Local pharmaceutical company growing despite economic restraintsFriday, September 17, 2021
Jamaican owned and operated RA Williams Pharmaceutical Distributors Limited is positioning to expand despite the coronavirus pandemic.
RA Williams is headed by registered pharmacists; CEO Audley Reid, COO Jewel Reid and founder Evelyn Williams.
The company saw a 28.8 per cent increase in revenue for 2020/2021 when compared to the 2019/2020 financial year. They've also seen a growth of 70.8 per cent in revenue for the first quarter of this financial year when compared to the same quarter last year.
“We are pleased and satisfied with the performance to date, last financial year which ended April 30, 2021 we realised roughly about a 30 per cent growth in revenue when compared to the prior year. This year if you look at our first quarter numbers so far we are showing somewhere around a 70 per cent growth over the same period last year,” said Audley Reid.
The CEO went on to say that “demand for pharmaceuticals did not dip despite COVID, persons continued to require or continued to be in need of treatment but where the difficulty lies is in getting the supplies to Jamaica so we had to make major shifts and adjustments there and I think as a result of those forward planning we were able to realise growth over the period.”
But the business is not without its challenges. The COO Jewel Reid explained that the coronavirus-induced logistical issues have also plagued pharmaceutical operations.
“The main challenge right now is mainly logistics and chain supply management. We've been having delays in shipments to Jamaica and everyday we've been sitting down and making plans with different suppliers as to how we manage our inventory,”
She highlighted that the company had to move swiftly in implementing new measures to keeps the doors open.
“We were careful to look at our supply chain and logistics management overall as a company. We had to make strategic decisions re our inventory management to ensure that we had enough supplies for the market notwithstanding COVID-19 and its impact not only in Jamaica but all across the world.”
Notwithstanding, the company continues to expand with island wide coverage of over 400 pharmacies and plans to go overseas. “We have tapped into the consumer market that is ever expanding in terms of the number of supermarkets, wholesales, gas stations and variety stores where you can find our products,” said Jewel Reid
The pharmacists indicated that the vision is to create a pharmaceutical distribution network across the Caribbean and Latin America that connects the people they serve with the most effective and economical pharmaceutical products.
“It is a goal of the company to be a regional powerhouse in the Caribbean and Latin America. Right now we're looking at some Caribbean countries and we're studying their markets, looking at what the needs are there and making contact and establishing relationships with other distributors who can give us insights into the markets and then from there when the time is right we think we will be able to act on those plans and execute,” said Audley Reid.