As many of you may be aware, BMMI Djibouti is the first in the Horn of Africa, and in the BMMI Group, to achieve certification for the Goods Distribution Practice of Medicinal Products for Human Use 2013/C 323/01 EU (GDP).
This is a major accomplishment for BMMI and will benefit the company greatly. However, for all this to happen, it wasn’t a simple or quick task and took many months of preparation, studying and determination.
The Corporate Communications & Marketing team sat down with Vipin Sagar, BMMI Djibouti’s Logistics Operations Manager, to get the inside scoop.
Vipin explained that to understand the certification clearly, you must remember 2014. This was the year IMS Bahrain first started collaborating with the team in Djibouti to discuss IMS implementation in Africa. This was to be the first in Africa, already proving that we were ahead of most companies in the region. This took months of preparation but they achieved ISO 9001:2008 and OHSAS 18001:2007 and passed with flying colours. They were the first and wanted to continue to prove they could expand their skills and would be the number one choice for customers. Then, in November 2017 the re-certification audit was conducted and the team successfully achieved ISO 9001:2015, OHSAS 18001 :2007, ISO2200:2005, ISO 22301:2012 standards for Djibouti. What came next?
In 2018, BMMI Djibouti Country Manager, Yussury Kallouche, took the lead to implement the EU GDP of Medicinal Products for Human Use.
“This was a huge challenge,” said Vipin. “We had no experience and we needed to start from scratch. This wasn’t like the others, it took more preparation than ever and even the finer details mattered. There is no room for error or compromise. We are handling medicine and we cannot get anything wrong. Storage and handling must be perfect, this is important and that is why we were thoroughly trained and tested.”
This meant that an intense audit was to take place. The results of the gap analysis meant the team needed to work closely with IMS Bahrain, and Mohamed Al Massajin in particular. “Mohamed is a true example of what we should see in our employees. He was always supportive and was a team player,” said Vipin. “He knew the work we needed to do after the gap analysis and that didn’t scare him away, but he gave us his full support all the way through.”
The second audit was completed in July, and with all the preparation and skills gained after intense training, the team passed the audit!
This certification will benefit BMMI and add value for international business. Our employees are fully trained and carry the same international standard in delivery.
“I want this story to be one of inspiration for others!” said Vipin. “This certification is proof that we can always better ourselves and use our time for good. I went back to study for personal growth during my time at BMMI. I used my time to empower myself and learn and grown myself in the company.”
Vipin initially wanted to join BMMI as a Warehouse Team Leader in 2011, yet after his interview they offered him a job as a Warehouse and Distribution Supervisor. It took him a couple of years to get promoted to Assistant Programme Manager Operations in 2014 and then, in 2016, once again he was promoted to Logistics Operations Manager. But during this time, he made sure he was growing with BMMI.
“In 2013, I had applied for an online programme for professional qualifications for logistics and passed Advanced Diploma in Logistics Management. In 2014, i applied for international certification from IPSCMI, USA and successfully secured certification of CISCM (Certified International Supply Chain Manager). And then in 2018, I successfully secured EMBA in Supply Chain and Quality Management (ISO) from NIBM, India.”
To conclude, Vipin wanted to thank those who helped with the accreditation, management, the IMS team and the entire BMMI Djibouti team. “Of course without support from our colleagues I would not be able to reach this type of success. I am grateful to everyone who has helped me with my growth and the company’s.”