By David Kipkorir
LeapFrog Investments owned Goodlife Pharmacy has won the ‘Portfolio Company of the Year’ Award at the Private Equity Africa GP and Advisor Awards 2018. The leading East African pharmacy brand, Goodlife was recognised for building a large and trusted brand, associated with quality medicines and traceable supply chains, with profound impact.
The popularity of the brand with customers has enabled rapid geographic expansion, with an increase from 19 to 38 stores in only one year, delivering strong unit economics and profitability. Goodlife’s portfolio of products and services, unparalleled for the region, include nutritional services, telehealth, medicine dispensing, and beauty and wellness services.
In this way, Goodlife plays an active role in the health management and provision of high grade health services, at par with many leading Western pharmacies, and already reaches more than 1 million East Africans. A shift in disease burden from acute to chronic illnesses such as Diabetes, Hypertension, and Cardio Vascular Disease is driving a need for the provision of long-term, non-hospital care on a distributed basis at the community level.
Goodlife has built a business to enable ongoing management of these conditions, at the pharmacy level with plans to expand to 100 stores by 2020, and to serve 5.5 million people over the next five years.
“The healthcare gap in Africa presents a long-term opportunity for LeapFrog to innovate and help to create a sustainable health infrastructure across the region. By putting consumer insights and needs at the heart of our strategy, we are building a business at a grass roots level that is both accessible and affordable to those who need it most. Goodlife is the greatest example of this approach in action”, commented Dr. Felix Olale, Partner of LeapFrog Investements. Goodlife recently added laboratory testing services to its offering, with an agreement with Lancet Labs.
In-store testing is not only convenient; having internationally accredited lab services integrated into the pharmacies addresses the important challenge of unlicensed medical labs springing up across the region, resulting in incorrect diagnosis and treatment of patients. The high-level commercial and operational standards established for Goodlife since LeapFrog’s investment have enabled the company to attract exceptional leaders to the business from both healthcare and retail sectors.
In 2018, Amaan Khalfan joined Goodlife as Chief Executive Officer from the leadership team at the Aga Khan University Hospital, one of the leading healthcare networks in Sub-Saharan Africa. Goodlife is well positioned for future growth, in a growing market: the IFC estimates that consumer spending on healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa will double over the next ten years.
With over 10 years investing in healthcare and financial services, LeapFrog’s healthcare strategy is focused on bridging the gap between a growing consumer demand for healthcare services and the limited ability to pay for these services. By investing in both insurers and providers of healthcare services, LeapFrog aims to reduce the out of pocket expense burden for consumers, thereby increasing the overall impact on their welfare.