By Mohamed Alaa El Din
Dawaya company, specialised in selling pharmaceutical drugs through the Internet, aims to expand to cover all Egyptian governorates this year, in addition to entering one of the Gulf states’ markets in the upcoming period.
According to Dawaya’s Business Development Manager Mohamed Adel, during an interview with Daily News Egypt, Dawaya negotiates with four pharmaceutical networks in Egypt to cooperate in covering customers’ pharmaceutical drug needs. It also plans to connect the pharmaceutical networks cooperating with the company through an electronic system, which would facilitate the procedures of delivering the needs of the customers.
How did the idea of Dawaya.com come up?
The Dawaya platform started off with a group of investors in the pharmaceutical field in Egypt through developing the idea behind pharmacies and their traditional form. They established an electronic platform, which enables users to get the medications they want through the Internet.
What service does the Dawaya platform offer?
The platform is a mobile pharmacy offering pharmaceutical drugs from a deeper perspective, through the information provided on the drugs that are hard to find in any other place. It includes more than 12,000 medications and exceeds 2,000 personal care products and make-up products.
What is the added value that a customer gains through purchasing drugs through the Internet?
Buying through the Internet gives the customer more privacy, as well as saving him the effort of looking for the drugs he needs in traditional pharmacies, since the drug will be available online. He gets the drugs in a short period through ordering online via the Dawaya platform.
On the other hand, buying through the internet has become a general trend for some customers, whether buying pharmaceutical drugs or other products. This means that we need to fulfil the needs of these customers through providing their different needs on the Internet. The platform also helps users get their regular drugs, since the platform allows users to create a list of the drugs they get on a regular basis so that the customers do not have to search for the drugs every times they buy.
The platform also allows users to get all the necessary details for the drugs used, either in terms of the active ingredient or the indications or the side effects, and so on.
What do you think of the growth of Internet purchases?
In general, e-commerce has been growing quickly in the Egyptian market for the past few years given the huge volume of the market and the slow spread of the idea of buying through the Internet. This gives the market a chance for growth in all fields of e-commerce and its services.
How do you meet the demands of all the customers?
We signed contracts with pharmaceutical networks in all areas in Cairo, so that the nearest pharmacy to the area where the customer resides would deliver the drugs, which guarantees the speed and quality of the products offered.
What are your plans for expansion in this regard?
We are currently negotiating with four pharmaceutical networks of the biggest pharmacies in the Egyptian market to be responsible for Dawaya platform sales via their branches. We have not yet reached a final agreement, and we are considered to be the largest electronic platform for pharmaceutical drugs in Egypt and the Middle East.
We receive more than 100,000 visitors a month. They are customers interested in buying through the internet. In the last period, we received an increasing number of visits and our monthly visits doubled, compared to the end of last year.
What are your competitive advantages in comparison to other platforms?
Dawaya.com offers an added value to the customer to get the best experience for buying pharmaceutical drugs through the Internet. This happens through delivering the drugs needed in the shortest time via the pharmacies we hold contracts with, as well as providing all the data necessary on the products. This would allow customers to get all the information on the drug they are buying.
How do you gain profit from the service provided?
The prices of pharmaceutical drugs and cosmetics are stamped on them and we sell them with their official prices. We do not charge our clients any extra fees except for delivery. The actual profit lies in our contracts with the pharmacies that we deal with; as we get a percentage of the profit in accordance with the volume of sales done through Dawaya.
What are your plans to develop your services in the coming period?
We are currently planning to connect this network of pharmacies to our electronic system, so that the pharmacy receives the client’s request immediately after the completion of the selection process for the drugs and after entering all the data required. The client’s order will be linked to the nearest pharmacy to the address it is supposed to be delivered to, which guarantees better accuracy in delivering the service.
In the past few months, we launched a mobile application for our services. This would help the client proceed with the purchasing process in a very simple and quick way.
We have also developed an online magazine that provides all medical content in a simple way, either in the form of tips, infographics or other methods of presenting the content.
Moreover, we launched a website “top doctor” as one of the services of Dawaya, which is a research platform about doctors with all their specialties and data where clients can share their experience with the doctor and rate him through the “rate” button.
Are there any laws in Egypt that organise selling medicine through the Internet?
As a matter of fact, there are no actual laws regulating electronic commercial activity in general or medicine in particular.
In the pharmaceutical sector, what is the Egyptians’ tendency in purchasing?
60% of the clients in our network buy drugs, whereas 40% go for cosmetics and other health products.
What are your expansion plans in the Egyptian market?
Our services currently cover Cairo and Giza. We are targeting further cooperation with the pharmacies’ networks in order to cover all governorates and regions in Egypt. On an external level, we are willing to expand in one of the Gulf countries within the upcoming period.