Renu and Pradeep Duggal of Styvechale Pharmacy, Coventry

Pradeep and Renu Duggal’s vibrant pharmacy has seen prescriptions and staff numbers double in size since acquisition in 2005. A result they attribute to exceptional care delivered at every level. “We go out of our way to meet our customers’ needs,” explains Renu. “Whether that’s through implementing new services, new technology to make life easier, or through active involvement in our community. We never stop trying to deliver the highest quality customer care.” Such is the extent of their care, the Duggals even sent out Christmas hampers to customers who were shielding this year. Their charity fundraisers are incredibly successful and a fixture on the local calendar. “We do a lot,” says Pradeep, “but it’s so rewarding.”

The perfect team

Pradeep and Renu’s talents complement each other perfectly. Pradeep is the superintendent pharmacist, while Renu works both as a pharmacist and on the admin side of the business. “We have different strengths and pull together strongly, united in our determination to deliver the best healthcare we can,” says Pradeep. “We offer a wide range of services, including ear irrigation, flu jabs and PCR tests for those needing to travel abroad,” he smiles. “Our reputation is so great that a certain well-known Punjabi singer, with a CBE from the Queen, came all the way from Birmingham to undergo his test here.”

The future of healthcare

Expanding the service offering, and utilising the latest technology, are also key drivers for the Duggals. Pradeep explains, “We recently invested in Medpoint, an automated dispensing machine, and the feedback from customers has been amazing. Now they’re not beholden to pharmacy opening times to pick up their medicines. We also helped pioneer a pharmacy phlebotomy service in Coventry, offering people rapid and convenient blood tests. Again, this has been hugely successful – we now employ two full-time phlebotomists. During lockdown, we were the only local site accessible for people avoiding hospitals.”

Renu adds, “In fact, we’re now the busiest community pharmacy for phlebotomy in Coventry. It’s a window onto the world of future healthcare: we’ve made slots bookable online, and they’re available every five minutes. We’ve employed a social media consultant to advertise this, and our other offerings, and that’s really paying off. With our clientele being predominantly younger people, this is absolutely the way forward.”

The sky’s the limit with Alitam

The Duggals are passionate about the many opportunities Alitam affords. “This model is perfect for us, and perfect for pharmacy,” enthuses Pradeep. “We are young and very much invested in our community pharmacy. It’s taken blood, sweat and tears to get this far. With Alitam, we keep control of our business, while benefitting from the incredible array of group expertise available. This means we, and other members, are best placed to build the pharmacy offering that our communities need.”

“There’s so much that community pharmacists are uniquely placed to do,” says Renu. “We’re vital to our neighbourhoods, and to the efficient running of the health service. We see it every day. And we see how much of a difference technology like Medpoint can make to our customers’ lives. With Alitam we can finally explore that fully. It’s a natural, collaborative way of working which will take the group from strength to strength. And it’s a game-changer for the pharmacy sector. With Alitam, the sky’s the limit.”

Says Alitam Founder Feisal Nahaboo, “Renu and Pradeep are the perfect example of the resilience, future-focus and care which defines the Alitam pharmacist. They’ve built an incredibly strong business, one which truly serves the community, and they’re already pushing this further. They bring important insights into clinical services and marketing to the Alitam group; and their community involvement is an inspiration. We are delighted to have them on board.”