From Konga to mPharma, logistics for well being merchandise is rising in Africa

“Folks relate treatment on Jumia?”

That used to be the response from basically the most ardent on-line client I know. She buys trainers, mother denims and hair merchandise but doesn’t understand why anyone would seize treatment on-line. It correct doesn’t truly feel stunning for her to snatch ingestible medicines on the a similar web pages she outlets for lingerie.

But a search under Jumia’s ‘medicines & therapies’ tab shows syrups, nasal sprays, and distress relief capsules. At the backside of their healthcare page, a blurb assures company that merchandise listed on the web pages are from “diversified depended on manufacturers that may meet your well being wants.” 

Certainly, African e-commerce marketplaces are venturing into the transport of well being care merchandise as part of one scheme to expand their label to prospects. 

These platforms are part of a broader cleave of innovators at a keen intersection of healthcare and logistics on the continent. Going by recent data, this sub-sector has grown over two years. 

At least 61 companies are using tech for well being distribution across sub-saharan Africa, a enhance of over 100% within the preference of active gamers (28) captured in 2018. That’s per a file by Salient Advisory, an Africa-targeted healthcare consultancy.

These well being logistics companies consist of e-commerce gamers fancy Jumia, Copia and Konga, and additionally core well being startups fancy mPharma, Lifestores Pharmacy, Chekkit and Sproxil. Salient’s file specializes in companies turning in over-the-counter merchandise, hence it does no longer consist of LifeBank which specializes in blood and oxygen merchandise.

These forms of companies are in Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda, with best possible 6 spotted within the francophone predicament. 31% of the companies surveyed had been essentially based internal the closing two years and 62% operate in a single African country. 

health_products_logistics_africa
Snapshot of innovators within the well being merchandise distribution condominium in Africa. Source: Salient Advisory.

Salient categorizes the landscape of companies into three teams by the variety of carrier they carry: user-going thru companies, producer-going thru companies and product data companies.

The principle group of companies (fancy Drugstore.ng) carry over-the-counter and prescription treatment in addition to digital affected person care to people. Supplier-going thru ones back healthcare companies both by turning in to them, web web hosting an on-line market, providing stock management tools (an instance right here is Lifestores Pharmacy) and/or offering financing. 

The third group provides data related products and services fancy product analytics and drug authenticity verification. An instance in this category is Chekkit, a verification skills startup that used to be currently well-liked into Google for Startups accelerator programme for 2021.

Outmoded e-commerce platforms fancy Jumia, Copia and Konga are ready to play within the user and provider-going thru buckets. Consequently of of their presence in multiple African worldwide locations, all three companies surpass the combined reach of various order-to-user startups within the well being product distribution condominium.   

“What they are doing can tempo up salvage entry to to medicines and bear an unheard of affect on public well being,” says Yomi Kazeem, one in every of the authors of Salient Advisory’s file.

Based on Konga’s co-CEO Slit Imudia, the e-commerce company’s conception to carry well being merchandise started shortly after they had been obtained by the Zinox Group three years within the past.

“We started building warehouses and logistics resources to enable us to reach each local authorities condominium within the country,” Imudia says to TechCabal.

Konga.com is a market the set pharmaceutical companies can checklist well being merchandise fancy medicines. Konga delivers orders from these pharmacies to individual buyers. 

But beyond fulfilling orders to people, Konga plans to dawdle larger by working on bulk orders between pharmacies and companies or authorities agencies, Imudia says. That can require some investments on infrastructure for frosty distribution and ensuring warehouses are of the beautiful temperature. 

Salient Advisory’s file notes that “sure and harmonised laws” may perhaps perchance well enhance this entry of e-commerce gamers into the well being merchandise distribution condominium.  

Konga has two  licenses to instantly distribute merchandise for drug manufacturers and import treatment from the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria,  Imudia says. But he clarifies that Konga is never any longer going to act as a pharmacy by promoting treatment on to buyers – but will depend on its market platform that enables retailers to promote on Konga.com

How enormous can this unique industry line be for Konga? Imudia declines to part what well being merchandise logistics for the time being contributes to Konga’s total industry. But he believes this could be “a important part” of Konga’s industry within the long scamper.

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