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13 November 2016

Pharmaceutical perspectives

Text: Arina Soboleva Photo: Evgeny Dudin

The UNIDENT Group enters the pharmaceutical supply market and strikes partnership deals with the world’s leading medicine manufacturers and suppliers. Exploring the new line of business, the group has also launched its own pharmacy chains.

Albert Hayvatov, Director General of the Unifarma company

New horizons

In 2015 UNIDENT began supplying health centers and pharmacies with a wide range of medicinal drugs and para-pharmaceutical merchandise. Today, the company has contracts with leading global manufacturers and is a direct distributor of their products. In developing this new line of business, the UNIDENT team relies on its extensive experience of successfully marketing the company’s own brands. First of all, it is the oral care brand R.O.C.S., which has become a key name in the domestic toothpaste market and without which the shelves of Russian pharmacies and convenience stores are difficult to imagine. The expansion to the new  market resulted in the necessity to bolster the company’s team, and today UNIDENT Group employs over 2,000 professionals.

Good brands

As part of the development of the pharmaceutical line of business, in 2016 UNIDENT opened pharmacy chains Unipharma and Rosapteka in Moscow and the Moscow Oblast. Their appearance, according to the company’s representatives, very soon will make a difference to the local residents as discount and medium-segment pharmacies will open in the area.

“By the end of the year we are planning to open 30 outlets under the two brands,” says Albert Hayvatov, Unipharma’s CEO. “Our objective is to create about 150−200 good pharmacies within two or three years.”

A “good pharmacy” is primarily about customer experience. The pharmacies’ merchandise selection, service quality, and interior design are to exceed the expectations associated with the price range.

“We are one of the few companies – if not the only one – which currently open a pharmacy chain with the idea to grow the business instead of selling it to the highest bidder. And this fundamental intent defines our development plan. This attracts 2−3 times more investments into opening each pharmacy, because the main goal for us is to create a quality product.

Customers will appreciate this approach from step one. The company does not purchase ready-made facilities but rather organizes the retail space from scratch with shoppers in mind. Despite the fact that Rosapteka is a discount drugstore, even here the interior design and furnishings look better than those at the pharmacies in the same segment that now operate in Moscow.

“What is totally uncommon for a discount pharmacy – and that we have – is the open retail setup where the pharmacist walks the floor instead of standing behind the counter and communicating with customers through a window. This is a feature of the premium standard, as well as the open display cabinets that allow customers to freely examine the merchandise,” Albert continues.

Discount stores usually avoid this type of arrangement, because with a large flow of visitors it becomes difficult to control the floor. In Rosapteka, we are solving this problem by increasing the staff numbers. This should allow shoppers to quickly get the pharmacist’s advice and look at the merchandise in a convenient manner, even though in the first place they came to the pharmacy because of lower prices.

The price issue

Rosapteka’s objective is to make medications affordable, and in this respect the project could be described as a social initiative. “Although we are not specifically striving to always offer the lowest price tags as compared to the competition, still our prices are among the most affordable. Thanks to the fact that the company has no problems with investments, our contracts with suppliers allow us to get the goods on favorable terms.”

The concept of the Unipharma chain is based on a similar principle. Judging by the appearance and the quality of service, these pharmacies should belong to the premium segment, as only a few others in the Moscow market. However, in the same way as with the company’s discount chain, the prices are a step “behind” the customer experience service and comparable to those offered by pharmacy chains of a lower class.

Both chains carry a widest assortment of medications. The distinctive feature of Unipharma is its extensive selection of para-pharmaceuticals, including both  luxury brands and products in the average price category. The chain’s outlets offer traditionally available dietary supplements as well as many newly popular Japanese, Swiss, and North American brands currently found exclusively in the premium segment.

The appearance of large pharmacy chains of the type new to the Moscow area cannot leave the regional market unaffected. The business that is here to stay can bring tangible benefits to local shoppers, the company experts say, especially as its major goal is to gain consumer confidence.


Unident Group

The UNIDENT Group of Companies is one of the largest Russian and European corporate groups in the health care industry. The group’s projects are aimed at improving the quality of life and health care services to millions of people throughout Russia. UNIDENT builds and provides with medical equipment the country’s key health care facilities, develops and manufactures health care and beauty products, and offers health care services, expanding its network of medical centers. In addition, the company has twenty years of experience in supplying healthcare facilities with pharmaceutical products and medical devices.



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