The American who has brought the dentist into the workplace

Onsite dental care sees less time wasted on visits and less tooth decay

Joshua Perry, a 38-year-old American, is in charge of a cutting-edge business enterprise. Falck Dentalcare started life as a business idea he conceived while he was a student on the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) Executive-MBA (EMBA) programme, and in the future it could potentially revolutionise the way dental care is provided to Danes.


Contrary to general belief, Denmark is not a difficult place to set up a new business, believes Indiana-born Perry, who already had a business in the USA, but was looking for a new business venture. After some thorough research, Perry discovered that both the Wall Street Journal and Fortune Magazine had named Denmark as one of the best countries in the world to establish a new business. 


“Denmark is a fantastic place to set up a new business,” said Perry. 


“So there was no second thought when I was recommended to enlist at Copenhagen Business School. Denmark is renowned for its free spirit, open culture and transparent legal system. And in addition to that, there is a sharp focus on a long-term return of investment. Americans, on the other hand, are more immediate solution-orientated. This may result in quicker decisions and less people involved, but may not result in the best solution.  So as an American entrepreneur setting up a business in Copenhagen, I think I got the best of two worlds.”  


Perry started his EMBA studies at CBS part-time while still living in the US and running his business, Onsite Health Inc. This meant flying to and from Denmark every other weekend. After the first year, he decided to go all in and make Copenhagen his permanent base.


“I have a strong belief that Denmark at the moment has a lot of brand equity to offer in regard to social and environmental values,” he contended. “This is a strong asset when setting up a new business, and this strengthened my belief that Copenhagen was the right place to be. Copenhagen Business School in particular is renowned for bridging cultural and business differences. The school gave me an invaluable network and contacts that have been vital in my business ventures.” 


For some years Joshua Perry had been puzzling with the idea of setting up a new business that focuses on dental care for companies outside the USA. The relatively simple concept, named Onsite Dental, was based on the idea of offering employees onsite dental care during working hours, thus meaning they would have greater and easier access to dental care. For the companies, this would be an attractive employee benefit that would increase productivity and the work-life balance. 


The concept is adopted from the business he was working with in the USA. Perry, having supplied dentistry to companies like Yahoo!, Google and eBay, was eager to start looking for an opportunity for another startup operation in a new market, leveraging on the knowledge gained in the USA.  


“Just like in the USA, a substantial number of Danes do not see their dentist regularly – not because they cannot afford it, but simply because of inconvenience or lack of time,” said Perry. This is why Onsite Dental intends to bring preventative dental care to the Danish workplaces.”


In 2011, things began to take off and Perry laid the foundation for his new Danish venture. By forming an advisory board made up of fellow EMBA students, Joshua gained local insight and assistance to navigate the Danish market.


“While there are many similarities between the USA and Denmark, there are still differences culturally and in the business environment,” he observed. “Danes are very practical people with a very progressive stance on healthcare that allows for high quality and cost-effective care. For instance, hygienists and dental assistants can provide a variety of dental procedures without a dentist present, which you would need a dentist to do in the USA.” 


Thanks to the good teamwork of the advisory board, the knowledge gained through the EMBA, and the co-writing of a thesis with a fellow student, Thomas Bo Christensen, Perry was able to generate interest in the concept of Onsite Dental among Danish workplaces and forge a potential new partnership with Falck Healthcare A/S.  Falck has been a dominant force in providing healthcare services on the Danish market for numerous years. 


In March 2012, the partnership with Falck Healthcare was finalised and operations were given the go-ahead. 


“There’s definitely a big potential. Falck has a great reputation that helps pave the way for synergies between health and dental checks, letting the technicians of the different trades work together.  Even with a conservative mindset, there are many opportunities lying ahead for Falck Dentalcare,” reveals Perry. 


In 2011, Joshua Perry was named the EMBA student of year at Copenhagen Business School. He is currently the managing director of Falck Dentalcare, which has gained a number of new workplace clients including Atea and Dako, with others also expressing an intrest.