Dr Mohsen Shalaby of Nerhadou International explains how he built Egypt’s leading mineral supplement and nutraceuticals company from scratch within 25 years, highlighting innovative solutions and the company’s aspirations to export to overseas markets upon receiving FDA approval.
Nerhadou was the first mover in Egypt for minerals, creating awareness about supplements and antioxidants by approaching doctors and pharmacies directly
Mohsen Shalaby, Nerhadou International
Having previously held senior positions at BMS, among other multinational outfits, Dr Shalaby founded Nerhadou International in 1997. Although Shalaby’s prior experience was in traditional pharmaceuticals, Nerhadou is specialized in alternative medicine, offering minerals, multivitamins and nutraceuticals. “I was very grateful for the opportunity I was given at BMS, so when setting up my own business I did not want to compete in the same treatment area”, he explains. Although alternative medicine was somewhat of an underdeveloped area in the 1990s, Shalaby saw an opportunity to invest and, convinced of its potential, under his leadership, “Nerhadou was the first mover in Egypt for minerals, creating awareness about supplements and antioxidants by approaching doctors and pharmacies directly.”
Today, Nerhadou is the leading company in minerals and multivitamins in Egypt and the country’s 28th largest pharmaceutical company overall. With more than 700 employees and a CAGR of 30 percent between 2013 and 2017, Nerhadou is one of Egypt’s fastest-growing pharma firms. In order to continue this growth trend, Shalaby has grand ambitions to expand into other treatment fields.
These ambitions include the launch of a new innovative drug delivery system: oral dispersible film (ODF) which has not previously been available in Egypt. “The system has the potential to improve the onset of action and lower the dosage [of a drug], while enhancing the efficacy and safety profile. So far, we have launched two products, one for ED treatment and one antiemetic, but we will launch 39 products in various treatment areas within the next two to three years,” he explains.
Aside from new technologies, the company is also looking across Egyptian borders to grow its business. Shalaby notes that “currently Nerhadou is exporting to 23 countries, mainly in the Middle East, Africa and the Caucasus, including countries such as Saudi Arabia, Libya and Russia,” while emphasising plans to approach other geographic markets. A keystone of this strategy is the company’s 15,000m² state of art manufacturing facility opened in 2016, that conforms to GMP according to FDA and EMEA food standards. Shalaby proudly proclaims that “the fully automated production line has the highest production capacity in the MENA region at 430 million capsules per year.” He also notes that Nerhadou is “actively working on getting FDA approval for pharmaceutical products, as this will significantly facilitate export to Europe and the USA.”
Shalaby foresees a bright future and has set the ambitious target of becoming a top ten company in Egypt by 2022, underlining that Nerhadou is “a local company working with a multinational mindset.”