Travel health kit company wins annual Pharmasave Business Competition

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Jaspreet Dhaliwall with the students behind Oversees, Joey Champigny, Saara Manji, Arthur Catapano, Rebecca Conti, Lee Pham

Jaspreet Dhaliwall with the students behind Oversees, Joey Champigny, Saara Manji, Arthur Catapano, Rebecca Conti and Lee Pham

Out-of-country vacations can be tricky to plan. Do you need a visa, are there specific vaccinations, can you drink the water? Medications in particular can be challenging to pack. Oversees, a company designed by five Rx2020 pharmacy students, promises an easy answer to these questions.

“We designed Oversees to provide accurate information and convenient travel health services to Canadian travellers,” says Lee Pham from the Oversees team. “It’s a service that provides personalized travel necessities, making travel health planning a stress-free experience.”

Oversees is the winner of the 10th annual Pharmasave Business Competition, a business-design challenge that pits pharmacy students against each other in a battle for a $5,000 prize. Students generate business ideas and demonstrate how their companies are situated to succeed in the current market.

Working in teams, they pitched their businesses in the Fundamentals of Business Administration and Management course coordinated by Dean Pacey. The top five pitches were selected to present in front of a panel of industry experts who, after challenging deliberation, chose Oversees as the winner.

“Oversees provided an innovative solution for busy travelers, leveraging a concept prominent and familiar to most clients shopping in the digital age,” says Jaspreet Dhaliwall from Pharmasave. “Oversees ensures patients are provided with essential travel health items, with the click of a key, shipping direct to the patient’s home.  Congratulations to the team for having the vision to support traveling patients in a timely and extremely convenient fashion.”

Jaspreet Dhaliwall (Pharmasave), Josh Gould (Scotiabank), Jim Gay (Consultant), John Meredith, (MNP) and Abhay Patel (Pharmasave)

This year’s judges - Jaspreet Dhaliwall (Pharmasave), Josh Gould (Scotiabank), Jim Gay (Consultant), John Meredith, (MNP) and Abhay Patel (Pharmasave)

To develop the idea for the Oversees, the team, many of whom have a background or interest in travel health, examined current pain points in the trip-planning process.

“We found that travellers spend lots of time researching what over-the-counter products they need, or feel they have to book an appointment with a health care provider to get this information,” says Lee.

To alleviate this stress, the team proposed a website-based system where travellers login and answer questions about their trip which are used to create a personalized travel kit recommendation.

 “All our recommendations are evidence based, provided by our in-house pharmacy team,” says Lee.

For travel-related medical services like vaccinations, Oversees plans to partner with travel clinics and refer users either to the closest pharmacy that administers travel vaccines or to a travel clinic. In 2018, Canadians made 4.7 million trips to oversea destinations and 15% of travellers visited a travel clinic before their trips. Oversees saw this market opportunity, and designed their company around it, anticipating future growth in the travel industry.

“We’ve designed our system to cater to tech-savvy individuals and those who travel often. Our company is positioned to succeed in a world where we have countless options to have personalized services of all kinds,” says Lee. “Why shouldn’t travel health be one of these services?”

The School of Pharmacy is grateful to Pharmasave for their ongoing support of this competition.

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