This is a story of a young entrepreneur who was born in Ejura in the Ashanti Region but raised in Pong Tamale in the Savelugu Municipality in the Northern Region of Ghana. Charles, as he is affectionately called, is a motivation to the younger generation.
The establishment of Ginapharma by Charles Nimo is a clear example of how young people from the North, particularly from Tamale, can succeed without waiting for foreigners to “hijack” the industry for them to be employed.
Tudu News interacted with the Chief Executive Officer of Ginapharma in his comfortable office located off the Kamina Road. He narrated how he started his career as a Pharmacist after graduating from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology ( KNUST) in 2002.
He revealed how he immediately secured employment with Kinapharma Limited as their Regional Pharmacist. According to Charles his employment with Kinapharma did not just introduced him to the world of work but also exposed him to the Northern Region where he traveled around extensively. He said during his days with Kinapharma he really appreciated the kind of profession he had chosen and the prospects ahead of him as a young Pharmacist. He noted that whiles working with Kinapharma he significantly made a mark in the industry. He revealed that his team increased Kinapharma sales and was recognized as the leading Pharmaceutical Distribution Company in the Northern Region as at that time. He said, “one achievement of my presence in Kinapharma was that I made the company very visible and recognized within the industry in the region”. He revealed that as a result of his remarkable performance as a young Pharmacist a number of Pharmaceutical companies “chased” him for employment.
He indicated that finally Gokals Ghana limited succeeded in offering him the Zonal Manager for the Three Northern Regions in 2004. In 2004, Charles Nimo finally accepted an offer from Gokals Ghana Limited as their Zonal Manager for the three Northern Regions. He noted that this started another page of his Professional career. He said the Gokals engagement triggered this whole story of Ginapharma. He believed he developed the interest of Entrepreneurship after a short period of working with Gokals. According to Charles Nimo, the concept of establishing GINA Pharma started when he had a practical understanding of the Market in the three Northern Regions whiles working with Gokals. He lamented that at the beginning of his job with Gokals, he initially encountered some challenges that nearly convinced him to abandon his new schedule as the Zonal Manager, but he considered that a challenge. He said, Gokals offered him a lot of opportunities and he would forever be appreciative to the entire Gokals Directors. He added that he is still the accredited agent for Gokals in the Region.
He acknowledged the significant support he received from Gokals Ghana when he revealed his intention to establish Ginapharma as a retail pharmacy which later metamorphosed to a wholesale and retail company. He summarized that “haven’t made my plans known to the company I was surprised that my boss gladly approved my idea of opening a retail pharmacy”. He further revealed that he finally established Ginapharma in 2008 along aside working with his parent Company until 2012 when he saw the need to bow out and concentrate on his promising Company and also allow younger Pharmacist the opportunity to explore.
He mentioned that apart from the main Ginapharma branch located at Choggu opposite Bishop Junior High School the company has further established three retail branches within Tamale and one in Bolgatanga. He recalled how he established his second branch which is the first 24-hour Pharmacy in Tamale along the Tamale Teaching Hospital main road opposite the Total Filling Station at Kukuo.
He noted that there was no 24-hour Pharmacy in the whole of Tamale and particularly around the Teaching Hospital. He said the establishment of the 24Hr Pharmacy shop was not only to expand his branches but to fill a major gap in the provision of pharmaceutical services in Tamale and its surrounding districts. He said, “the 24Hr Pharmacy established closer to TTH is still the only pharmacy nearest the TTH that provides all-day pharmacy service in the town and is very proud of this development”. He explained how he has deeply involved one of his Senior Pharmacist Pham Kwame Agyepong in the establishment of the 24 Hr pharmacy. He said his pharmacy has a policy of offering significant shares to any Senior Pharmacist that heads any retail branch. He said “. He praised the efforts of Pharm Kwame Agyepong and his role in the 24 Hr pharmacy at Kukuo.
One spectacular development of Ginapharma is its latest Ultra-Modern Pharmacy along the main Kamina Road opposite the new National Health Insurance Office. This complex doubles as the headquarters of the Pharmacy and the main wholesale for the company.
Tudu News can confirm that the retail Pharmacy attached to the wholesale is an ultramodern Pharmacy that provides other services such as Medicines Therapy Management (MTM).
He noted that all administrative and managerial activities take place in this new complex.
He revealed again that the latest subsidiary coming up by close of December 2018 of Ginapharma is the Stadium Pharmacy located along the New Tamale Sports Stadium along the Fatawu Bicycles food roundabout road. He said the reason for the Stadium branch is to take care of emergencies during sporting and other activities in the Stadium. He said this branch would in addition carter for the whole of the Ridge Area. It is also to strategically take care of emergency pharmaceutical needs. He indicated how Pharm Elvis Duorinaa is instrumental in the establishment of that branch. He repeated that as a policy of developing his Pharmacist, Pharm Duorinaa owns significant shares in that new branch.
The wonderful initiative of Charles’ GINA Pharma has resulted in the employment of twenty-nine (29) professionals some of whom are permanent whiles others are on Locum bases. He boasted “my Pharmacists are well catered for and for that matter they put up their best”. He further added, “as a growing Pharmaceutical company I would have to ensure that I have the requisite staff to deal with all aspect of the company”.
A staff of Ginapharma Tudu News interacted with described the Chief Executive Officer as very meticulous and industrious when it comes to his professional schedules. She praised him and said, “as for Mr. Charles the best I can describe him is that he is God fearing and kind towards us as his employees”. She further revealed that though she has worked in several Pharmaceutical companies she has never been provided with breakfast and lunch at the workplace apart from Ginapharma.
As a proud Old GHANASCAN Charles revealed how he managed to successfully pass his “O” level certificate in 1993 in Ghanasco before proceeding to Kumasi High to continue his “A” level. He said, “Ghanasco provided me with a solid foundation that propelled me to achieve this current standing in life”. He said after gaining admission to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and it’s “struggles” he successfully completed his BSc in Pharmacy in 2002. He hinted that in 2008 he saw the need to equip himself further with some managerial and entrepreneurial skills to help him better understand the corporate world so he enrolled into the KNUST School of Business to study MBA Marketing option. Whiles pushing the growth of Ginapharma he saw the need to enroll in a Doctor of Pharmacy top up program at KNUST to consolidate his professional career as well as update himself as a Pharmacist. He hinted that by June 2019 he would be graduating as a Doctor of Pharmacy.
He indicated that his motivation over the years has been God and positive mind.
He concluded by indicating that his future plan is to venture into the manufacturing of infusions and other minor drugs. He said the prospects for that kind of product in Tamale are huge and therefore he would want to take advantage of this to be the first indigenous company to manufacture those products in Tamale.
He reminded the youth and other professionals in the Region to emulate his posture and not over-concentrate in the public sector but also venture into the private sector.
He called on the government to direct its focus on indigenous enterprises instead of looking outside to attract foreign enterprises that would come and rather repatriate the monies back to their home countries. He said Ginapharma is ready to partner government in the area of health delivery and job creation for the unemployed youth.
He recalled his “Apoo Galore” extra classes’ days as a Physics teacher. He narrated how he and s his friends organized extra classes to prepare students in Tamale for their SSSS final examinations.
Pharm Charles Nimo revealed how his wife significantly supported the entire Ginapharma venture. He said, “without my wife am convinced that this whole narration would not have been possible”. He said his wife struggled to cope with her career as a teacher as well as took center stage of the first retail pharmacy at the Bishop Junior High School.
He concluded by praising God for his achievement and indicated how he does not compromise on his Assemblies of God Church doctrines.