MedHealth Limited is the wholly locally-owned company providing premier healthcare solutions to its Malawian clientele
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Stuart Parker
It has been a great year for MedHealth, with the rebranding and launch of MedHealth in Malawi. Now the formerly 100 percent South African owned company – formerly known as Metropolitan Health Malawi – is making an impression with the backing of its MedHealth parent company and one of the biggest healthcare insurance companies in Malawi.
The newly refreshed Company brings forth the experience of over seven years from its time as Metropolitan Health, with management and staff continuing from that era. Subsequently, MedHealth Malawi has the experience and virtue of being 100 percent Malawian and with that can create solutions that are tailor-made to fit the needs of the local clientele.
“As a Company we are not afraid of change and have undergone multiple rebrandings in order to keep up with the changing times in Malawi,” explains Bright Kamanga, Chief Executive Officer of MedHealth Malawi. “We began our journey in 2009 as Momentum, merging in 2012 to become Metropolitan Health Malawi.
“Our Metropolitan brand stayed with us until February this year, at which point we underwent a management buyout negotiation to become MedHealth Malawi.”
Precise market position
The Company’s service offering is now based on open-skin products, which allow it to cover the entire spectrum when it comes to income range and being able to offer something for everyone in the local market.
“Predominantly we have centred our focus on adapting the products in order to gear them towards our local market,” continues Kamanga. “Even before we had rebranded as MedHealth, we would focus on ensuring that each of the products have a good positioning in the market.”
This has ensured the success of the Company for many years and enables it to consolidate its products, ensuring that it is delivering on the best possible products to strengthen its position in the local market.
“We have a relatively simplistic but thorough approach to our market research, approaching it with a mindset focused on longevity, as opposed to achieving short-term goal,” affirms Kamanga. “This business intelligence informs us in terms of what we should and shouldn’t do, depending solely on market trends and the current appetite being witnessed by our researchers when it comes to skin-care needs.”
Making small adjustments to products is proving very popular in the industry, having worked very well for the past seven years. In meeting the consumer demands encountered in the market, MedHealth has a proven success rate of achieving high product sales at the right price for its clients.
Malawian approach to staff
When it comes to finding the right staff to successfully deliver on MedHealth’s 100 percent Malawian approach, it makes perfect sense that the Company aims to obtain staff locally.
“We mainly concentrate on this because they understand the local sector and in a country such as our, this aids the business tremendously,” adds Kamanga. “Because of this, we don’t have to limit ourselves to looking for extremely experienced staff.
“We don’t concern ourselves with the experience, instead we worry about the attitude of the person. They could have hundreds of qualifications and still not necessarily deliver the service that we need, but if you have a person with the right attitude they are far more trainable.”
The Company then focuses on training each member of staff internally and of course looking into the correct remuneration to motivate staff.
Similarly to the local approach to staffing, being a wholly-owned Malawian company, MedHealth likes to support the local businesses through employing them into its supply chain.
“At times we are limited by the services our local companies can offer,” explains Kamanga. “It is to be expected that we won’t always be able to find the right supplier in the value chain and therefore, we will look outside our Malawian model and work at more of an national and international level if needs be.
“For example, aspects of the technology in our HR department have been outsourced from South Africa. We are Malawian but we are also capable of acting with a global approach. If we are not happy with the local supplier and they can’t take us to the next level needed, then we will find a better alternative.”
Looking forward MedHealth will continue to focus on creating products that will be beneficial to its local market, making its products more affordable and more approachable to its clients.
“At present our team is incredible, and is most definitely one of our main differentiators,” states Kamanga. “They are amazing when it comes to their work and everything that comes with that.”
It is difficult in Malawi to bring together such a team, but the MedHealth management have achieved it and will continue to motivate its staff to offer more as a Company to the nation.
“Our business immediately grew by around 61 percent when we made the change to MedHealth and that just shows the confidence that the market has in us,” concludes Kamanga. “I would like to be able to look at the business three years from now and see that our product sales have doubled, with the impact of our solutions also growing and enabling us to give back to our community as a locally-owned company.”