The role of Yodawy in disrupting Egypt’s pharma economy


On the sidelines of Rise Up Summit, Business forward sat down with Chief Product Officer (CPO) of online medicine ordering platform Yodawy Yasser Abdel Gawad to discuss the vision behind Yodawy, the potential of the health-tech sector and the hurdles facing its growth. ‎

Last November, Yodawy has raised $1 million ‎in Series A round led by Egypt’s venture capital firms Algebra Ventures and CIB’s venture capital arm C-Ventures.

How did it all start for Yodawy?

Yodawy was started because we saw a need for it. Unlike other sectors, the healthcare sector has generally been the slowest to respond to technological disruption. The idea behind developing Yodawy originally followed the philosophy of impacting people’s lives through the convenience of online ordering.

As a marketplace and a service platform, Yodawy helps make healthcare services accessible to everyone by automating the whole pick, pack and ship process of medicines. We are also partners with various insurance companies so we can put an end to long queues and shortage of medicines.

To what extent does the healthcare sector need online disruption? How would this lead to improved access to healthcare services?

The pharma sector in Egypt is mostly offline; the process of converting it into an online business model was the biggest obstacle that faced us when launching Yodawy. Still, there is a huge gap between the consumer and the end product due to the lack of data-driven health insights.

The tip-to-toe disruption affecting the pharma sector’s supply chain will accelerate the shift towards a patient-focused approach.  Key stakeholders in this supply chain, including pharmacies, medical insurance companies and drug distributors, will get more empowered with a strategic system-wide view of the supply chain performance and necessary analytical data. This could help enhance better medicine delivery practices and guide better solutions to problems that encounter the consumers across all touch-points.

Further, it is of utmost importance to increase people’s awareness of the necessity of switching to e-pharma platforms and why is it important to fill the existing gap between customer expectations and actions.

How does your evaluation process work?

We tend to gain customer feedback on the whole experience. We make sure that we receive an order-specific feedback regarding shipping, delivery and pricing, using Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys. That way, we ensure that we remain on the pulse of what the customers need and which aspects we still need to develop in order to deliver the best customer experience.

Also, this helps improve the performance of the pharmacies that we work with by giving them more feedback on the issues that their customers face so they can address them proactively.

We also have our own internal ratings for pharmacies by branch.

What’s next for Yodawy?

We are keen on constantly expanding our consumer base by reaching out to the right customer with the right product and at the right time. Besides our existing partners, we are working on collaborating with more insurance companies.

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