Antverpia is a pharmacy chain with its roots in bustling Antwerp. It was founded by Jef and Myriam Van Genechten in 1959. As pharmacists, both managed to inspire their 4 children to follow in their footsteps. Together, Hilde, Koen, Geert and Katleen Van Genechten run the company today, each with his own strengths and responsibilities , but with the same vision.
Managing a pharmacy is an extremely fascinating mission. Katleen confirms: “Every day we are driven to look ahead and expand our company with passion. Meanwhile, we have grown into a group with a chain of pharmacies, the major online pharmacy PharmaMarket, an institute and a pharmaceutical wholesaler for humans and animals. We can count on 175 enthusiastic employees. A very wide range of high-quality health products and personal health advices are our greatest assets. Improving everyone’s health is our ultimate goal.
Innovation is in the genes
As pioneer of Individual Medication Preparation (IMP) in Belgium, Geert and Hilde started in 2006 with the individual packaging of medication for residential care centres. Thanks to a high-quality production and control process, the patient receives the right medication at the right time. Antverpia helped create the legal framework and made IMP a national success in Belgium. Geert adds: “Because of the success story of IMP , we have created ‘MeZZo’ in order to bring this IMP service to patients at home. We have inherited innovative thinking from our father. He was an entrepreneur and visionary. Inspired by him, we are now expanding the company for future generations.
“My brother Koen also felt the need for a new form of service, particularly a digital scale-up of our pharmacies. He was therefore one of the first in Belgium to start developing and expanding our online pharmacy PharmaMarket, a future-oriented concept.
“The success of the company is partly due to the independence of the group. Autonomous decision making, innovation, fast switching and agility are a must. The resilience and flexibility of our group , as well as the rapid and creative development of our own hand gel and mouth mask during the corona crisis are the greatest of this.
Quality & sustainability
“Quality standards such as GPP in pharmacies, GMP in IMV production and GDP in wholesale are top priorities in our group. Soon we will move to a new premises where we will be doing circular business. This state-of-theart warehouse will be BREEAM-certified to emphasise our sustainability. We like to put our knowledge and expertise at the service of companies to cooperate as a third party logistics service provider or as a pre-wholesaler for third parties. Whether it is about logistic support or opportunities to bring new health products to the international market, we are happy to engage in the conversation.
“Every day we invest in hr policy and the wellbeing of each of our employees. Despite growth, as a family business we want to maintain the personal bond with all employees. We involve our teams in the creation and development of innovations by brainstorming with them from an open group dynamic.”
“To ensure the future of pharmacy, we have embarked on a new path where we are focusing much more broadly on health. We are transforming our pharmacies into health centres with consultation rooms, where we go for a holistic approach with personal care and lifestyle programmes, individual nutritional advices in synergy with beauty. We also provide optometric and audiological services and who knows, soon we might even support the psychological well-being of our customers.