HTEC Group has entered a new stage of rapid growth designed to increase our capacities and answer the growing demand for sophisticated and innovative technological solutions. The first step along this road was the recent acquisition of Execom, while the second important piece of the expansion puzzle is establishing our presence in new geographies. One of them is Minnesota, a strategic hub for MedTech in which HTEC has a track record of successful in-house and partnership solutions.
The person entrusted in working with our leadership towards reaching this objective is Andrew McGee, HTEC’s Market Development Specialist. Recently, we caught up with him and discussed the journey that has led him to HTEC, as well as the strategic importance of the Minnesota area for our expansion activities, and his vision for the company going forward.
"Dusan and I had both attended Saint John’s, albeit at significantly different times. While I was studying, Dusan had just started his first year on the school’s Board of Trustees. I worked in the office of the President, and a lot of my work was directly related to the Board of Trustees — scheduling meetings, preparing materials, and making sure that everything is in line when they come to the school. Through this process, you get to know the trustees well. As Dusan was at the time the youngest member of the Board in the school’s history, he was closer to me in age than most of the other trustees, which is why we naturally developed a connection. Then, in my senior year, I was the Student Trustee on the Board, and I started working more closely with him and other trustees who were business leaders in Minnesota. That provided significant experience and a great perspective that helped develop my leadership skills."
Upon graduating from Saint John’s (with a major in Global Business Leadership and a minor in Political Science), Andrew was keen to work in the Minnesota marketing agency scene, after having an exceptional internship at a local agency during his studies. His professional pursuit eventually landed him as the Marketing Coordinator & Strategist at the Manova Summit, a large-scale international conference dedicated to leading progress in global health. Andrew describes his work at the conference as a “baptism by fire”, a formative experience in which someone of his young age was entrusted with a great deal of responsibility and required to perform in a fast-moving scenario.
"I appreciated the organizer’s vision for the conference and couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The role provided a great deal of experience. I learned how to operate in a startup setting where things are ambiguous at all times. I’ve learned that, as frustrating as things may be in the moment, that’s where I function the best because you’re pushed to think outside the box and learn to overcome challenges."
The global outbreak of Covid-19 delivered a dramatic impact on the events industry, and Andrew eventually found himself searching for a new challenge. After some time, the search led to reconnecting with Dusan Kosic, just as HTEC was drafting its expansion plans for the US market.
"It is funny because back as a student when I knew Dusan, he spoke about how HTEC would open an office in Minnesota someday, and we joked that I would help him lead that initiative. And here we were a few years later, having the same conversation, only this time it was a lot more serious. It is really nice how it all came back full circle."
In Minnesota, HTEC leadership has identified the perfect alignment of local opportunity and HTEC’s core competencies, with a high concentration of businesses operating in verticals that make up a large part of the company’s expertise: healthcare, medical and health technology, retail, and logistics & transportation.
“Minnesota’s Twin Cities provide a very unique opportunity for a company like HTEC that thrives off of relationships with companies that drive innovation. To name a few, here we have the No. 1 health system in the nation — the Mayo Clinic, 16 fortune 500 companies including a No. 7 in the UnitedHealth Group, retail giants in BestBuy and Target, some of the most innovative manufacturers in the world such as Medtronic and 3M, as well as a substantial startup industry. There is a lot of demand for technological and engineering innovation, and that’s where we can come in and use our core competencies to our advantage. HTEC is different from many other companies in our line of work in that we are not a company-for-hire, but an active partner that can help companies materialize and then realize the vision that takes them to the next level.“
No stranger to challenges, Andrew is now tasked with helping HTEC gain a foothold as a relatively unknown entity in a new market. He strongly believes that all of the pieces are in place to make the breakthrough.
"HTEC’s line of thinking, as it relates to our approach to the Minnesota market, is this: you may not know who we are, but you should. We have an A-list client portfolio and some of the best engineers in Europe, we’ve done amazing things across different industries and we come at a competitive price point. On the back-end, everything is perfectly set up for other companies to be interested in working with us. We now need to work on the front-end to get in front of the companies and show them what we can do for them. My role is to help the executive leadership build a brand presence, as well as curate client relationships with leaders in each of the indicated target industries."
Andrew is aware that the work ahead of him is substantial, but he sees it as laying the foundation for continued success.
"At the moment, not a lot of people here know who we are, so we need to rethink how we approach new business and find a systematic way to introduce our value to new markets. We are building a structure, and it is going to be valuable in the long run. HTEC is going to continue to grow at a really fast pace, and we will be entering new markets quickly. We wish to establish firm roots in the Minnesota area and stay here for the long term, but we are also looking at what’s next, and the work we do here will greatly inform those next steps."
A pragmatist by nature, Andrew shies away from making grand statements and promises, but his excitement for the work ahead is palpable.
"I would be very interested to see where we’re at in November 2021 versus where we were for this conversation. The potential here is incredible, and I am genuinely excited to see what the future brings."
So are we.