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The Ofichem Group's Life Story


After graduating as an organic chemist, Dr O H Oldenziel wanted to become an entrepreneur. In 1975 he founded Lab Ofichem together with his wife H H Oldenziel. The garage served as a laboratory. After a year, the company moved to an old milk factory in Gieten, Drenthe. Laboratory Ofichem specialised in chemical syntheses. It was a small company and their hard work paid off. Otto was very good at understanding the mechanisms of molecules, so the pharmaceutical industry soon became interested in his work.

Good Manufacturing Practice

The company prospered and over the years, a solid foundation was built for Ofichem. However, the industry went through turbulent times in the late 1990s with the introduction of Good Manufacturing Practice in Europe and America. These are strict guidelines to protect the quality and to fulfil these requirements; Ofichem had to make a considerable investment to be able to comply to GMP. Meanwhile, production in China and India was booming, but production in those regions did not always meet GMP requirements, resulting in a lower price point.

This problem is still relevant, as many of the most important products manufactured for the healthcare sector are no longer produced in Europe or the United States.

First expansion

In 2001, the Ofichem Group became a 50% owner of Incopharm, a trading company for APIs. Incopharm is based in Hamburg with a trading office in Moscow and focuses on the Eastern European and Russian markets. Due to exceptional communication with customers, Incopharm can offer its customers in the Eastern European and Russian markets outstanding services.

Because the future of Lab Ofichem seemed uncertain in the early 2000s, Otto Oldenziel decided to expand his business further. In 2004, he founded the trading company, Ofichem. The company had no cause for complaint in terms of brand awareness; however, their portfolio was limited to APIs produced by Ofichem Lab. As a trading company, Otto Oldenziel began working with experienced commercial traders so they could buy and sell APIs. It was a good match, especially as they could immediately test the quality of all the ingredients they bought from Ofichem's laboratory. After all, the knowledge was already in-house.

Second generation

After the uncertainties of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Otto Oldenziel decided that it was time to incorporate the GMP guidelines and update the company in 2006. Otto asked his son, Weite, to help him implement GMP to ensure that the Ofichem Group met the requirements. Weite, who practically grew up amongst raw materials, had completed his pharmaceutical training and was already working four days a week at Ofichem as an industrial pharmacist. There had been no plans or discussions about his father’s succession. Weite received his doctorate in November 2006, but the following month, his father died. He was only 59. Weite automatically took his father's place in the business on behalf of the family.

Further expansion

In 2008, R&D Laboratory Ofichem was added to the Group, and then in 2011, Ofipharma. These new businesses allowed the Group to broaden their services, with Ofipharma focusing on sourcing APIs for the human market and Ofichem supporting the veterinary market. This growth was later followed by Ofidit (2012), Lean Sports Nutrition (2018) and Ofinext (2019).


The Ofichem Group 2.0

In recent years, CEO, Dr Weite Oldenziel and his team have been reshaping the Ofichem Group. Almost all departments have been revamped, new business areas built and the company has been completely restructured. A new head has been appointed to each department and the goal that all processes and regulations comply with GMP requirements has been achieved. All Ofichem Group companies were positioned as Business Units.

The synergy between the different business units makes Ofichem Group a strong and stable player in the market. The Group has excellent knowledge and a large international network and by combining the skills within Laboratory Ofichem with the network of Ofichem and Incopharm, the Ofichem Group can better assist its customers in solving specific questions and problems. Moreover, they also produce and analyse APIs, and have the facilities to store large quantities of APIs in their own warehouse. As one of the last companies in the Netherlands still manufacturing raw materials for medicines, the Ofichem Group is ready for the future!