Press Releases

IFC Strengthens Pharmaceutical Value Chain in Egypt, Using Business Edge Management Training

In Cairo                
Nada Abdelnour

Phone: +(202) 24619140 Ext. 352


Riham Mustafa
Phone: +(202) 24619140 Ext. 306


Cairo, December 16, 2007—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that it will expand the successful Business Edge management training it recently provided to pharmacies and distributors in Novartis’s value chain in Egypt, by replicating the model with other pharmacies and distributors in Egypt and across the region. This will be IFC’s first effort to help build the capacity of the pharmaceutical sector’s value chain of the Middle East and North Africa.

IFC’s assessment of training needs found that pharmacies and distributors in Novartis’s value-chain needed to strengthen skills to plan their business and serve clients effectively. Through IFC Business Edge management training, Novartis is beginning to enhance the skills of the pharmacies and distributors it works with.

“The IFC Business Edge program has rigorous criteria for selecting quality training providers. The program is cost-effective and delivers high-quality products. This is why we chose to partner with IFC,” said Fouad Fahmy, Head of the Novartis Pharmacists’ Patient Network.

“The training material is simple and applicable, and the trainer is a pharmacist like us, so he understands the challenges we face,” said Basel Medhat, Branch Manager at El-Ezaby Pharmacy in Maadi. “This training has enabled me to hone my problem-solving skills. I also find it easier now to draft a strategy and working plan. The workshop taught me to link medication orders to a business plan, and I am now sharing this knowledge with my team.”

“In addition to benefiting Novartis, working with such large corporations is a good way for IFC to reach small and medium enterprises and help strengthen their management capacities. It is a win-win situation,” said Michel Botzung, IFC Business Edge Program Manager.

IFC Business Edge training comprises 36 management courses that include marketing, human resources, finance, accounting, and personal productivity skills. In the pilot initiative, owners and managers of 40 private pharmacies received training on business and sales planning. The management team of 15 branches of El-Ezaby, the largest pharmacy chain in Egypt, also received training on effective management skills. Pharmacists involved in over-the-counter operations were trained on customer care. IFC also provided Business Edge training on selling skills to the telesales employees of two branches of Pharma Overseas, a Novartis distributor.

IFC Business Edge has also worked with other large corporations such as Mobinil, Unilever, and Microsoft to train SMEs in their value chain. The program is available in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, the West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen. To date, over 36,000 training seats
have been sold through a network of 16 certified training providers, and nearly 300 trainers have been trained and certified across the region. The program is managed by IFC Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa – IFC PEP-MENA.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries.

About Novartis
Novartis is a world leader in offering medicines to protect health, cure disease, and improve well-being. Its goal is to discover, develop, and successfully market innovative products to treat patients, ease suffering, and enhance the quality of life. Novartis is strengthening its medicine-based portfolio, which focuses on strategic growth in innovation-driven pharmaceuticals, high-quality and low-cost generics, human vaccines, and leading self-medication OTC over-the-counter brands. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ about 100,000 associates and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit