SPOTLIGHT: How pharmacists like Henry Anebelundu are bridging the gap between patients and medical suppliers
By Victor Akuma
The Nigerian society is characterised by young people with different skills and talents. Some are naturally born with these potentials while others have to learn their intrigues to practice.
In between these two ends, Henry Anebelundu, a gruduate of Pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka in Enugu State has found his bearing.
In his bid to give back to the society that formed him, Henry decided to develop interest in community practice as a Pharmacist after school.
In an interview with CRISPNG, Henry explains his new found career.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Henry Anebelundu. I’m a Pharmacist by profession, very interested in community practice and sales. I’m not actually a distributor as you may have supposed. I hope to be anyway, but not at the moment. I’m a dropshipper currently. In fact, I’m a freelance marketer. Quite alright, I, and others like me do a lot to bridge the gap between patients and their needs especially during this period of coronavirus pandemic.
I simply source medical devices and protective items from trust-worthy distributors and suppliers and get them to the people who need them.
Does the country’s economic environment have any effect on your distribution activities?
Yes, it’s volatility affects every business that has to import merchandise from the diaspora. This includes distributors, so, yes it does, because for example, in the past few weeks due to the crash in oil price , the Price of the dollar reached excesses of N455 and this makes importation tough because for a distributor to keep customers happy, stable prices and supply is crucial.
Since life is involved in your activities, what extra measures do you take to ensure the wrong pharmaceutical products are not distributed to health organizations?
In my own little way, to ascertain the credibility of the suppliers I work with, I usually try to meet them in person and also do a lot of research to find out whether they’re fully registered and permitted to sell the items they do. Also, I boldly ask them to avail me of the contacts of organisations and people they’ve worked with, or in some cases, I try to find out that myself and get their reviews and opinions. That way, I won’t be walking into a trap.
What have been your major challenges as a distributor?
As for the challenges I have faced as a distributor, I wouldn’t say I have faced any since I am yet to become one officially. However, being in a similar business, one challenge we share with distributors is constant competition. A lot of people are allowed to distribute the same products like you are ding.
How where you able to tackle these challenges?
To tackle a challenge like competition, a distributor needs to carve a niche for himself by either revolutionising customer service, supply chain stability and delivery speed or by trying to purchase franchises for popular pharmaceutical brands and thus becoming the sole distributor of such brands.
What is your candid advice to youths who are yet to fill the void which you have been able to fill by finding your passion?
My advice to youths who want to go into the business of distribution is to do a lot of research before going in. And as much as possible, narrow their product lines very well and specialise well in those they have chosen.
That being said, I once again appreciate the honour CRISPNG.COM granted me. I do hope I have made a sound contribution.