One of the biggest names in Brazil’s pharmaceutical industry completed half a century of operation this year. Created in 1973, from the union of two pharmaceutical chains at the time, the gaúcha Panvel It has been operating for 50 years with the aim of providing health and well-being to its clientele.
Many changes and challenges have marked the company’s history over the years. From overcoming times of inflation, currency exchange to brand negotiations on the Stock Exchange. What has not changed, however, is the attention to the market and, mainly, to the customer, care that has resulted in a pioneering brand in its segment. This is what Panvel’s executive director of operations, Roberto Coimbra, guarantees.
Part of the company’s organizational chart for more than 20 years, Roberto defines the network as innovative. With almost 20% of the company’s revenue represented by online sales, including website and application, Panvel is committed to modernization combined with a harmonious experience. “The competition is strong, we need to update ourselves, but maintaining the essence of the store, that’s what sets us apart. We bring innovation in digital, in clinical services and we continue to innovate in products and in the purchasing experience. We know what brought us here, but we have to remain attentive to the market, to the customer”, he highlights.
Since 1989, Panvel has had its own line of products, which today includes more than 1,000 items and represents 7% of the brand’s sales.. In 1998, it joined online sales and, more recently, in 2020, it incorporated clinical services, such as vaccines and rapid exams in pharmacies. “It’s been just over a month since Anvisa published a RDC validating tests in pharmacies, and Panvel is already there, innovative, with a portfolio of tests and exams available”, he highlights. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the network was a partner with Porto Alegre City Hall in testing people.
What started with 33 stores in Rio Grande do Sul, today has almost 600 units spread across the south and southeast of the country. And, according to Roberto, there is still much more space to be explored. “Brazil has more than 120 thousand pharmacies today. If you look at the number, you might think that there is no room for more, but we understand that there is. Our value proposition is different. If you don’t already have Panvel in a certain location, sure has an opportunity for us”, he ures.
One of the characteristics that, for the executive, makes the company continue to accumulate good numbers year after year, is the development of new projects. One of the initiatives that the director is most proud of is Troco Amigo, a project that encourages the brand’s customers to donate the change from their purchases to partner institutions, such as Santa Casa de Misericórdia and the Hospital de Pronto Socorro de Porto Alegre, as well as entities within the State. “Almost R$16 million has already been allocated to hospitals and social institutions. You need to trust the brand to donate your money like this, so this is very much a reflection of the ethics we cultivate”, he reflects. This year, the initiative will also accept change in payments made by credit and debit card. “The trend. is to raise almost double what we raised last year”, projects Roberto.
Launched last year, the continuous use program is one of the brand’s latest innovations. The initiative seeks to offer benefits to patients undergoing treatment for chronic diseases, with more advantageous purchase offers, in addition to informative content. “We understand that the pharmacy is a place of relationships, it will interact with individuals throughout their lives. So, the idea of the program is to be able to offer conditions for people to maintain treatment and have access to merchandise, in addition to adding content and providing information”, explains Roberto. With each purchase of a medication for continuous use made in a Panvel store, the customer will be eligible for progressive discounts.The list of medicines included in the program can be accessed on the network’s website (panvel.com).
With the constant transformation of retail, Roberto states that it can be a challenge to remain loyal to the segment. “Sometimes, there’s an urge, a desire to do more of this, more of that, to expand, enter another market, but as soon as you realize it, it already looks like a mini-market, a convenience store. Our objective is to inhabit the health, well-being and beauty segment, combined with the clinical partwhich we also understand as a great value for the consumer”, he highlights.
The brand’s distribution center in RS, located in Eldorado do Sul, is responsible for supplying around 400 units in the State, in addition to wholesale, which serves pharmacies from other chains. Logistics is the biggest differentiator of the space, which operates morning, afternoon and night. “Our operation is very fast. Our medicines have traceability from start to finish. Everything is automated, there are more than 5 thousand separation channels. If an order comes in to replenish stock, it goes to separation, pes through the order island, checks and is transported to the stores”, highlights Diego Flores, director of logistics. Per day, the center sends around 500 thousand units of products to pharmacies of State.
The brand is expected to end 2023 with 60 new stores opened throughout the year and a revenue of R$5 billion. Currently, the Panvel group employs around 10 thousand people. For the next few years, the objective continues to be expansion, but, as Roberto states, at a healthy pace of growth.