Lockdown-inspired pharmacy business set to take off

While many of us were coping with remote work and virtual meetings during the hard lockdown, entrepreneur Teboho Lebakeng had a brainwave for a new business.

“Since I live alone, I got to wondering what would happen to me should I be unlucky enough to contract COVID with the health system under such pressure? All the news reports were dire and I started becoming a bit paranoid about going out. At the same time, we were told that we should be taking supplements to strengthen our immune systems. Most big stores deliver but the delivery can take up to five days,” said Lebakeng.

An idea for a digital pharmacy grew out of these musings and now this savvy entrepreneur has set up an e-commerce website, has three branded delivery bikes and is looking forward to a bright future. The Digipharm unit Riversands Incubation resembles a bricks and mortar pharmacy and the company recently received its license from the SA Pharmacy Council to offer the full range of pharmaceuticals. “We focus on northern Johannesburg, which allows us to provide speedy turnaround times on all deliveries,” he commented.

Lebakeng has a background in IT and is no stranger to entrepreneurship with a successful bottled water company in his portfolio. That business is based in Pretoria and Lebakeng noticed the Hub during his commute. “The location is perfect for my vision and the unit is such that I can easily comply with the requirements of my pharmaceutical license. The pharmacist is a friend of mine who oversees operations.”

To date, most customers have been from The Parks Lifestyle Apartments@Riversands. They are uniformly impressed by the quick turnaround time for orders to be delivered! Future plans include building a front-end interface for GPs which will conceivably work seamlessly for patients to receive their prescription medication by the time they arrive home from an appointment.

“I’m extremely optimistic about my prospects, particularly now that I’m registered to supply scheduled drugs,” said Lebakeng.