By Sola Ogundipe
Pharmaceutical and other corporate healthcare organisations in Nigeria must outlive their founders in order to expand and become global entities.
The Chairman and Chief Executive of St Racheal’s Pharma, Mr. Akinjide Adeosun who spoke in Lagos at the Quarter 1, 2020 “St Racheal’s Business for Life’ discourse organised by the company for healthcare personnel and decision-makers”, regretted that most healthcare companies in Nigeria often collapse as soon as their founders die, a development that prevented growth of the industry and expansion beyond the boundaries of the country.
“Of course, we have few exceptions like St. Nicholas Hospital that is still running excellently even after the demise of the founder. But the number of such institutions is too few, compared with multinationals like GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, or even Shell and Total which have been running for over 100 years.
“The difference between the way multinationals are run and the way local companies here operate is that governance, institutionalising of policies and processes, talent management, succession planning, and all those soft skills that are required to ensure that the companies exist way beyond their founders are lacking in the Nigerian ecosystem.
“That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to organise the ‘St Racheal’s Business for Life” initiative. We recognise that we will not be achieving our mission of improving life expectancy in Africa through the availability of top-quality affordable drugs alone, so we are looking at the business that will take care of the patient.
“We want to help local healthcare companies with soft infrastructure that they require to be institutionalized and be able to run for a very long time.”
Adeosun noted that the theme for the discourse: “Excellence in Customer Care”, has been designed in line with previous lectures in the ‘Business for Life’ series which focused on Business values, etiquette, running a profitable enterprise and human resources.
In her presentation, the Head, Contact Centre of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Miss. Vivien Agu, noted that healthcare companies, like, any other business, could grow and sustain their business by delivering services exceptionally beyond customers’ expectations.
“Customers are the lifeblood of any business and without them, there will be no business,” she said, stressing the need for companies to make customers happy and turn them to advocates to sell the company’s products instead of placing advertisements.
“Once you get that right, trust me, your business is on the way to be sustained over the years and beyond.”
She cited a study which shows that no fewer than 68% of customers are lost due to an attitude of indifference by a member of management or staff.
Agu also noted that customers in every business sphere want respect, empathy, convenience, care, solution, empowerment, self-respect among other things. Also, they will like to be pampered, and be informed and appreciated by service providers.
“Excellence in customer care or service means making each and every aspect of the customer’s experience an absolutely positive one. Good customer service means meeting expectations while excellent customer service, on the other hand, means exceeding them,” she stressed.