Africa Medical Supplier sets out to change the standard of care in Rwanda, but faces countless challenges securing funding.
Based in Kigali, Rwanda, Africa Medical Supplier is one of the continent’s leading medical SMEs, specializing in the import and distribution of pharmaceutical products, medical technologies, and medical consumables like rapid diagnostic tests. AMS works with hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics around the country, serving Rwanda’s urban and rural populations. In just over fifteen years, one man’s mission to change the standard of care for Rwandans has become one of the country’s most important, vital companies.
AMS won a government tender to furnish multiple hospitals with neonatal units. The first challenge was how to procure them. The second was the extremely short timeline for delivery, installation, and training. Because traditional lenders move slowly and require sufficient collateral, they were not an option for AMS. The entire project was in jeopardy because traditional funding models were failing enterprises like AMS.
Kountable’s agility and partnership helps fulfill AMS’s tenders quickly and reliably.
Kountable was able to review the terms of the project in short order and quickly arranged for its funding. Thanks to Kountable’s agility, AMS was able to make the necessary arrangements to fulfill its responsibilities and furnish the hospitals with the much-needed technology and training. “The length of time for the decisions we made on that deal was really short,” says Mr. Shema. “The response was on time, the supplier was happy because they were getting direct payment from Kountable, the shipment was fast, everything was okay.” Years after the fact, Mr. Shema still thinks about his initial experience with Kountable. “That was really something,” he says. “When I visit all those hospitals, I’m proud.”
“Before I started this company, I had a pharmaceutical company; we sold drugs to patients and to retail stores,” says Fabrice Shema, CEO of Africa Medical Supplier. Back then, Mr. Shema noticed how difficult it was to find certain medical equipment and supplies in Rwanda. “I want a blood pressure machine, I need to call a friend who is based in the U.S. or in Europe to get it,” he explains. “My mum, she has diabetes so she needs to test herself. She has a small device at home but you cannot get the strips locally — you need to call someone in Kampala or Nairobi.