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St. Francis real estate firm ventures into generic medicine market

St. Francis Generic Drug came as a response to Filipinos' growing demand for affordable medicine.
By Lolita Villa |


READY TO FRANCHISE. St. Francis Generic Drug is the St. Francis Group of Companies' first foray into retail franchising. Photo by Vincent Coscolluela / Entrepreneur Philippines



If the name St. Francis Group of Companies sounds familiar, it would not be much of a surprise. After all, it is the same company behind the St. Francis Square, a commercial center in Ortigas, as well as high-rise residences such as the BSA Towers, also in Ortigas. 



So what is a real estate company doing in the drugstore business? Sarah Roxas-Wage, franchise manager and vice president of the St. Francis Group, said that it was just a matter of course. Since the company started in 1980, St. Francis has diversified, with businesses like the Caliraya Resort Club, the Makati Hope Christian School, the Makati Hope Language Center, and the St. Francis Bookstore.


Related: Caliraya Resort Club's Christian-based business strategy





AFFORDABLE QUALITY. St. Francis Generic Drug carries branded and generic drugs, as well as galenicals, which are drugs made from herbal components. Photo by Vincent Coscolluela / Entrepreneur Philippines



Quality medicine made affordable 

Roxas-Wage said St. Francis Generic Drug follows the St. Francis Square tradition of providing affordable but quality products and services to a more budget-conscious crowd. The brand came as a response to demand for affordable medicine. “Medicine is a necessity which should be made available to all,” she said. “Price should not be a reason why a person should not get their needed medication.” 


When St. Francis Generic Drug opened in 2006, Roxas-Wage said profit topped targets, thanks to its one-stop-shop convenience and drug store concept that included grocery items, branded and generic drugs, as well as galenicals, drugs that are made from herbal components. 





BEST VALUE. St. Francis Generic Drug believes it offers the best value both for its consumers and its potential franchisees. Photo by Vincent Coscolluela / Entrepreneur Philippines



A worthwhile investment 

Franchise packages start at P600,000 ($12,597.41) for a 15-square-meter space, including the P120,000 ($2,518.41) franchise fee. The company has waived royalty fees, but requires 1% of the franchisee’s gross sales be allotted to advertising and promotions. Put together, all these allow for an “affordable investment [to] help [you get] a faster payback period,” said Roxas-Wage.


The company prefers outlets located in a residential or commercial area with high foot traffic, preferably beside other leading drugstores, near hospitals, clinics, supermarkets or public markets, or inside malls. The outlet should also have at least a 15-square-meter floor area, a full-time pharmacist, and a sink, noted Roxas-Wage. 


With 39 branches nationwide, 36 of which are franchised, St. Francis Generic Drug still has a lot of catching up to do against other generic medicine retail franchises. Still, Roxas-Wage remains unfazed, noting the value the brand offers to both the consumers and its potential franchisees.




Franchise package 

Total investment: Starts at P600,000 ($12,593.71) for a 15-square-meter outlet

Contract term: 3 years

Inclusions: Rights to use trademark, name, and logo; site evaluation; store design and construction assistance; operations manual and systems; training; startup assistance for legal requirements; advertising and promotional support, among others

St. Francis Generic Drug

(+63 2) 632-1010 local 543; +63 922-897-9198

4/F St. Francis Square Mall

J. Vargas Ave. corner Bank Drive,

Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City 1550





This article was originally published in the August 2015 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines magazine.

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