In a bid to consolidate on existing mutual relationship, Nigeria’s foremost pharmaceutical giant, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, recently celebrated its key distributors for their continued loyalty over the years.
The Customers’ Reward Forum which took place at De Renaisance Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, on 3 March, 2016, attracted a large turnout of community pharmacists, patent medicine dealers and wholesalers.
Speaking with Pharmanews, Eugene Olewuenyi, May & Baker’s corporate communications manager, explained that the 2016 customers’ forum was a continuation of May & Baker’s annual tradition of giving incentives to its key distributors and wholesalers through target sales promotions for its top brands.
“Not only that. A special business management workshop was also conducted to enable the customers learn new techniques to manage their businesses better in current challenging business environment,” he said.
Corroborating Olewuenyi’s view, Pharm Nnamdi Okafor, managing director of May & Baker, declared that the meeting had become the company’s way of involving key stakeholders in its distribution chain towards ensuring that only top quality products get to the final consumer.
“I am elated to be with you,” Okafor said to the customers. “Because without you there will be no business for us to manage. This is why we have continued to sustain this annual meeting. This forum therefore offers us all the opportunity to discuss company plans, policies and direction together.”
According to the May & Baker boss, 2015 was a difficult year for businesses, particularly in the pharma industry for reasons ranging from political uncertainties, security issues in the North East to macro-economic issues in the last quarter of the year.
“However, I am delighted to announce to you that in spite of these adverse conditions in 2015, our company recorded her best performance in four years last year. Looking ahead, 2016 promises to be another herculean year for all businesses in Nigeria including yours,” he opined.
Okafor lamented the declining crude oil prices leading to scarcity of foreign exchange and the unprecedented fall in the value of the Naira in the black market.
He further noted that, while the company was having challenges opening letters of credit for its input materials, some of its local suppliers were either increasing their prices or shutting their warehouses.
He stated that the consequence of such action is that businesses like theirs which are heavily dependent on imports will suffer scarcity and high cost of input materials that may likely lead to closure of some factories and importation businesses.
To forestall this, the pharmacist reiterated that May & Baker was repositioning itself in areas of innovation and reviewing of business processes aimed at making the company less wasteful and more productive.
He added that the company would also intensify on price reviews.
“I am also happy to announce that we intend to introduce a new line of products before the year runs out,” he said. “These products are meant to give you more variety and boost your profit opportunities. We shall rely on you to make a success of this.”
It will be recalled that May & Baker Nigeria Plc joined the international league of pharmaceutical companies whose manufacturing operations were certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 13 October, 2014. The company recently earned the WHO GMP Certificate for its manufacturing facility in Ota, Ogun state, known as the Pharma Centre.
The award of the Certificate coincided with the company’s celebration of 70 years of doing business in Nigeria, the first pharmaceutical company so established in the country.