Author’s Blurb: I don’t make it a habit to do my monthly shopping for pharmacy supplies on platforms like GrabMart, but when I do, it’s fairly pleasant. They deliver supplies on time, most of what I need is already listed, and the delivery fees are decent enough.
So although what they’re doing is nothing new—Esyms believes that more could be done to improve a user’s experience.
Founder Lam Wee Yong, who has 15 years of training as a pharmacist behind him, told Vulcan Post that he intends on making this a more occurrent and reliable process.
Who Does Esyms Serve?
“There was one customer who came to us with her 70-year-old father’s prescription, who was burdened by the costly list of medications bought from the hospital,” Wee Yong started.
Added on to that stress was the hassle of delivering these medications all the way to her father’s residence in Sungai Petani.
“We (Esyms) managed to source for a cheaper alternative brand with her doctor’s consent and get one of our partner pharmacies to make a special order for the medication—which we deliver to her father every month,” he said.
Such recommendations and advice come from licensed pharmacists that can also use the platform to consult users.
This is done via a telepharmacy system that has live chat or video, where licensed pharmacists get to answer all your pressing questions—much like what you get when you walk into an actual physical pharmacy.
Wee Yong told us that the platform handles an average of 350 daily queries on product recommendation, medical consultation, wellness and beauty, etc.
The amount of those queries have also increased substantially due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
Although Wee Yong understands that there’s more to an on-demand delivery service just being ‘fast’, speed is a major concern for this startup.
He told us how this is emphasised at every phase of the process. “When customers place an order, our real-time ordering system will automatically connect to the pharmacies closest to them.”
Within 30 minutes, there will be at least 30 pharmacies looking at the order so that they can be the ones to fulfil it.
In the case that it’s not fulfilled due to stock unavailability, the customers will then be informed.
Wee Yong told us that confirmed orders should take less than 3 hours to reach the customer safely. This same-day delivery option is available to all customers around Klang Valley.
For those who stay far away, they do have the option to schedule the delivery instead, where they can get it within the next day.
The Competition Is Tight, But They’re Still Growing
Of course, this is a path that’s already been explored by many.
Platforms like BIG Pharmacy and Lovy Pharmacy (who also allows registered pharmacists to conduct video consultations with users) have already been in the market for years.
Lovy Pharmacy is in fact a product of the BP Healthcare Group, which has the ability to also offer competitive medical counselling, assessments and disease management at their physical centres.
Esyms definitely has their work cut out for them if they’re planning to go against these giants.
Wee Yong is aware of the strong competition. But his faith in his venture is supported by his solid experience in the industry and all its inner workings.
“We have extended our partnership to more than 350 pharmacies and 80 health service providers now. Esyms currently also serves 33 corporate clients, and we have over 180k users in the database through website and app services,” Wee Yong explained.
To one-up their competitors, Esyms hopes to bring in more unique and exclusive products instead—ones that fall into the category of health supplements and superfoods.
When it comes to the near future, Wee Yong told us that his goals would be realised when they are able to partner with more than 1,000 pharmacies and other health providers around the country.
Thus far, Esyms has received about US$750k (RM3.27 million) in seed funding from angel investors.
Backed by this, Wee Yong hopes to grow the Esyms empire to hopefully one day also deliver medication from private and public hospitals, and to branch out their telepharmacy features to professionals across disciplines (paediatrics, medical sales and procurements, geriatrics, etc.)
Bottom Line: Having multiple options for getting medicine and health supplements delivered to you is always good, but even more so during this COVID-19 outbreak at the time of writing.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Esyms