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Xinhua Silk Road
Industry

Profile: Young entrepreneuse transforms medicine logistics

November 23, 2020


Abstract : Five years into her medical-service startup, Li Meng has a tight schedule and is often too busy even to put makeup on.

WUHAN, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Five years into her medical-service startup, Li Meng has a tight schedule and is often too busy even to put makeup on.

This year has been particularly busy for Li as the COVID-19 epidemic has accelerated the development of smart medical services.

Her company, Xiaoyaoyao Pharmaceutical Technology Co., Ltd., is committed to providing people with convenient, safe and efficient drug supply services.

Previously a medicine distributor, the 33-year-old knew the industry well and hence made an attempt to transform the traditional model of medicine distribution from factories to drugstores and clinics.

The conventional distribution model is marred by low efficiency and high drug prices due to wholesale agents' involvement. Thus, she came up with a feasible solution through her startup.

Li, a native of Xiangyang City in central China's Hubei Province, partnered with few others and founded Xiaoyaoyao in 2015 in the provincial capital of Wuhan.

However, things did not come easy. Li led her team to promote their business almost every day, but most customers rejected them after hearing the ebullient introduction of their startup.

"At first, we told our clients that we were going to create the world's most competitive online medicine company and make quality and cheap medicine available for people," Li recalled. "However, people thought we were swindlers."

Notwithstanding all odds, through unremitting efforts and sheer grit, her company has now grown into one of China's most popular internet enterprises in drug sales, with more than 5,000 employees.

Through online orders on the Xiaoyaoyao platform, medicines can be sold directly from pharmaceutical factories to more than 300,000 terminal drugstores and clinics in more than 20 provinces, municipalities and regions across the country.

Yukang Drugstore, located deep in the mountains of Shennongjia in Hubei, is the only means for thousands of local villagers to obtain drugs. According to the storekeeper Xu Zongcai, he had to drive three hours to the nearest town to restock before Xiaoyaoyao came into being.

"Now I just need to order online through my cellphone, and numerous cost-efficient and safe drugs will be shipped here," Xu said.

During the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, Xiaoyaoyao provided people with the service of buying medical masks online. The enterprise donated and supplied anti-epidemic material such as masks and goggles to hospitals, communities and drugstores.

The company has also developed new platforms such as intelligent drugstore management and telemedicine.

"Starting a business demands constant travels and hard work," Li said. "We will continue to focus on safe, transparent and efficient drug logistics to better serve people." Enditem

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