At the age of 30, Nyarai Gondo will go into history as one of the earliest entrant into the mobile pharmacy businesses. At the moment, in Botswana, most delivery services are offered by eateries, building materials stores as well as parcel delivery companies while only a few, if not just one company in the medication sub-sector is into home delivery.
Through her company – An Eagle’s Pharmacy, Gondo has ventured into the not so common business of delivering medication at the door steps of her clients.
“This is extremely convenient for customers without transport or who find it hard to get around, as well as older people ÔÇô the majority of healthcare users. It is also ideal for those on regular repeat medication. A well-run service can ensure that customers’ next lot of medicine arrives before their current prescription runs out which is currently we are doing for free now,” Gondo explained.
Gondo holds a Bachelor Degree in Pharmacy and recently completed a certificate in finance for non financial managers through Botswana Accountancy College (BAC).
Despite having opened its doors only in March 2018, – An Eagle’s Pharmacy is reported to be doing well in the highly competitive pharmaceutical business sector.
The six months year old company is said to have grown in terms of turnover from when it started as sales are said to have quadrupled.
Apart from its mobile service, An Eagle’s Pharmacy also offers general healthcare counseling for individuals and families or couples.
When asked how she markets her business Gondo indicated that it’s through referrals.
“If one customer had a positive experience, they go and tell others about the kind of services they have been provided and how helpful they felt”.
Further Gondo said, “I have flyers, I do text messages and use Facebook and other media platforms. We are the digital age and now I am in the process of creating a website which will be interactive. We want to be interactive as possible with our patients and clients as we are about to launch more delivery services.”
On challenges she encountered Gondo said, “The first time I actually tried to open a pharmacy was 3 years ago, I approached different lending sectors and they were reluctant to fund a business that is not well known and did not have collateral.”
But fortunately she states that she had some cash reserved as she put her heart and soul into opening the pharmacy.
“I saved some money and the experience I had with people as I believe I am people’s person. I have interacted with people that have being very helpful, some have opened credit lines before the end of probation period because they could see I was trustworthy and in general I believe if you are willing to ask for help, you can do it.”
Further she said she also have a problem of late payments when it comes to their service providers, that is the medical aids as well as other corporate in which if they pay late, result in her also paying her distributors late.
“It is hard but it can be done, if I can do it then I believe someone who is hard working and believes in themselves can do it in whatever business they are interested in,” she said when giving advice to budding entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile when speaking about the future plans of her pharmacy Gondo is optimistic that in the near it shall be the go to place for personalized pharmacy based care.
She urged the government to support budding entrepreneurs adding that, “even private business should make room for mentorship for upcoming ones”.