Sikh brothers scoop major pharmacy contract

The Sikh community being industrious it is hardly surprising to hear about the success of Channa family..

The Sikh community has a reputation for being industrious so it is hardly surprising to hear about the success of Channa family who run the largest chain of privately run pharmacies in East London.

Brothers Jaswinder, Pritpal and Gurdev opened their first shop in Bethnal Green in the early 1980s working 12 hours a day to realise their dream of running their own business.
 
Britannia Pharmacy now has 14 branches across East London and Essex and recently celebrated its biggest success after winning the contract to run an in-house pharmacy at London’s first purpose-built polyclinic in Ilford.
 
Loxford Polyclinic is the first in a new generation of ‘super’ clinics that will soon be a familiar site in most of the country’s larger towns and cities offering patients a wide range of services under one roof.
 
Loxford will open seven days a week offering more than 20 services including GPs, an in-house pharmacy, healthy living café, community dentistry, minor surgery, x-rays and blood tests.
 
Britannia beat off stiff competition from rivals across the UK to secure the five year contract.
 
Gurdev Channa, who manages the company’s finances, said: “I can’t remember the number of times my brothers and I checked the email the day we were due to here if we’d won the contract.
 
“It was wonderful news and we feel confident we have both the expertise and experience after 30 years in the industry to deliver the best service.”
 
The size of the current operation is reflected in their head office, a self-built two storey building which includes a large pharmacy with consultation rooms on the ground floor and office and training space upstairs.
 
An attached warehouse acts as a distribution centre where pharmaceutical supplies are sent out to Britannia’s surrounding outlets through a fleet of company vehicles.
 
It also supplies medication to 50 care homes with a specialist team of staff dedicated to working out the sometimes complex medication patients need to take.
 
So what is the secret of running a successful pharmacy?

Gurdev added: “We always, without fail, put our customers first. That means offering services and products that they want and being flexible in our opening times.
 
“It’s important to move with the times and we pride ourselves on being at the edge of any new developments in the industry whether that be needle exchange schemes, BMI testing or offering the morning after pill.
 
“We’re one of a number of pharmacies currently piloting Minor Ailments where we offer diagnosis and treatment of conditions previously handled by GPs, such as colds and fevers.
 
“We’ll also be the first to introduce statutory vascular health checks for over 40s to head off help minimise the risk of stroke and heart attack later in life.”
 
So do the Channa brothers have any plans to further expand their business?
 
“Well, you have to keep moving, don’t you? say's Gurdev with a laugh.
 
“We love what we do and always keep an eye on the future because that’s where you need to be as a successful business.” 

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