17 Years of Excellence: LS Scientific's Evolution and Future Endeavours
We had the pleasure of talking to Murewa Odunjo, Managing Director of LS Scientific
Welcome to the interview! We will just start with a brief overview of your company, can you please tell me the core missions and values of LS Scientific?
LS Scientific was set up in 2007, as of the 5th of February we will be 17 years in operation! We are a company dedicated to quality control. So we help manufacturers and researchers with the quality control work that they do to ensure that they are getting the best in terms of innovation, methods of development, and quality control.
When we started LS Scientific we started off just like every reseller of chemicals, lab equipment etc. We have a mission now and we went through a transformation programme at Stanford University where they looked at our company and gave us some ideas which were really good and looked into the idea of ‘why are we in business?’ and ultimately gave us the idea to transform into a scientific solutions provider. Fortunately, if we can help manufacturers improve the quality of what they produce, that ultimately means you and I can have better products to consume, in terms of food, beverages, water, and pharmaceutical products. Which would then prolong the lives of you and I.
So our core mission is to gradually rid the world of substandard products to improve the welfare of human life. Every aspect of our business is to work towards that mission, to ensure that it not only provides nice aesthetics or good products. It is also adding to the fact we can help people improve their welfare. Take for example if you are selling water monitoring devices or solutions for quality control water, you will need to get the right level of drinking water and if you cannot do that it will cause a lot of problems for the end user, especially in our export market. We started off as a strong exporter and we’re now turning our focus to the UK market, where we are intending to do the same thing that we have done overseas.
Great, so you said you’ve increased your focus on the UK market to support manufacturers and researchers on cost-saving solutions, can you tell me a bit more about this?
So we are not manufacturers, we do not make products. Our job is to advise who is the best in terms of manufacturing the right innovative products and then we try to bring that solution to the market. With the level of experience and network of strong manufacturers of Laboratory Solutions, we believe we have all the necessary tools to not only add value to the existing Quality process of any company but also save them money while doing so. We have noticed that the UK market is a very mature market compared to our export market that we have dealt with in the past, so what we are trying to do is help our UK customers achieve what they are already doing but in a better and more cost-effective way.
Our three-year plan for the UK market is to offer the solutions that they already know about or never heard about, so they can receive this at a discounted rate. This is why we are going all across Europe looking for the best in terms of solutions and also negotiating contracts with these manufacturers to get the lowest prices in order for us to transfer this to the UK market.
LS Scientific started in the UK, before expanding into other markets in the same year so, as such, the United Kingdom has always been our base and part of our heritage as a growing and expanding Business.
At Lab Innovations, one thing we like to focus on is sustainability and, it’s a big thing in the industry, is there any sustainable practices that you are proud of at LS Scientific?
When we went through our transformation with the university, we looked at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) to see which ones we could meet and try to achieve in the future. The goals we believe we meet are Good Health and well-being, clean water and No Poverty in our export Market. As I mentioned, if we are making sure that we are providing solutions to the well-being of human life that is already meeting the sustainable growth goal of the UN.
For the African market, we try to help the African people improve their living conditions by providing employment. We are not just recruiting for business profit, it is also to help reduce poverty. We have also invested in establishing Quality Control Laboratories in Africa to assist other companies in being sustainable as well.
We aim to meet the environmental goals as well in the future. For example, I was having a discussion with a customer last week about when you analyse in the lab, you tend to use a lot of dangerous chemicals that damage the ozone layer. So we are constantly trying to help researchers and technicians to use methods that would not only protect their lives but also the environment as well. Again, we are not manufacturers so I cannot say we make a particular product that is really helping but we assist the people making these products and ensure it gets to the right people.
So regarding the changes in the past few years with COVID and other sort of issues, how did your company tackle these?
COVID was a very bad experience for everybody else, I say else because we work in scientific and life sciences so COVID actually brought improvement and development to our business because it gave us an opportunity to help out, especially in our export market. If you remember during COVID, a lot of vaccines were sent to Africa, so our company overseas was one of those nominated to test the vaccines, especially because the vaccines were given free of charge. So we were given the opportunity to test and provide equipment to test the vaccines and the masks that were being used.
I think 2020 was the turning point for LS Scientific, until 2023, it was the biggest year in terms of existing as a business. So it’s nice to change the narrative a bit on where everyone else was heading during COVID, that year also allowed us to pass the 2,000,000 mark in turnover. COVID is not something we hoped for. However in my opinion, Science and Technology is the present and future which will lead to growth for most companies operating in this industry provided the right corporate goals are set/met.
So you said 2023 was a big year for you, did you want to talk about that a bit more?
So because of the success of being nominated as the only company overseas to help the government with the COVID vaccine, we were able to get more business from regulators overseas. Which helped with our transformation goal. It allowed us to expand and move to a bigger facility, recruit more people in the UK and have more confidence to open the shop for the UK market.
If you have heard of Aliko Dangote, he is a Nigerian and the richest black man in the world. He owns a petroleum refinery and in 2022-2023 we were given the chance to supply all equipment, consumables and chemicals to run the refinery. It’s the biggest one in the world so you can research online if you are really interested knowing about this! But it’s something we are very proud of.
You sponsored a Lab Awards category last year, the ‘Lab of the Year’ category. Why is highlighting the fundamentals of the industry important to you?
We were very strategic when choosing a category to sponsor because any company that we deal with is a lab company, it’s the heart of our business. From the other categories available to sponsor, we thought lab of the year was interesting for us to choose. The highlight of the fundamentals of the industry is a major driver in our success and fulfilment of our developmental goals. The awards are a step in the right direction for our company as we want to be a part of the process and showcase who we are. So that’s why I believe understanding the fundamentals of this industry from the core lab point of view is where we need to be and what we need to understand as a business.
Moving forward, what are you looking forward to in 2024? And what are your visions for the future?
In 2024, we are looking to further expand our export territories and have more local presence in the UK. We are also expanding our Network of Suppliers to ensure that we fulfil our Mission Objective. Notable mentions of collaboration this year would be the new partnership with ChemLab, in Belgium and VELP in Italy.
We’re changing our approach and the way we work. The plan is to replicate what we have done overseas, and have a research and quality control lab in the UK. What we are doing now is trying to penetrate the market, and get established and once we are fully set up as part of our five-year plan we will have our own laboratory that is ISO 17025 certified by the ISO bodies. Then the ten-year plan is to develop our label so we will be able to have full control of the quality of the products that we manufacture and reduce the cost for both us and our customers.
This was an insightful discussion with Murewa, it is clear that LS Scientific have three really important things that they champion
- They focus on quality and ensuring the products that they endorse are improving the lives of people in a really big way, especially at the end of the supply chain.
- There is a focus on the people behind the products and science to ensure their wellbeing is improved.
- There is a clear focus on being ethical and sustainable in their processes and supply chain throughout the business.
LS Scientific have an ambition to improve not just what goes on within their company, but also the impact they have both within the industry and the regions in which they work. LS Scientific have a clear drive for their customers and its labs, labs are at the heart of their company and they strive for improvement constantly.
Thank you to Murewa and the team at LS Scientific! They will be exhibiting this year at Lab Innovations so make some connections now and get in touch with the team!
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About Lab Innovations
Lab Innovations has fast become the UK’s must-attend event for the entire laboratory industry. Supported by some of the UK’s top science institutions, it is a key event for powering the business of science.
The show floor is bursting with innovations from more than 160 leading scientific suppliers and manufacturers showcasing the latest laboratory developments and equipment. Exhibitors present the most cutting-edge technology applicable to a plethora of industries including life sciences, pharmaceuticals, academia, healthcare, chemical, food & drink, cleanroom and more.
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