Nigeria’s diagnosics services industry is experiencing a fast growth and becoming more competitive in view of the calibre of new players coming into the industry. Sage Diagnostics Services Limited is one of the new players in the industry. The firm has an array of bespoke services that it believes will help create a niche for it in the next few years. In this interview with FOLAKE BALOGUN, Sage Diagnostics chief operating officer, OLUMIDE OSADUGBA highlights the strengths of his firm and how it aims to control 15% of the nation’s diagnostics market share in the next five years. Excerpts:
Could you please tell us about yourself, and your position at SAGE Diagnostics Services Limited?
My name is Olumide Osadugba, the Chief Operating Officer for SAGE Diagnostics Services Limited. I am a Certified Management Consultant and an experienced Operations Manager, specialized in the healthcare diagnostic industry of Nigeria. With a strong background in medical laboratory operations, I am dedicated to implementing cost-effective strategies in alignment with ISO15189 guidelines.
My expertise spans across several areas, including medical laboratory operation management, quality management systems, laboratory safety (supported by his foundational first aid knowledge as a trained member of the ICRC), good laboratory practice (GLP), clinical research, and data analysis for informed business decision-making.
Kindly give a background into what Sage Diagnostics Services Limited is all about. For how long has it been in business?
SAGE Diagnostics is a medical diagnostic company that enhances patient outcomes, facilitates personalised treatments, and promotes a more efficient healthcare delivery system by providing reliable pathology services, advanced imaging reports and expert interpretation of laboratory reports to enable early disease detection, precise diagnosis, and effective disease management. We commenced operation and opened to the public on the 3RD of APRIL 2023.
Why diagnostics services? What factors informed your decision to go into this line of business?
The decision was born out of the passion to contribute to the healthcare ecosystem of the country, as there is the need for quality healthcare diagnostics which overly contributes to the quality of healthcare management of the members of any society.
How big is the diagnostics services segment of Nigeria’s healthcare industry? At what rate is it growing and what share of the market are you aiming to control?
As of September 2021, the diagnostics services segment of Nigeria’s healthcare industry has been experiencing significant growth. The forecasts of a study as carried out by Mordor Intelligence projected Compound Annual Growth Rate of 4.7% between 2018 and 2028. Hence, Sage Diagnostics has a goal of being in control of at least 10%-15% of our niche within the next 5 years.
Your firm aims to provide pathology services, molecular biology services, imaging, audiometry services, among others. For each of these services, what is their state in Nigeria? What gaps exist and how do you intend to fill up the gap?
Gaps in the industry include the availability of quality service, quick turnaround time on test requests and cost of these investigations. At Sage Diagnostics , we are committed to providing quality services within the shortest turnaround time possible at a very competitive price.
The healthcare industry has one of the highest labour turnover rates in the country. How do you plan to retain your staff?
We understand the importance of a formidable team built to serve our clients with the best of quality. Hence, we have a carefully designed strategy policy on staff retention to be able to attract the best of professionals and also keep them.
What is competition to you in view of the presence of many notable local and foreign diagnostics players in Nigeria currently?
Competition for us at Sage Diagnostics is measured in terms of the market share that is being controlled, the pricing and value proposition matrix of the organization, the quality of service provided per excellence, customer relationship management strategy, and the variety of service provided.
Experience has shown that most healthcare service providers hardly pay attention to customer service. Does your firm have after sales support services? What are they?
Customers/clients of Sage Diagnostics are at the centre of what we do and thus have designed our business to always put the customers first. Some of the ways we go about this include getting customer feedback through surveys or feedback forms to understand their experience, identify areas for improvement, and address any issues or concerns they may have. We also reward loyal customers with exclusive offers, discounts, or promotions that can encourage repeat patronage and strengthen the relationship between the customer and our organization.
What measures have you put in place to reduce litigation arising from the services rendered to your clients?
Litigation arises from services provided with little or no quality in mind. Sage Diagnostics recognizes the importance of quality and has enrolled for a quality management program in order to get ISO certified. We have also developed protocols on client management to ensure effective and transparent communication with clients at all times. Furthermore, we foster a culture of continuous improvement within the organization.
Where would you like to see your firm in the next five years? What are the milestones that would be achieved within that period?
We hope to have established the organisation as a reputable and competitive player in the industry, contributing to improved healthcare outcomes and patient well-being.
What other important message do you have for your prospective customers?
We want them to know that their wellness is our top priority, and our dedicated team of experts work tirelessly to ensure that our diagnostic services meet the highest standards of quality and reliability. Also, we recognize the importance of accessibility and convenience.
Hence, we strive to make our diagnostic services easily accessible to all individuals, irrespective of their socioeconomic background. Finally, their confidentiality and trust are of utmost importance to us, and we will strive to always maintain the highest levels of data protection. We understand the sensitivity of their medical information, and we take every precaution to safeguard it.