The Business Year

Healthcare and medical equipment in an underserved country like Nigeria offer myriad possibilities for companies to make a true impact on society.

Sanjay Mathur

Managing Director, Vcare Diagnostics Ltd

VCare was launched in 2019 with a vision to provide world-class medical diagnostic services for all health partners. The idea was to set up an ultra-modern lab with capabilities to carry out 100% testing in Nigeria. We invested in the most cutting-edge technology by bringing in the first of its kind equipment into Nigeria. We also made an investment to link all our equipment to the cloud server to stay ahead of the competition. Within less than a year of operations, we were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even prior to that, we had set up the first private molecular laboratory in Nigeria. Despite being the newest lab, we were able to get the accreditation by the Ministry of Health, the Lagos state government, and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) very early to conduct PCR testing for COVID-19. This was a game-changer investment for us. Today, VCare ranks among the top five labs in terms of the number of tests conducted for COVID-19. Being a government-accredited lab for COVID-19 testing accelerated our credibility and visibility in the market. This has greatly improved our image and catapulted us to one of the finest labs in the country. Today, VCare takes pride in being amongst the top five medical diagnostics labs in Nigeria.

Felix Ofungwu

CEO, ISN Medical

In 2020, we saw an increased national emphasis on healthcare, which is positive and highly needed. However, we also experienced significant challenges with supply chains, and we saw significant bottlenecks from our manufacturers and had to wait up to a year for certain items. The areas that are most in demand are routine hematology and chemistry diagnostic product, and we are seeing a greater emphasis in the area of non-communicable diseases. We sell diagnostic equipment that are used in laboratory settings as well as the reagents that go along with this equipment. We are seeing significantly more testing for oncology, cardiac function, and other chronic ailments. Customers were asking for machines such CT scans, MRIs, X-rays, and so on, areas that we have not worked on traditionally. As they trust our brand, they want us to supply them with more diversified solutions, and we are now more actively participating in that space. However, we want to be cautious about stretching our business. Another important aspect of our business model is our technical support because we have in-house engineers and biomedical scientists, and that has been a key differentiator for us and is an important reason why customers chose us to deliver an increasing portion of their equipment needs.

Ndudiri Ignatius Chikere

CEO, Ndudiri Ignatius Chikere

The more medical equipment companies Nigeria has, the easier it will be for hospitals and individuals to get the highest-quality treatment. That pushed us to enter this space to serve the public, especially local hospitals in more remote areas that cannot afford equipment. The more distributors we have, the more affordable the equipment will be. In order to be amongst these distributors that will play a role in making sure that Nigerians have affordable medical equipment, we drove ourselves to seek partnerships, manufacturers, and the best products that will be the most useful. When we started, we were initially doing machines, and we did our marketing. Now, we do not have to market ourselves anymore because the doctors in hospitals do the marketing for us. When they use our machines, it has the name. On top of this, there are aftersales services. We are in both Abuja and Lagos, and if hospitals want anything, they call us to order so we are everywhere in Nigeria. The pandemic did not really affect us because we were able to move from state to state when there was a need for PPE and oxygen and so on. This period helped those in healthcare, especially those providing equipment, because the demand for our products was so high.

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