While it appears a good number of innovators and change makers who have thrown up innovative ideas for solving Africa’s healthcare challenges are millennials, there are still a good number of Gen Xs who are also playing important roles, majorly leadership within the health tech sector, deploying creative and innovative solutions to arrest the myriad of challenges within the continent’s healthcare sector.
One such man is Fidelis Ayebae. Dr. Fidelis Akhagboso Ayebae is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Fidson Healthcare Nigeria Limited, a leading brand in the pharmaceutical industry.
When the history of the pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria is written, one name that will most certainly feature prominently is that of Dr. Fidelis Akhagboso Ayebae.
The Fidson Brand
The Fidson brand, as noted, is one of the leading pharmaceutical brands in Nigeria. It was launched in March 1995 as a pharmaceutical product distribution company. It subsequently delved into manufacturing after setting up a local manufacturing plant in July 2002.
The company achieved a major milestone in March 2005 as it became the first pharmaceutical company in all of sub-Saharan Africa to produce anti-retroviral drugs (ARV), a much needed drug for HIV/AIDS patients.
Along with its anti-retroviral drugs the company manufactures and distributes a long list of over the counter and ethical products which requires pre-scription. These include:
Fertility drugs such as Addyzoa and Vigomax Forte, antimalarial drugs arthemed and e-mal.
A cardiovascular drug known as asomex, multivitamins, minerals, and supplements—Astyfer, Astymin, Ferobin, Cestra Once A Day Multi-Nutrient Tablets, and Cestra Pregna Multi Tablets.
Others are Fidvite (multivitamins), Cestra 50 Plus Once A Day Multi-Nutrient Tablets, M2-Tone (herbal supplements for menarche), Extrammune (herbal supplement for immunity), analgesics – Zetgel, Avipol (Paracetamol), antibiotics – Zotrim, Tetracycline, Ciprotab, Chloramphenicol, Metrone, Cefuroxime, and Ranicef.
In 2008, the company went public as it was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Under his watch and direction, Fidsom continues to churn out impressive performances year on year.
The company reported a turnover of N18.28 billion for the year ended December 31st, 2020, representing an increase of 30 per cent when compared to the N14.06 billion revenue declared in 2019.
It also declared an operating profit of 38 per cent between 2019 and 2020, while its profit after tax increased from N407.19 million in 2019 to N1.21 billion in 2020, representing an increase of 196 per cent.
Speaking during the announcement, the founder and managing director said the performance came about on the back of the volume growth on key product lines as well as the improved efficiency in the company’s supply chain.
“As an organisation, we are committed to intensifying focus on these performance drivers going forward”, he added.
His sojourn into the medical field
Interestingly, Dr.Fidelis Akhagboso Ayebae’s background is in banking, but he has been able to transition from a banking career to an impactful entrepreneurial career in healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
His work experience includes several positions in notable Nigerian corporations. He worked as a project manager at Metalum Limited, worked as a managing director at Ayebe Investment Limited, and was an assistant director at Citibank.
He, however, quit his banking career to go into the entrepreneurial world to start up his own business.
He sits on the boards of several companies, which include NEM Insurance Plc, where he is the chairman.
He is a graduate of Civil Engineering from the Mainland Institute of Technology, where he graduated with a Higher National Diploma in 1976. He also obtained an Advanced Diploma in Business Management from the University of Lagos. He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) and also an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Administration (CIA) and also a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Affairs Management (FICAM).
Awards and recognitions
Dr. Fidelis Akhagboso Ayebae has earned a number of awards and recognitions for his outstanding work as an industrialist and entrepreneur whose company continues to impact the life of Nigerians with the provision of quality drugs.
He was recognised as the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2011 and 2012. He received the Nigerian Stock Market Pearl Award for Sectoral Leadership in the Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Sector in 2015. He was inducted into the hall of honorary membership of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).
Along with the above, he is a member of the Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers of Nigeria (PMG-MAN). He is also a member of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce as well as the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce.