Naming a company is a tricky thing. The wrong name can sink you. The right name can ignite the imagination and interest of potential clients. If you’re really spot on, your name and graphic identity will create an immediate understanding of what you’re about.

“To make sure the Polo brothers would be given every assistance on their travels, Kublai Khan presented them with a golden tablet (or paiza in Chinese) a foot long and three inches wide and inscribed with the words: “By the strength of the eternal Heaven, holy be the Khan’s name. Let him that pays him not reverence be killed.” The golden tablet was the special VIP passport, authorizing the travelers to receive throughout the Great Khan’s dominions such horses, lodging, food and guides as they required.”

Our company is all about giving U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies access to the rapidly expanding Chinese pharmaceutical market. Although 90 percent of pharma companies have China in their expansion plans, it’s not an easy process from regulatory, financial and social perspectives. Perceived risks, particularly in a critical drug sector like sterile injectables, which is our focus, are very real.

Based on experience and long-established relationships in the Chinese pharmaceutical market, we have positioned ourselves as the strategic partner that can provide safe passage to western pharma companies that want to enter China’s aseptic injectables market quickly and with complete confidence and trust. Naming our endeavor was critical.

Being history buffs, our thoughts turned to 13th century Venetian merchants Maffeo and Niccilo Polo, and later Marco Polo, who traveled to China in search of riches. (Sound familiar?) The Polos’ journeys took them to the Silk Road and ultimately to the court of the great Kublai Khan, a Mongol leader who established the City of Beijing and the Yuan Dynasty. Marco was amazed with China’s enormous power, great wealth and complex social structure; he and his father and uncle stayed at Kahn’s court for 17 years and amassed great riches. When it was time to return to Italy, Khan gave them a “Paiza,” a gold tablet inscribed with a message to ensure them of safe passage home.

A light bulb went off in our minds—paiza, safe passage, successful commerce. Our company seemed to name itself: PaizaBio.

So now we, as PaizaBio, are embarking on a journey of our own to serve as the modern day “VIP passport” to modern day Marco Polos—Western pharmaceutical companies—to safely open the door to China’s growing economy. It’s an opportunity we relish, and we hope that our name choice inspires you to learn more.