Since its formation in 1987 the go-ahead business has been propelled from relative obscurity to one of the most respected and best known names in Papua New Guinea.
Although the main office and shop is on Waigani Drive, City Pharmacy branches are dotted not only all over the town but all over the country.
“We have expanded at an incredible rate, in fact business doubled last year,” admitted Mahesh Patel, the charismatic managing director. “We now have pharmacies in places as far afield as Manus and Madang.
There is so much potential for development we have set up a shop in Kavieng and another started in Bougainville in December 1994. Each one needs to be manned by a qualified pharmacist.”
There are now 12 City Pharmacy outlets in Papua New Guinea, five of which were opened in 1993. This boom was partly due to a clinched agreement with Steamships JV Collins and Leahy. Other outlets where City pharmacies are based include Andersons, Stop ‘n’ Shop and the Family Store.
The rise and rise of City Pharmacy is down to a combination of aggressive marketing, excellent customer service and its capacity to provide an extensive, high quality range of medical products at competitive prices. “
All our staff have a basic knowledge of first aid and of all the products we sell,” said Mahesh. “Some who show particular promise or who need specialist training will be sent off on courses to Australia.
Personal service is very important. Not so long ago Papua New Guinean people would go to a hospital if they had a headache but now they have the confidence to use pharmacies. Our stores are all very well laid out and user friendly.”
The fact City Pharmacy is such a young company also makes it thirsty for innovation and fresh ideas. Not only does it boast several of its own in-house brands like antibiotic ointments and antifungal powders, but it now has a range of herbal medicines.
“We always try to be broad minded and prepared to take on new products.” said Mahesh. “ Also it is important for us to educate people especially about preventing serious diseases like malaria. Papua New Guinea has a very progressive , positive attitude towards health issues and City Pharmacy is glad to be part of it. The future looks optimistic, both for our business and for health-care throughout the entire country.”