We meet Prabodh and Meena Devlukia.

Husband and wife team Prabodh and Meena Devlukia have proudly served their Norwich community for 31 years, building a group of 5 stores and a team of 40 loyal staff. “We’ve grown up with people in the area, helping parents, children and grandchildren,” says Meena. “We run extremely busy pharmacies, dispensing up to 14,000 items a month each, and delivering for 8 hours a day. But the true measure of success is our customers’ satisfaction.”

A strong team

Prabodh and Meena play to their strengths, Meena is group buyer while Prabodh manages the pharmacy side. “We enjoy hard work and forward planning,” explains Prabodh. “So we’ve built a strong service offering alongside our core dispensing business. This year we delivered 2,000 flu jabs and we’re ready to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine from the end of April. We have three consulting rooms and an army of volunteers ready. Our community are like family to us, so it’s only right we help them all we can.”

Meena takes up the theme, “We know pharmacy is moving away from dispensing, and toward offering a comprehensive range of clinical services,” she says. “So we’re about to enhance our current offering with the launch of a travel clinic, and testing and treatment for sore throats and UTIs. This is in addition to our popular ear irrigation and inhaler clinics, along with all the NHS services such as emergency contraception. We are building real momentum as we move forward, and this was the attraction of Alitam.”

‘Where the future lies’

“Immediately we recognised Alitam as an unmissable opportunity,” enthuses Prabodh. “As a small group of pharmacies, we can only innovate and streamline to a limited extent. And yet innovation and cost-efficiencies are what’s required of pharmacy today. So we were delighted to come face-to-face with the energy and vision of Feisal Nahaboo.”

Meena rejoins, “The entire membership, and the executive leadership, is very inspiring and empowering. Now we can invest in the technology our customers and business require; we can exchange ideas and collaborate on future strategies; and we can take on the significant threat of online pharmacies. Of course, all of us offer a personal service, and great expertise, but with certain online pharmacies dispensing over a million items a month, we can’t dismiss this threat to our current core business.”

“Prabodh and Meena show us the future of the family pharmacy,” says Alitam founder Feisal Nahaboo. “It’s instructive to see how they’re taking their community-focused pharmacy forward in order to serve their customers better and future-proof the business. Alitam exists to further empower such businesses, and I’m excited to see what the Devlukias achieve in the near future.”

Prabodh agrees, “Just like Alitam, we’re always looking to the future. Nothing can stop us now.”

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