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Healthcare companies must strive to outlive founders – service provider

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The Chairman and Chief Executive of St Racheal’s  Pharma, Mr Akinjide Adeosun, says pharmaceutical and other corporate healthcare organisations in Nigeria must outlive their founders to be able to expand and become global entities.

Adeosun  regretted on Friday in Lagos that many healthcare companies in Nigeria collapsed as soon as their founders died,  preventing growth of the industry and expansion beyond Nigeria’s boundaries.

He spoke while welcoming participants to the Quarter 1, 2020, St Racheal’s  Business for Life’ Discourse for healthcare personnel and decision makers.

The event was organised by the company.

“Of course, we have few exceptions such as  St. Nicholas Hospital that is still running excellently even after the demise of the founder.

“But the number of such institutions is too small compared with that of multinationals such as 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 of governance, institutionalising of policies and processes.

“It is also about talent management, succession planning; all those  soft skills that are required to ensure that companies exist beyond their founders are lacking in the Nigerian eco-system,’’ he said.

According to him, that is why the  St Racheal’s  Business for Life initiative was undertaken.

“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.

“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 institutionalised and be able to run for a very long time,’’ he said.

Adeosun said that the theme for the discourse: “Excellence in Customer Care”, was 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,  First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Vivien Agu, said that healthcare companies like any other business could grow and sustain their businesses by delivering services exceptionally beyond customers’ expectations.

“Customers are the lifeblood of any business, and without them, there will be no business.

“There is  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, your business is on the way to be sustained over the years,’’ she said.

Agu said that  a study had shown that at least  68 per cent  of customers could be lost due to  indifference by a member of a company’s management or staff.

According to her,  customers in every business sphere want respect, empathy, convenience, care, solution and empowerment, 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 a positive one.

“Good customer service means meeting expectations while excellent customer service means exceeding them,” she said.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Ijeoma Popoola

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