certain situations there was a lack of trust between veterinarians and farm crews: farmhands often disregarded veterinarians’ instructions upon their departure, resulting in unhealthy animals and decreased productivity.
“I wanted to be a veterinarian who understood my clients’ business; who educated and supported the producers working with the animals; and most importantly, who approached any situation on feedlots and farms with a holistic view,” said Paulo.
He applied this philosophy from the beginning of his career as a veterinarian - first, for Brazil’s largest cattle-calf operation, and then for his own veterinary practice for 15 years, where he assisted large cattle operations across Brazil, and advised crews, managers, and CEOs. Having worked in operations for 15 years and ready for new challenges, Paulo and his family temporarily relocated to Canada for one year in 2011 to learn English at the University of Calgary. While taking English classes, Paulo kept his business up and running in Brazil with the help of technology and quarterly visits. The family then returned to Brazil until Paulo was recruited into the corporate world of animal health in a global marketing role, which resulted in a move to the United States. While stateside, Paulo worked with cattle and cattlemen across the globe – and enhanced his understanding of different production systems and cultures.
An Advocate for Animal Well-being
As he entered the corporate world of animal health, Paulo saw an opportunity to share the unique form of low-stress cattle handling that he perfected throughout his years as a veterinarian with a wider audience. Alongside his work as Global Director of Marketing, Paulo developed an educational training program to help producers, veterinarians and nutritionists provide the best possible care for cattle. The series included proven practices and techniques to improve cattle well-being and overall herd health. He still teaches the “Nothing in The Hands” technique in several countries in his spare time. Zoetis Brazil is partnering with Paulo to share the concept to key accounts using Zoetis technical service. “Animal well-being is the foundation of animal health,” said Paulo.
Watch videos of Paulo’s technique in action here (Portuguese).
Delivering Solutions that Matter
By working side-by-side with customers, cattlemen, and colleagues, Paulo laid a strong foundation for his current leadership role at Zoetis where he connects internal functions, such as Veterinary Medicine Research and Development (VMRD), and the Commercial organization, to bring new products and solutions to customers.
“My experience in the field and in commercial operations helped me lead the team’s strategy development for Ruminants and Equine, and now, for precision livestock farming,” said Paulo. “We don’t want to change the veterinarian’s role by introducing new technologies; we want to help them be more effective.”
A great example of this is Paulo’s role in helping to guide the strategy for Smartbow, an innovative ear tag for dairy cows that continuously monitors their physiological status. This helps cattle stay healthy and drives farmers’ profitability. He said, “The future of animal health works across the continuum of care; it’s not just about products. Solutions can be digital, diagnostic tools, people skills - all these things together are changing the industry.”
Working Together as One Zoetis
When asked what excites him most about his job, Paulo returns to his love of science. “I really enjoy discussions with VMRD and Commercial colleagues. We work together to translate our ideas into a product profile, which will then be used in the field, and we know the value the product will bring. That’s something you have to be proud to be part of. And I am.”
In addition to working across business functions towards valuable solutions, Paulo also says he’s extremely lucky to have great people with diverse backgrounds on his own team. It’s clear they feel the same way to have Paulo as their leader.
“Paulo’s true passion for cattle, horses and those who work with them means that energy and enthusiasm is always high in our team,” said Murray, Director, CDLCI. “His diverse background, both as a customer and through his global commercial experiences always help to bring new perspectives and views to challenge the thinking of the team and make sure that customers are always top of mind in our decision making.”