Before Bukky George became the ‘Queen of Retail’, she was an upwardly mobile professional who worked at a global pharmaceutical giant. Her dream has since caused her to travel on a different path. And thanks to her desire to make that dream come alive, a whole niche was birthed in Nigeria’s healthcare industry.
That dream was HealthPlus Pharmacy, the country’s first integrative pharmacy chain.
It’s hard to miss HealthPlus’s stores. They can be found in many of Nigeria’s bigger cities, with their blue and yellow logos typically sticking out from among surrounding business centres and shops. There are over 40 such stores spread across the country.
But there’s a fairly strict adherence to standards with these shops, which ensures that the quality of service delivered in far-flung branches of this brand is close to uniform. It’s something Bukky George, a perennial advocate of getting things done the right way, has infused into her company.
The sort of uncompromising focus on standards and goals is borne out by HealthPlus’s adherence to codes that guarantee a high quality of service has been with Bukky George for most of her life. The straight A student who graduated top of her class in university and loved to put things in their right order as a manager with Glaxo Smith Kline continues to stamp her version of excellence on her entrepreneurial pursuits.
When she quit her job in 1999 to begin HealthPlus, she already had a fairly good idea where she wanted to take the business. It had been registered in 1996 as a Limited Liability Company- a sign that she was serious about carving out new space on Nigeria’s healthcare scene.
In less than two decades, the small store she began with had multiplied to over 30 stores. And in 2018, HealthPlus secured funding worth $18 million from UK based equity firm Alta Semper Capital, to expand it’s operations in the country.
HealthPlus currently operates two arms. The first, HealthPlus Pharmacy, retails medicines, nutritional supplements, and natural remedies. It also sells Body Mass Index measuring tool, glucose test equipment, and mobility aids (among other things). It employs trained pharmacists, who are able to draw from their knowledge and experience to administer drugs and give expert advice.
A second arm of the business, Casa Bella, opened in 2010. It’s a beauty store which offers skin creams, fragrances, soaps, hair extensions, and other beauty and personal care products.
HealthPlus Pharmacy has branches in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Enugu, and Ibadan.
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