Sasithorn Theinthong: Transforming Dental Practices Through Digital Transformation

Sasithorn Theinthong: Transforming Dental Practices Through Digital Transformation

Sasithorn Theinthong, Managing Director Southeast Asia

Sasithorn Theinthong

Managing Director Southeast Asia

Mahidol University has been a home for numerous accomplished alumni who have excelled in various fields around the world. Among its distinguished alumni, we are proud to spotlight Sasithorn Theinthong, an exceptional leader in the healthcare realm. Graduating from Mahidol's Pharmacy School, she embarked on a journey dedicated to healthcare excellence. Her career began at Johnson & Johnson, where she excelled in sales and marketing roles, both locally and regionally. Her skills and versatility earned her leadership positions, including Franchise Manager for Thailand and Product Manager for the Asia-Pacific region.

Moving to Medtronic, Sasithorn served as Country Manager for Thailand and Regional Manager for Southeast Asia's diabetes business. Her strategic acumen contributed significantly to the company's growth. Later, as Country President for Indonesia at AstraZeneca, she displayed exceptional leadership, further elevating the company's presence.

Currently, as Managing Director for Southeast Asia at Align Technology (manufacturer of 3D digital scanners and Invisalign clear aligners), she continues to leave a mark in the medical device industry. Her role encompasses leading operations, sales training, and enhancing customer experiences across the Asia-Pacific. CEO Insights Asia engages in an exclusive interview with Sasithorn Theinthong.

What factors fuel your routine as a leader?

The motivation behind my daily routine comes from two main factors. Firstly, I am passionate about the high-tech and technology-driven nature of the business I am in. Each day brings new challenges and opportunities for learning. Secondly, I am inspired by the supportive and collaborative team environment I work in. We work together towards common goals, which makes it an encouraging place to be. Additionally, as a medical device company, it's gratifying to witness the positive impact our products, like Invisalign, have on patients' lives, transforming their smiles and enhancing their overall well-being. Seeing our dental clinic partners succeed also brings great fulfillment.

Share with us about your academic experience from Mahidol University Thailand.

Mahidol University's Pharmacy School instilled a valuable thinking process in me, emphasizing the logical understanding of how things work and their impact on others. This approach has proven invaluable in my career, particularly in the healthcare business. Analyzing drugs' mechanisms and their effects on patients helped me think critically about product functionalities and consider their broader implications on various stakeholders. This mindset has been instrumental in making informed decisions, understanding collaboration dynamics, and achieving objectives while ensuring a positive impact on all involved parties. The thinking process learned at Mahidol continues to be the most appreciated and applied aspect of my professional journey.

Our vision is to empower dental practices through digital transformation, driving market leadership & fostering growth opportunities

Define Align Technology as an organization and its position in the market.

Align Technology is a cutting-edge, innovative organization that has been a market leader in the clear aligner industry for 26 years. Their flagship product, Invisalign, is a technologically advanced clear aligner used to move teeth. Behind its seemingly simple design lies sophisticated technology, incorporating machine learning and AI to ensure accurate treatment plans based on data from millions of patients. The company's strong focus on research and development, investing over $200 million annually, enables them to consistently launch new products, maintaining their position as an innovative, technology-driven market leader known for delivering reliable and effective outcomes to patients.

What aspects do you take into account when developing effective corporate growth strategies? How do you describe your leadership traits?

I focus on effective growth strategies by understanding market dynamics and identifying opportunities for expansion, especially in regions where the clear aligner penetration is low. Adapting our portfolio to cater to different market segments, such as the middle-income segment in developing countries, plays a vital role in driving growth. Additionally, building a skilled and dedicated team is crucial. We've doubled our team size, incorporating sales, clinical, and customer support teams to better serve and support our doctors, fostering mutual growth with our valued customers.

As a leader, I uphold certain principles that define my unique leadership traits. First and foremost is my belief in being open and approachable, fostering a comfortable environment where my team can share challenges and proposed solutions freely. Additionally, prioritizing team engagement, ensuring everyone comprehends our shared objectives and the importance of their contributions in moving forward. Clear communication about the purpose, why, and how we work together is vital for leading an effective team. Finally, adopting an empathetic approach, recognizing my team's efforts, understanding their circumstances, and providing support and solutions collaboratively.

Based on your experience within the industry, what would be your advice to budding industry leaders?

Firstly, recognize and leverage your strengths, focusing your efforts on what you excel at. And then, build a strong, cohesive team with talented individuals who work together towards common objectives. Remember, the success of your business relies on the quality of your team. Next, actively cultivate your professional network, seeking insights and learnings from both within and outside your company. Lastly, find a trusted mentor to guide you, provide feedback, and support your personal and career growth. Embracing these principles will pave the way for a successful and fulfilling leadership journey.

Sasithorn Theinthong, Managing Director Southeast Asia, Align Technology

Theinthong’s expertise lies in sales, marketing, and strategic planning, and she has been instrumental in driving growth and market leadership for Align Technology in the region. Her relentless pursuit of innovation and commitment to digital transformation in dental practices underscore her passion for making a positive impact in the healthcare sector.

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