Trashigang’s lone pharmapreneur does booming business                                 

A woman from Merak walks into the only medical shop in Trashigang town and asks for a travel sickness pill. She approaches the pharmacist asking whether it is effective or not.

The pharmacist somehow convinces her and she walks away.

Trashigang’s lone pharmacy, located in the heart of the town, has made it convenient for the people to get medicines. The old tradition of ordering medicines from Thimphu and Samdrup Jongkhar has also stopped since the pharmacy was opened.

Rinchen Chogyal from Kheng in Mongar is the owner of the only medical shop in Trashigang town. Popularly known as Olo, Rinchen Chogyal caters to the medical needs of not just the people of Trashigang but also the people of Trashiyangtse and Mongar.

Most of the time, orders are made over the phone and payments made via Mbob.

With a loan of Nu 500,000 from Loden foundation, Rinchen Chogyal opened the medical store in 2014. He receives around 70 customers daily. On an average, he sells goods worth Nu. 70,000 a month.

Rinchen Chogyal graduated from the Royal Institute of Health Sciences (RIHS) after which he worked in a medical store in Thimphu.

“But Thimphu has several medical stores and competing with the well-established businesses would be difficult so I decided to start one in Trashigang.”

Business has been in his mind since he was small. When he was a student, during his vacations, he used to trade bamboo products for chilies in Kurtoe and make orange deals in Panbang, Zhemgang.

“The little profit that I made from these activities encouraged me to get into the business, “said Rinchen chogyal.

Along with pharmaceutical products, he also sells cosmetics.

Norbu Gyaltshen, a town resident, said that having a medical shop in the town is convenient. “There was a time when we had to order medicines from places like Thimphu and Samdrup Jongkhar.”

One customer said that some medicines that they get from the hospital are not very effective. “The medical store also helps us get medicines on time.”

Rinchen Chogyal’s plan to open an extension in Trashiyangtse has come into effect with the help of his friend Samdrup Tshewang, also a graduate from RIHS, from Feburary 21 this year.

Samdrup Tshewang said that the number of customers visiting the pharmacy in Trashiyangtse is less since it is newly opened. “But I am sure with time the number of customers will gradually increase when they come to know about the pharmacy and the location of the shop.”

Jigme Wangchen from Trashigang